Will iPhones and iPads finally be free of iTunes?

Apple rumoured to adopt over-the-air iOS updates

Apple is moving to adopt an over-the-air patch process for iOS updates, potentially putting an end to the 600MB iTunes-delivered method the firm currently favors, even for minor updates.

Citing multiple unnamed sources, 9to5mac.com said that the new feature will debut in iOS 5, adding that the major update itself will not be an over-the-air update but all subsequent releases will be. Something that will doubtless result in a sign of relief for iPhone, iPod and iPad users.

9to5mac also speculated that the move would also see a shift towards a patch process rather than a full image which could dramatically reduce the size of the download in line with the incremental updates of other smartphone operating systems like Android.

Before iTunes could be removed from the equation entirely, 9to5mac also pointed out that some sort of backup proceedure would need to be in place, possibly the ‘cloud’.

"It would also mean that the iPad could finally be a stand alone device," they added.

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