Apple has quietly started approving App Store submissions compatible with its forthcoming iOS 5 mobile platform revamp, suggesting the upgraded OS could formally launch as soon as next month. Cult of Mac reports that Apple has approved at least two iOS 5 updates: Version 1.5.4 of the Mashable! application explicitly cites “iOS 5 compatibility,” while tap tap tap’s Camera+ is more sly, indicating “compatibility with that upcoming OS That Must Not Be Named.”
Late last month, Apple seeded iOS 5 beta 4 to registered iOS developers. The release is the first version of iOS to arrive via over-the-air update–Apple officially introduced OTA updates late last month with the release of iOS 5 beta 2, enabling users to activate and set up iOS devices out of the box and receive software updates sans a conventional computer connection, but at that time, no compatible updates were available.
First unveiled in June during Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, iOS 5 heralds more than 200 new user features and brings 1,500 new APIs. It is first and foremost about seamless integration with Apple’s free iCloud service, which replaces Apple’s premium MobileMe offering. The iCloud automatically syncs content on Apple servers for access across iOS devices as well as Macs and PCs–each day, iCloud Backup saves information from the user’s iOS devices over Wi-Fi, storing content including purchased music, apps and books, as well as photos, videos, device settings and app data. In addition, Apple’s App Store and iBookstore now download purchased iOS apps and books to all authorized devices, not just the unit on which they were purchased.
Earlier this week, Apple released the beta version of iCloud to developer partners, in the process revealing its storage upgrade pricing plans. Apple previously stated that all iOS 5 and Mac OS X Lion users will be given 5 GB of free iCloud storage–users looking to expand their digital lockers will be charged $20 per year for 15 GB total, $40 per year for 25 GB or $100 per year for 55 GB total.