iOS 5 beta 4

Apple has released another beta version of iOS 5 to developers. This is the first beta that’s available as an over-the-air update, meaning you should be able to download and install the software update without connecting your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to a computer and running iTunes. That’s how all future software updates are supposed to work once iOS 5 hits the streets, but the feature hasn’t been present in earlier beta versions of the mobile operating system.

Unfortunately some users are reporting that the wireless update isn’t working properly, while others are having more luck. But you can still install it the old-fashioned way using iTunes and a USB cable.

In addition to wireless software updates, iOS 5 beta 4 includes a number of bug fixes and improvements. Another new feature is support for wireless data synchronization with a Windows PC. Previous builds only supported this feature if you were using a Mac.

But there are still some issues to be worked out. For instance, the beta doesn’t support personal hotspots and there’s a known issue that could cause album art for some songs to disappear.

Today’s release is meant for developers (or anyone that’s paid $99 for a developer account to test new software). Apple is expected to launch iOS 5 to the public this fall. The operating system will have a new notification system, an improved camera app, a digital magazine store, and built-in Twitter support.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...