When an update is available for your Android or webOS device, you receive a notification letting you know you can download and install the software over a WiFi, 3G, or 4G connection. When an update is available for an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, you have to connect your device to a computer, download the update through iTunes, backup your system with iTunes and push the software to your device… through iTunes. But 9 to 5 Mac is reporting that the reliance on iTunes could be on the way out.
According to the site’s sources, iOS 5 will include the ability to receive over the air updates. It may not be available on all devices though. Apple is reportedly working with Verizon to enable OTA software updates, but there’s no word on whether AT&T or other wireless carriers around the globe will support the feature.
Of course, there’s no reason Apple couldn’t already push OTA updates to iPod touch and WiFi-only iPad models, but I imagine the company wants to provide as uniform an experience as possible. The Apple TV, on the other hand, runs a version of iOS and is able to receive updates over the air without connecting to a computer running iTunes.