Apple released iOS 5 Beta 2 to developers last night. The big highlights in iOS 5 Beta 2 include the added Wi-Fi sync functionality that Apple promised at WWDC, and the ability to restore from an iCloud backup during setup.

If you’re wondering about Apple’s latest iOS beta release, we’ve collected all of the information you need to know in one easy place.

Disclaimer: It’s important to remember that the iOS 5 beta is intended for developer use, not consumer. Betas are seeded to devs prior to the software’s public launch to test apps and iron out the bugs for primetime. If you’re not a dev and you don’t have an official Apple developer account, installing the iOS 5 beta is not advised (and it’s also illegal).

Compatibility

The iOS 5 Beta 2 is available for all iDevices, from the 3rd gen iPod touch and on up.

You must have iTunes 10.5 Beta 2 installed on your computer to sync a device running iOS 5 Beta 2. This beta version of iTunes is, of course, also available in Apple’s dev channel.

iMessage seems to be suffering some compatibility issues in iOS 5 Beta 2. iMessage users on the second beta will not be able to communicate with iMessage users on Beta 1.

Wi-Fi Sync

Apple enabled Wi-Fi syncing with iTunes in iOS 5 Beta 2. For more information, you can watch our video walkthrough of Wi-Fi sync below. Note: Wi-Fi Sync is currently Mac only.

iCloud Backup Restore

As well as PC-free setup, iOS 5 Beta 2 also lets you wirelessly restore your iDevice from an iCloud backup. We’ve also walked through this process in the video below.

Notification Changes

Lockscreen notifications have changed slightly in Beta 2. ItsAllTech explains,

“When you receive a text message, for example, the notification appears in a bubble like on iOS 4. As soon as another notification is received, the previous one goes to the top of the lock screen and is accessible by dragging down from the top of the time area. The new notification is shown in a bubble again.”

Basically, your latest notification gets shown in a bubble on the lockscreen, ala iOS 4. Not sure why Apple decided to add this design change, but it’s there nonetheless. Redmond Pie has taken a closer look at this new design change, if you’re interested.

We’ve also discovered that Notification Center now shows upcoming Calendar events.

Chronic has demonstrated some cool new lockscreen changes for incoming messages:

More Details

As TiPB points out, the initial welcome screen now displays UDID number for reference. An Apple ID is also required after initial setup to access the homescreen.

The iCloud icon has been changed to the brush metal look.

A couple changes caught by iSpazio:

There’s a new Apple boot logo animation

FaceTime is now disabled. You can no longer make video calls with the service. iSpazio speculates that Apple may be moving its servers to the North Caroline data center.

iFans has outlined some other changes:

  • OTA updates have been released, though none are currently available
  • If no notifications are available, Notification Center shows the text “No New Notifications”
  • Stock widget in the Notification Center is now off by default
  • Stock wallpapers are back, but are the same that were in iOS 4
  • General speed improvements, kills bugs that were present in iOS 5 beta 1

9to5Mac has confirmed that OTA updates over 3G are now supported in the iOS 5 Beta 2 SDK.

“There is a catch, though. Based on these SDK findings, it looks like only certain iOS updates will support downloads over 3G. Perhaps small point upgrades like 5.1.1 will come over 3G but 5.1 will have to come over WiFi. Or perhaps 5.1 can come over 3G but 6.0 has to be downloaded over a WiFi network.

Another catch will likely be carrier support, but that is unconfirmed. iOS 5 will also only begin the software update process if your phone has enough battery life and storage (looks like Apple will expect 500 MB of necessary storage per delta update) to make it the whole way through.”

Jailbreak

MuscleNerd recently confirmed that the RedSn0w version for iOS 5 Beta 1 still works on Beta 2. That means you can get a tethered jailbreak with RedSn0w on Windows and the Mac. Check out our step-by-step tutorial to learn how.

We have yet to hear about Sn0wBreeze’s untethered iOS 5 jailbreak for the iPhone 3GS, but iH8Sn0w has indicated that his Windows-only jailbreak tool will need updating for Beta 2 compatibility.

The Gevey SIM is now blocked for iPhone 4 unlockers on iOS Beta 2. More more information, check here.

If you want the full change log, 9to5Mac has posted the complete “Notes and Known Issues” release from Apple on the iOS 5 Beta 2 SDK. You can check out all 148 notes there.

