iOS 5 beta 2 adds WiFi sync, OTA updates

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?