With the recent news that Apple is considering Over-The-Air (OTA) updates for iOS 5, people have begun to speculate about how these future firmware updates will work on the iPhone.

If Apple does start pushing software updates over 3G straight to iDevices, a new interface will need to be added to iOS for these in-house updates. A fellow Apple fan has created some mockups of how OTA updates could look in iOS 5

Concepts are always great for speculation, but keep in mind that Apple’s OTA updates could end up working completely different than this mockup. I’m a fan of this concept, so I hope the rumored OTA addition to iOS 5 looks like the above mockup.

If Apple does plan on OTA updates, carrier support will be crucial. Currently, iOS updates weigh in at around 700MB. With the tiered data pricing that currently exists on U.S. carriers, these type of updates over 3G are simply not feasible.

Stability will be a huge issue for OTA updates as well. Firmware upgrades and modifications require a steady connection and uninterrupted time to finish the update. Downloading and installing an iOS update straight from the device with any sort of interruption (battery fail, etc) could easily result in corrupted firmware.

Do you think Apple will introduce Over-The-Air iOS updates in iOS 5? How do you think that type of feature would work? Share your comments and concerns with us below!


  • Joeyjojo

    The only way I think it could work is by downloadin the file to a allocated location. Then start the install only after it is fully downloaded. It could download in the background like apps and music.

  • c0edx

    If it dose work you would have to have 50%+ battery life. I don’t think this concept will be available because it to risky. I love the old fashion USB. Also can Apple force you to update your iDevice//

  • appletiser

    one problem with this article is that we’re presuming the update will equal the same size as what we have now, who’s to say iOS 5 won’t be compiled in such a way to only need smaller sized patches – smaller more frequent updates – which won’t have as greater impact on network usage?

  • Robert Taylor

    The updates would need to be incremental.

  • Smoothe_1

    OTA is also rumored to be WiFi only, thus circumventing the potential carrier problems. I like the idea but I don’t Hate The Cord.

  • Alec Nissel

    Hey look, its 4:20…

  • Fojam

    Most likely this would introduce a new jailbreak exploit, so this would be nice

  • AMB

    Love the little pun: ”Fixed issues with Bluetooth transfers”

    Ah it’s good to dream…

  • gabeapp

    its gunna be alot like the psp if u think about it?
    download the update then u can apply it when ever u feel like it but in order to apply it u need to be at like a certain battery percentage(e.g. above 75%).

  • jedoonat

    I will only do over the air under these conditions:
    -plugged into an outlet
    -strong wifi
    -while I’m asleep (my patience will be getting the best of me lol)
    -or just at a Starbucks while reading a book, or doing something that will keep me distracted

  • he