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iTunes Leaks 'Automatic Download' Over-the-Air Updates in iOS 5 [Updated]

In the days leading to WWDC, Apple's iTunes seems to have leaked a new feature that must be coming in iOS 5. A MacRumors reader discovered (and we verified) that when asking iTunes to check your app library for updates, iTunes' update page reveals a new feature for iOS devices. (Thanks Marcelo) The following line has been added to the My App Updates screen:
Or if your device has Automatic Download enabled for apps, your updates will download to your device without having to sync.
Such a setting doesn't exist in iOS at present, which suggests that you will be able to automatically get app updates to your device. Presently, users must either sync or download the updates themselves manually through the App Store app.

It also suggests that there is an Automatic Download setting for other items besides apps. Apple has been rumored to be making a push into over-the-air updates as well as some sort of wireless syncing. Rumors of AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule updates have also hinted at such a feature.

WWDC kicks off on Monday with a keynote from Steve Jobs who will detail Mac OS X Lion, iOS 5 and iCloud.

Update: Apple has removed the extra wording from the Updates page in iTunes.

Top Rated Comments

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42 months ago

Who starts a sentence with "Or"?

Writers do.

Rating: 19 Votes
42 months ago
Interesting feature.

But what's so hard about pressing "update all" when you are on wifi? No computer needed.
Rating: 15 Votes
42 months ago
Sounds like a nice feature, as long as it doesn't impact battery life in a negative way.

Monday seems so far away.
Rating: 8 Votes
42 months ago
Sounds like a feature I'll keep turned off.

App devs have been known to remove features in new versions (*cough* TWITTER) or introduce bugs of death. I like to carefully review apps before I update them, and keep a backup of the previous version just in case.
Rating: 6 Votes
42 months ago
The last thing I want is "automatic" updating with iOS. I lost some great apps to so called "updates". I was luckily able to downgrade back to older versions of the apps because I had a Time Machine back up. If Apple offered a way to go back to previous versions of apps, I wouldn't mind auto updating. But now I am always wary of ANY updates to my iOS apps. Sometimes the developers change things and they really suck. Sometimes, so does Apple >coughcough
Rating: 6 Votes
42 months ago

Interesting feature.

But what's so hard about pressing "update all" when you are on wifi? No computer needed.

It's actually more like this:

1. Unlock iPhone, put in passcode (if set up)
2. Open App Store
3. Wait
4. Tap on Updates
5. Wait
6. Tap on "Update All"
7. Enter iTunes Password
8. Get kicked out of the App Store
9. Confirm that you are over 17 and can use App XYZ
10. If you only have one iTunes account, stop here.
11. Go to settings
12. Tap Store
13. Enter your other iTunes ID
14. Go to 2

Automatic App Updates would be more like

1. Connect to Wi-Fi
2. Wait for apps to automatically update
3. Done
Rating: 5 Votes
42 months ago

Seems interesting that the sentence in the leaked screenshot starts with "Or". Who starts a sentence with "Or"? A hoax perhaps?

"Or" is fine with me. It's a coordinating conjunction, so it's fine to start a sentence with it. Even if it weren't kosher, I think grammar should mostly serve to make communication clear.

But one thing that always gets my goat is that Apple never uses direct address commas! Drives me crazy! For example on the first iTunes Store page, it says "Welcome (name)," with no comma after "Welcome." Argggg, drives me crazy! Other sites like get it right. I've written to Apple about this, but writing to Apple is like trying to talk to the Wizard of Oz.
Rating: 5 Votes
42 months ago
I'm glad it looks like we'll be able to turn this off. I don't want apps downloading in the background and sucking up battery life. On the computer it's great, but not on my phone.

I'm really hoping for wireless syncing.
Rating: 4 Votes
42 months ago
Hell yes!! About freakin time... I hope it doesn't stop with just app updates.
Rating: 4 Votes
42 months ago

I know, so glad that Mac OS and Windows both copied the OS update mechanism from Android.

I hope this is a joke.
Rating: 4 Votes

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