Ahead of the Bell: New Apple software

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) ? The iPhone 4S won’t be out for a few more days, but those with older devices can start seeing improvements Wednesday.

Apple is making its iOS 5 mobile software available as a free upgrade for the iPhone 4 and 3GS, both iPad models and later versions of the iPod Touch.

Among other things, the new software will allow users to sync content on devices wirelessly, without having to plug the device to a Mac or Windows machine. It has iMessage, which lets people send texts, photos or videos to other Apple devices over Wi-Fi or a wireless carrier’s data network, rather than on a cellular network. Also, swiping the top of the screen will bring up a notification page with appointments, reminders, weather, stock quotes and more.

Wednesday also marks the launch of Apple Inc.’s new iCloud service. It will store content such as music, documents and photos on Apple’s servers and let people access them wirelessly on numerous devices. One component is a $25-per-year service called iTunes Match that will let people play their personal jukeboxes on any device with iTunes software instead of keeping them tethered to a personal computer that must be synced with other devices.

Those wanting the iPhone 4S will have to wait until at least Friday. Apple said Monday that first-day pre-orders of the iPhone 4S topped 1 million, breaking the record set by last year’s model.