Over-the-air updates may be heading to Apple’s iOS devices with the iOS 5 update, meaning that users will no longer be tied to a white cable coming out of their PC or Mac in order to get the latest device software from the desktop version of iTunes.
9to5 Mac state that “multiple sources” are suggesting that OTA updates will land with iOS 5, bringing it more in line with the way Android devices receive their updates.
If true, it will however mean Apple may have to re-think the way they deliver updates. Usually, iOS updates are a little on the large size, topping a few hundred megabytes. This is fine over a Wi-Fi connection where data charges do not apply, but a truly wireless update system would have to take 3G connections into account too. Perhaps Apple would move to a smaller, more regular patching system rather than the sizeable system in place now.
Backups, usually performed over iTunes prior to a software update, would have to be re-thought too. Could Apple’s imminent cloud ventures be used in this regard?
With Apple’s WWDC event scheduled for next month, we’re sure more will be revealed then.