Since the dawn of the iPhone, users have had to go through the painful process of connecting their device to a computer and then to iTunes, with the possibility of a 600 MB+ download, to deliver a simple software update. However, according to recent reports, this will soon come to a welcomed end as of the next major iOS update.
According to 9to5mac, multiple sources have pointed to a new feature that will allow over-the-air updates to iOS, similar to the system available in Google’s Android mobile operating system. With over-the-air (OTA) updates, users are notified on their device of an operating system update and, via simple actions, can download and then install the updates to their device without connecting to a computer.
This new feature is set to debut in iOS 5 when it is released this fall, meaning subsequent updates to iOS 5 will be OTA. As this feature, like tethering, cannot simply be enabled for all users, Apple and Verizon are said to have been in discussion about providing this feature since earlier this year – which indicates the Verizon iPhone will be the first to utilize the new iOS technology.
9to5mac’s sources couldn’t comment over the state of OTA updates on the AT&T or international iPhone variants, however this is likely. It’s is also possible that this feature will be available to iPad and iPod Touch users if the feature is in iOS 5, which in the future will mean the end for iTunes-based updating of iOS devices.