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Thursday, August 04, 2011, 07:15 am PT (10:15 am ET)

Apple begins approving iPhone apps with iOS 5 compatibility

Developers have begun updating their App Store software to provide compatibility with Apple's forthcoming iOS 5 update for the iPhone and iPad, though no applications actually built on new iOS 5 code are yet available.

One of the first applications with iOS 5 compatibility to be approved was "Camera+" from developer tap tap tap. As noted by Cult of Mac, the release notes for version 2.2.3 of Camera+ noted that the software features "compatibility with that upcoming OS That Must Not Be Named."

Less coy about iOS 5 support was "Mashable," which updated its own iPhone application this week to version 1.5.4 and advertised that the software now has "iOS 5 compatibility."

The software updates have led to wishful speculation that the release of iOS 5 could come sooner than expected, perhaps earlier than the fall debut Apple previously announced.

However, while some software may now be "compatible" with iOS 5, the latest builds released on the App Store are likely still based on the iOS 4.3 application programming interface provided by Apple. Developers are able to test application compatibility with iOS 5 by using the latest beta of the forthcoming software update.

Mashable


There is no indication that Apple has begun approving applications based on the iOS 5 API. For example, last year Apple began accepting applications based on the iOS 4.0 API only 10 days before the update became publicly available, allowing software to take advantage of new features such as multitasking.

That means any iOS 5 software currently available on the App Store likely does not yet take advantage of new features in the forthcoming update. With iOS 5, developers will be able to take advantage of new functionality such as Notification Center for prompting users; Newsstand for purchasing, organizing and updating newspapers and magazines; and system-wide Twitter integration.

For more on the new features and functionality that iOS 5 will bring when it eventually does arrive this fall, see AppleInsider's ongoing series, Inside iOS 5. Some of the latest installments are included below:

AirPort, Time Capsule setup goes PC-free

Assistive Touch allows accessible gesture commands

New lock screen notifications, receding iMessage keyboard

iMessage to bring proprietary chat to iPhone, iPad

Built-in Twitter integration makes tweeting a snap

LED flash on calls, custom accessibility gestures & vibrations