iTunes-Less Updating May Be Coming In iOS 5
Gone may be the days of time-consuming iOS updates constrained by iTunes. iOS 5 could bring over-the-air updating according to 9 to 5 Mac, allowing you to install the latest software version wirelessly from your device.
A user would simply receive a notification when a new version is available beginning with the first release after iOS 5.0, then be given the option to download and install it onto their device without the need for a computer. There may even be a remote backup feature that utilizes Apple’s rumored cloud storage service, so all of iTunes’ options are available to you without ever having to open the app if you so choose.
3G may not be left out of the over-the-air updating equation. It’s reported that Apple is working on a plan with Verizon Wireless for the sake of updating without restrictions including Wi-Fi. Hey, you need to have the latest proximity sensor improvement the second it comes out no matter where you are, don’t you?
It is difficult to find a way not to label the current method of updating iOS a hassle and wasteful. The latest 4.3.3/4.2.8 update is a good example of this since all it packs in are bug fixes, yet it weighs in at over 600MB that have to be downloaded to your computer for an iOS device that then has to be connected and synced to move on to the install process. As most people already know, this takes more than a few minutes and cannot really be called worthwhile for every small revision.
Competing smartphone/tablet operating systems Android and webOS have already included the feature. For iOS to join them, Apple would have to revise the update dynamic so each update file isn’t a reinstall of the entire OS, but rather only contains elements to be modified or added.