Let us know what you think of iOS 5 Beta 2. Have you gotten to play with it yet? What have you noticed?

[This post will be continually updating as more changes are uncovered, so check back!]

  • Can you verify Gevey Sim no longer works on iOS 5 (beta 2)? That’s what I heard on Twitter.

    • Vitica

      +1
      pliz verify

  • Rick

    Wifi synch only works with MACs.?

    • QuarterSwede

      Just for now. It’ll be for Windows as well in one of the other betas or by the GM.

      • Rick

        Oh right! I don’t have a MAC yet so I found that to be a little off putting!

  • BLiNK

    exactly how does the NC show upcoming calendar events??

  • Eric

    The iCloud backup and restore worked for me in beta 1.

  • Post has been updated with Gevey SIM information and a couple other details. Thanks guys

  • QuarterSwede

    That boot animation was in beta 1. It’s even been available on Cydia for a while.

  • Dylan

    Beta 2 adds new text tones even for 3GS users!

  • Fojam

    Why is iSSH always shown with jailbreaks i thought it was an appstore app?

  • Goofy

    syncing photos don’t go…

  • Gato

    Am i the only one that can not arrange the newsstand app into a folder? It happens since beta1.

    • MT

      Newstand can not be put into any folders due to how it opens the same way as a folder

      • Gato

        We need a tweak for that, so!

  • Joel

    Mobilesubstrate seems to be broke in this beta too. Sad 🙁

  • Chris

    Can someone host a link to download the beta 2 and itunes?

    • Gato

      Actualidadiphone.com

  • I think the notifications updates are a step in the right direction. Also Can not wait to see the other new features like taking a photograph from the lock screen and using the volume button as a the shutter button!

  • christian

    i keep getting error 17 when trying to install beta 2,

    • josh

      your using a .dmg file.

  • bnycastro

    I am having trouble activating iMsg (error beside phone number, and grayed out) when I restore from beta1 backup. Email associated is activated tho.

    Tried toggling the iMsg button multiple times.

    has anyone had success activating iMsg w/ a phone number after a restore from beta1 backup? Is there a workaround? Would like to preserve my save games etc this is why I want to restore from backup :^)
    thanks in advance for any input

  • c0edx

    Okay guys, I just updated to iOS 5 Beta 2 Baseband 04.11.06 and the Gevey Sim DID NOT WORK. It gave me the warning message then the singel signal bar, I dialed 112 and hung up then I turned Airplane Mode On. After I turned it off there was no signal bars, the top left was completely empty it keep giving s Sim Failure error. So their you have it it’s patched. So the last baseband it worked on was 04.10 iOS 5 Beta 1. Now I can’t confirm if you preserve your baseband and then update to iOS 5 Beta 2 that it will work. I would not recommend anyone doing this.

  • c0edx

    Also on the new Boot Logo, when I reboot my iPhone 4 I notice the Apple logo focusing and a small static like light pops up and off, but I never get the shining light over the Apple logo when I boot.

  • Garrett

    “If you’re not a dev… installing the iOS 5 beta is not advised (and it’s also illegal)”

    Illegal?? Citation needed.

  • Dick Fontaine

    Here’s something else about Beta 2 you probably want to know. I loaded it yesterday on my iPad and this morning the iPad was completely dead, it wouldn’t even accept a charge. To get it back I had to hook it up to my PC and put it in DFU and restore it. This is not an isolated issue it’s happening to several people.

  • ToeJo

    Beta 2 is way more unstable than beta 1. My home button completely stops working after about 10 minutes of operation.

  • god

    i wish in the “reboot video” it showed us how to restore from icloud when your phone is already up and running…what if i want to restore my phone like right now after i have already set up everything..how do i do that????

  • christian

    has anyone else have there apps rearrage them self after reseting?

  • Ron

    Has anyone had any problems receiving messages? It seems like I don’t receive any text messages until I unlock my iPhone. Also, my home button tends to not work after using an app for a little while. Anyone else having these problems? Seems like Beta 2 is extremely unstable. I guess that’s why we are beta testing it! Also, I’m not a big fan of the new notification for text messages! I liked it better when it pulled up the NC automatically. Hopefully Apple will correct these errors!