Future iOS Updates May Be Delivered Over the Air

Reports surfaced Wednesday that Apple is supposedly laying the groundwork for future wireless software updates to the company’s popular iOS mobile operation system.

According to sources speaking in confidence to 9 to 5 Mac, Apple may begin delivering iOS updates over the air beginning this fall.

The next major iOS upgrade will be iOS 5. After iOS 5 is released, all subsequent software updates will likely be delivered over the air.

For Apple, however, the move doesn’t put the popular iPhone maker ahead of its competitors. In fact, it’s playing catch-up, as countless rival smartphones already offer over-the-air operating system updates.

Obviously, if this is a feature in iOS 5, it should conceivably make its way to iPad and iPod touches as well. That means iTunes may no longer be a needed conduit for updating iOS devices in the future. It would also mean that the iPad could finally be a stand alone device.

To that end, Apple would almost certainly be forced to change to a considerable degree how frequently it delivers software updates – updates that will now have to come in much smaller download packages.

Wednesday’s release of iOS 4.3.3, for example, delivered a hefty 666.2 MB file.