iOS 5 beta 2 adds WiFi sync, OTA updates

iOS 5 beta 2 adds WiFi sync, OTA updates

Summary: On Friday Apple seeded iOS 5 beta 2 to developers which adds a couple of key features that weren't enabled in beta 1 including WiFi syncing and OTA software updates.


On Friday Apple seeded the second external beta build of iOS 5 to developers. Labeled 9a5248d, the new build adds a couple of key features that weren't enabled in beta 1 -- specifically WiFi Syncing and OTA updates.

MacRumors notes that a couple of steps are required to enable WiFi Syncing on an iOS 5 device -- namely, you have to connect via USB to iTunes and check the box that says "Sync over Wi-Fi connection" under Summary > Options:

WiFi Syncing

In iOS 5.0 beta 2, wireless syncing is now available for the Mac. It requires iTunes 10.5 beta 2 and OS X 10.6.8 or Lion. You will see an option to enable wireless syncing when you connect your device to iTunes with the USB cable. It is recommended you perform your initial sync with a cable after restoring your device.

Wireless syncing is triggered automatically when the device is connected to power and on the same network as the paired computer. Or, you can manually trigger a sync from iTunes or from Settings -> General -> iTunes Sync (same network as paired computer required). Be sure your device is plugged into a power source when performing Wireless syncs.

If you find issues with apps, media and/or photos synced to your device, you can reset then resync. From Settings -> General -> Reset, choose Erase all Content and Settings. Then reconnect to iTunes and sync again.

AppleInsider notes that the plumbing for OTA updates also appears to have been activated in iOS 5 beta 2 (it actually checks when triggered) although no updates are currently pending.

Apple has also changed the look of notifications in iOS 5 beta 2, displaying lock-screen notifications in a larger font and including the icon of the app that's sending the notification -- like it does with the smaller lock screen notifications.

iFans (via MacRumors) has posted some additional information about iOS 5 beta 2:

  • iTunes 10.5b2 can’t sync iOS 5 Beta 1 devices
  • iOS5 Beta 1 devices can’t iMessage iOS5 Beta 2 devices and vice-versa
  • WiFi sync now works with OS X computers; it has to be enabled in iTunes 10.5 beta 2 first
  • OTA updates have been released, though none are currently available
  • iCloud has a new logo in the
  • You can now backup to iCloud or the computer when setting the device up
  • 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

And if that wasn't enough, TechZoom has updated its unofficial list of iOS 5 features. Previously the site had identified 133 (of 200) new features but it's now up to a whopping 212 features identified in iOS 5.

What's your favorite iOS 5 feature?

Topics: Operating Systems, Apple, Apps, Mobile OS, Software Development

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  • My favorite feature is...

    I can finally sync my iPhone wirelessly as long as it is plugged into the wall! What will Apple invent next?
    • Wireless Syncing is good

      This might actually be something that makes iOS a viable choice against Android.

      Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: iOS 5 beta 2 seeded to developers with WiFi Sync, OTA updates

        So far so good but yea I don't want to be plugged in when syncing!

        From what I remember, Android was a mess, there was no sync, when plugged in to USB it would ask me to mount?? and then it would open a explorer like interface with phone memory and SD card separate... very confusing... Apple has it right, who wants to deal with files, on my phone I want music, pictures and apps... everthing else like email and contacts are stored on the cloud. What's nice about iTunes is I can restore my device anytime...

        Android = meh lol
      • RE: iOS 5 beta 2 seeded to developers with WiFi Sync, OTA updates

        I've only experienced Android on my Xoom. I get my updates OTA, I get my Music through the cloud, and I get my apps from WiFi as well. I have not had to plug in my Xoom once, which is good because the USB on my laptop is kind of crappy.

        I do agree that restoring the iDevice is a great thing for iTUnes. Then again, I've never thought iTunes was that horrible.

        As for plugging in and syncing, that only seems to be the automatic method. There is a way for you to initiate it on your own, as far as I can tell. I'm guessing it's similar to Ubuntu updating, where they would rather you have it plugged in to ensure stability of power.
        Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: iOS 5 beta 2 seeded to developers with WiFi Sync, OTA updates

      @woulddie4apple In iOS 5 beta 2, you can manually sync your iPhone over Wi-Fi whenever you like. Automatic sync, however, only occurs while charging ("plugged into the wall").<br><br>This works exactly the same way as the iCloud backup -- triggered automatically while charging, but able to be triggered manually in the Settings app.

      This is spelled out clearly in the article. Did you read it before commenting?
      • RE: iOS 5 beta 2 seeded to developers with WiFi Sync, OTA updates

        @ape85 As everyone knows...woulddie4applee = android fanboi
  • Videos App

    Well on Beta 1 there was a problem with the videos app you could not view video, I tried and can only view them while a headphones or earphones are connected, now in Beta 2, now you can view videos but the sound is off, and yes you can still view the video and hear the sound while head/ear phones are connected. Also I tried to enable Wifi syncing on my Windows PC and I guess it has only been enabled on Macs, well I hope in Beta 3 they will enable Windows.!
    • RE: iOS 5 beta 2 seeded to developers with WiFi Sync, OTA updates

      @ios5beta3 ... as the article states (in Apple's release notes), the WiFi syncing is only for Macs at this point, but presumably Windows will be added shortly. One step at a time. This is only beta software, remember.

      The video/audio snafus sound like normal glitches that get introduced any time you start monkeying around with things: Fix something over "here", and you inadvertently break something over "there". Rest assured, Apple isn't like to release iOS 5 without properly functioning A/V systems.
  • RE: iOS 5 beta 2 seeded to developers with WiFi Sync, OTA updates

    Meh! I can't wait until I can get rid of everything apple on my machine! 3 for 3 installs have screwd up my machine.. the next time itunes freaks out my computer I'll have to reformat!
    But OTA OS upgrades?! Sounds great - for those who have all you can eat data plan! For the rest of us, one update will exceed our MONTHLY data cap! No bueno!
    Crashin Chris
    • You have a WiFi data cap?

      Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: iOS 5 beta 2 seeded to developers with WiFi Sync, OTA updates

      @Crashin Chris You do know that Apple stated at the WWDC that only changes would be part of the OTA updates right? This keeps the file size low, and, if you are still worried about data usage, if you have Wi-Fi around, use it instead of your 3g connection.
  • RE: iOS 5 beta 2 seeded to developers with WiFi Sync, OTA updates

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