Over the air automatic app updates coming with iOS 5?

Could automatic, over the air (OTA) app updates be coming with iOS 5? MacRumors has uncovered the following line of text had been added to the My App Updates Screen, and has now been removed by Apple.

Or if your device has Automatic Download enabled for apps, your updates will download to your device without having to sync.

Apple has been rumored to include OTA app updates for iOS devices before. Since this setting is not part of any previous iOS build and has not been seen within iTunes previously, it could be a sign of things to come in iOS 5.

The process should allow you to set apps to automatically update when an update is present; without the need to open up the on device App Store and manually click either update all or selected apps. It also may be for more than just apps, we will have to wait until Monday to find out all the details.

We know some of you update your apps a lot more frequently than others. Would you like all your app updates done seamlessly and automatically?




UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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There are 17 comments. Add yours.

frog says:

Would be more useful in Lion. Data limits would be an issue on iOS devices, unless it only happens on wifi or with a 20mb limit, etc...
Also the whole #dickbar thing that went on with Twitter, some apps - well the updates aren't all that useful!

TreSupreme says:

Shut up gosh. Auto-updates are on Android and NOBODY complains. Im tired of people complaining about Apple moving forward over trivial potential problems like data caps.

iVenom says:

I have unlimited but I'm sure if an auto update pushed you over the edge and cost you a few bucks you wouldnt like it.

Sean Peters says:

Not to mention the fact that some "updates" actually break the app. I'd like to decide whether I want updates, thanks. Apple, the current system of app updates is not broken, please don't "fix" it.

Greg Foster says:

I would like to be notified whe there's an update available but I don't want them updating on their own.

EYOO says:

I think the use of the term OTA is misplaced in this case, OTA is a term generally used when the operating system is updated without having to connect the device to a computer.

NinjaBreadMan says:

Why would OTA not apply here? It is a term used for non OS updates as well (carrier file, apps, etc.). I think it is appropriate here as you can currently update apps OTA, just not automatically. The word automatic is the "shiny new toy" that this article applies to. Back on topic, I check for updates daily and would love to have them happen automatically. I, also, still have unlimited data so my only obstacle would be the file size limit.

steve. says:

If we get the choice to have them done automatic then fine. There are too many times where an update will crash the app and then an uninstall/reinstall is needed. I would like to do mine manually.

Tojasonhoo says:

I'm with Steve. I sometimes check reviews before updating an app. Frequently an update has a bug or it takes features away. Having a choice is better.

dloveprod says:

I like to check and see what the update entails before I download them

Pimp Lucious says:

People said Google I/O was Google copying Apple. Why does everything I'm hearing about iOS 5 already exist on Android? Cloud music, good notifications, automatic OTA app notifications, Twitter(Facebook) integration, widgets, deep voice recognition integration. Maybe Apple is taking a year off to play catchup.

JPSAL says:

I agree with you. I have just smashed my iPhone with the biggest hammer I could find.

Kirill says:

Needs an option to enable automatic updates only when on wi-fi. No way im wasting 3G bw on this

Jacksparrow says:

I would just want notification but not auto update. Some apps have enhanced built for them by the cummunity and often these enhancements are version specific. An example is pandora and skip fix enhancement built by the community.

douglaswilson says:

I am fairly new to the iphone world having bought my first one when Verizon released it. I am wondering how soon typically is the new OS release after it is announced? Will iOS 5 be out before the new iphone? or do they wait and release it all at the same time? Thanks.

Cpcgolf says:

OTA updates would be a huge step. It can't happen soon enough.