Apple and Verizon are now working towards providing over-the-air iOS updates when Apple releases iOS 5. This means that iPhone users will be able to update their iPhones without being connected to a computer or iTunes. Apple will only open the over-the-air update option to the Verizon customer base at first. There are currently no plans to bring the over-the-air updates to AT&T and international customers. However, Apple should release it to everyone down the road. There will some trial and error with this new feature as with any new feature from Apple. Apple and Verizon will need to address several issues before they go ahead with this idea.
There are several things Apple will need to address before they allow over-the-air updates. Currently, iOS updates are huge in terms of phone updates go. The current iPhone updates are well over 500mb. The overall size will need to be reduced to help speed up download times and reduce the cost of downloading that much data. There are also some rumors going around that there will be some type of a Cloud-based backup and restore system with the new iOS. Currently when you download an iOS update, iTunes creates a backup of your current iOS before installing the new one. Apple will need to provide a way for users to backup their iOS while not being connected to their computers. If Apple can resolve these issues, the over-the-air feature should be a major hit with consumers. Verizon will also need to be ready for the update feature. They will need to make sure that they are able to handle that much load on their data servers. They will also need to make sure that the consumer doesn’t pay an arm and a leg for the update download.
Android users are still enjoying their little bit of glory. Android users and Palm webOS user got this feature a long time ago. They appealed to the fact that you don’t always have a computer with you or a reliable connection. Apple seems to want to follow suit, and appeal to the person always on the go. However, some people believe that Apple should introduce over-the-air syncing first before the over-the-air updates. We will have to wait and see how the update goes, and how both companies handle their problems. The projected release date for iOS 5 and over-the-air updates feature is this summer.