Everything You Need to Know About iOS 5 Beta 2

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).


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.”


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!]