iOS Over The Air Update Is A Welcome Change

iOS Over The Air Update Is A Welcome Change

Today Apple released their first official over the air (OTA) update for iOS devices, letting iOS 5.0 move up to 5.0.1 The fixes included a battery drain issue that iOS 5 created, and a security fix that had allowed non-signed code to be ran from a trojan app.

My experience with the update was pretty straightforward. Just go to settings/general/software update and the availability of the update should show (if you haven’t already updated and you have network access).

On my WiFi network connection it took about a minute to download the update and about two minutes to prepare for the update. Then the device (an iPhone 4 in this case) restarted, and a progress bar along with the infamous Apple logo displayed for about 3 minutes. This happened twice, then the iPhone booted up like normal. For the record, I did this on battery power alone.

Users of the original iPad will want to grab the update for the return of the multi-touch gestures that iOS 5 removed. Plus, with the battery life fix and the security update I would suggest that all users of iOS 5 do the update.

As far as the OTA version of updating goes, I think it is a welcome change. In the past I would have to hook up the device to a host machine and update through iTunes. In the process iTunes would insist on doing a backup and copying over every app that had changed on the device, despite having the “Sync Apps” option off. Now it is finished faster than the backup itself would take.

One of the biggest issues for iOS 5 users has been battery life, and on this particular phone I did not see the severity of problems that many report. However, for the hour or so since the update the battery has seemed to be on par with what it was before the upgrade to iOS 5. Everything else works as expected, but I’ll make a note if any problems arise.

Apple continues to tweak iOS, making it better with each iteration. But in my opinion OTA updates has just made iOS devices much more capable machines that stand on their own merit, no host machine required – even for an update.


iOS (formerly known as iPhone OS) is Apple’s mobile operating system. Originally developed for the iPhone, it has since been extended to support other Apple, Inc. devices such as the iPod touch, iPad and Apple TV. Apple, Inc. does not license iOS for installation on third-party hardware. As of October 4, 2011, Apple, Inc.’s App Store contains more than 500,000 iOS applications, which have collectively been downloaded more than 18 billion times.