iOS 5 may bring OTA updates to iPhone

Apple is set to give the world its first look at iOS 5 next month at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference, and a new report from 9to5 Mac suggests one of the new features in the coming operating system update may be an over the air updating mechanism. Apple’s iOS updating system is currently a mixed bag — it often takes an excessive amount of time to download a new OS build, back up a device, apply an update and then restore the device from the back up, but it also means restoring devices and switching phones is extremely simple. 9to5 Mac claims to have confirmed with multiple anonymous sources that updates delivered following Apple’s iOS 5 release could take advantage of a new OTA update mechanism that will deliver incremental updates directly to devices rather than to iTunes. The report specifically notes that Apple has been in talks with Verizon Wireless regarding OTA updates, though the feature would obviously be available to any carriers that agree to deliver the updates over their networks. OTA updates would certainly be a welcome addition to iOS — let’s just hope we also get a solid new notification system so those OTA update messages aren’t quite as intrusive.

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