Updating software wirelessly in iOS 5 | iLounge Tips

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Updating software wirelessly in iOS 5


Apple hasn’t yet released its first point update to iOS 5, but when it does, you’ll be prepared to grab it without having to plug your device into your computer. When word drops that an update has been released, all you need to do is open Settings, tap on General, and tap Software Update. This causes your device to ping Apple’s servers, responding with a graphic showing the new update’s version number and brief release notes if one is available, along with an App Store-like install button. Tap it, and voila—you’ll have the latest update installed on your device before you know, all without plugging in a cord.

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So why does the iTunes Wi-Fi Sync in the iPhone’s Settings say, “Automatically sync with iTunes on your computer when your iPhone is plugged in to power and connected to Wi-Fi”?

Is syncing to iTunes to for App updates different to syncing for OS updates? Or is Apple just being overly cautious about the power requirements for an update of any kind?

Posted by William Robinson on October 20, 2011 at 11:36 AM (CDT)


@1: If you’re asking why Apple says you need external power to do a wi-fi sync to iTunes, but don’t need power to do an OS update, then:

(a) You actually don’t have to have external power to do a wi-fi sync—without power you just have to manually initiate the wi-fi sync and have a certain amount of battery (>50%?). The power requirement is for the automatic wi-fi sync (among other requirements).

(b) Syncing your device to iTunes can involve much more data transfer than an OS update (assuming that Apple will slim down the updates for OTA) so maybe they’re erring on the side of caution for an iTunes sync. For someone who downloads multiple albums, apps, etc. in between syncs, that data transfer can get quite large, whereas an OS update is supposed to be much smaller than the full-blown iOS releases that we’ve come to know.

(c) Since the first “dot release” of iOS 5 has yet to be released, we don’t know for sure what the power requirements will be (iLounge may be jumping to conclusions here).

Posted by rockmyplimsoul on October 20, 2011 at 2:02 PM (CDT)

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