Apple Seeds iOS 5 Beta 4 As Over-the-air Update

Just a week and a half after releasing a third beta of iOS 5 to developers, Apple has put out yet another version of the software. The company delivered the fourth beta of iOS 5 for developers to test their apps on. It's the first version of the software to make use of the over-the-air software updating feature that lets users update to newer system software without plugging into iTunes. Previous versions of the beta required that users first download the appropriate version of the system software, then run it as a full restore.

Apple Seeds iOS 5 Beta 4 As Over-the-air Update

Along with the over-the-air updating feature, beta 4 brings Wi-Fi syncing to Windows users. That's the feature that lets users sync their iOS device with their iTunes library minus the cord, as long as the iPhone, iPod, or iPad is on the same Wi-Fi network, and plugged into a power source.

Apple has said it will release iOS 5 to users as a free update this fall. The company typically seeds several beta versions of its major software releases to developers ahead of time to work out any bugs and give the developers time to integrate new features and APIs into their applications.

iOS 5 made its debut at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference last month. Its headlining feature is an overhaul of the notifications system, alongside a new messaging platform called iMessage that lets iOS users text and chat with one another free of charge. The software is also deeply tied to Apple's upcoming iCloud service, which will be used to ferry photos, applications, and settings back and forth between iOS devices, as well as serve as a free backup solution.

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