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iTunes leak suggests Automatic Download option coming to iOS 5

post #1 of 52
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Hints at an upcoming Automatic Download feature for iOS apps have emerged in iTunes, according to a new report.

MacRumors notes that Apple's iTunes has leaked a new Automatic Download option that would automatically download app updates to iOS devices without needing to perform a wired sync.

After explaining a syncing option for installing updated apps, iTunes describes a previously unannounced feature. "If your device has Automatic Download enabled for apps, your updates will download to your device without having to sync," the My App Updates screen now reads.

Given that an Automatic Download setting doesn't currently exist in iOS, the iTunes leak appears to suggest that the feature is coming to iOS 5. Apple announced on Tuesday that it will show off the next major upgrade to iOS next Monday at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

Apple has long been rumored to add over-the-air update functionality and wireless syncing to iOS. On Friday, rumors surfaced that the iPhone maker plans to transition its Airport base stations to run iOS, possibly adding a caching update option.



Apple's plans could also involve the forthcoming iCloud service, which the company has billed as its "cloud services offering." Though much of the hype surrounding iCloud has focused on an expected streaming music service, the service will also likely replace Apple's MobileMe product, which offers syncing of information such as bookmarks, email, contacts and iCal events.
post #2 of 52
Maybe I'm missing something, but you don't have to sync your device to get an update for an app right now under the current version, so how is this that different or better? Is it just auto download?, that's nothing to get too excited over.

If this is just an auto button that can be turned on or off, then I'll keep mine off thank you very much. I don't want every app that I have auto-updated without my knowledge.
post #3 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Maybe I'm missing something, but you don't have to sync your device to get an update for an app right now under the current version, so how is this that different or better? Is it just auto download?, that's nothing to get too excited over.

If this is just an auto button that can be turned on or off, then I'll keep mine off thank you very much. I don't want every app that I have auto-updated without my knowledge.

I'm having the same confusion...you don't need to sync to update apps right now. What's the big deal about this?
post #4 of 52
But, you do have to specifically initiate the download and install of app updates.

This implies that you can remove that manual step.

An improvement for most -- but I don't want those large Navigon updates coming out of my monthly iPad 3G allotment.
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post #5 of 52
Some updates can only be done over WiFi only... So, not entirely automatic if mean some delay when out of coverage.
post #6 of 52
While you can now update iOS apps over a 3G wireless connection, I believe Apple limits that to apps smaller than 20 MB in size. This new automated feature probably won't increase that limit, since Apple is all about the user experience. I imagine there'd be a lot of complaints about some half-gig game app eating up a user's bandwidth if there were no such continuing constraint.

- Dave Marsh
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- Dave Marsh
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post #7 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Marsh View Post

While you can now update iOS apps over a 3G wireless connection, I believe Apple limits that to apps smaller than 20 MB in size. This new automated feature probably won't increase that limit, since Apple is all about the user experience. I imagine there'd be a lot of complaints about some half-gig game app eating up a user's bandwidth if there were no such continuing constraint.

App updates on iOS are a mess. I don't want to have to download a 500MB app again just because a developer fixed a tiny bug. It should be possible for them to release a patch, rather than simply forcing users to download the entire application again.

Also, Apple needs to go a long way to get rid of the hideous iTunes client download process on PC and do more to be like http://market.android.com. Android users can purchase an app on this website from any PC and it will be automatically added to their phone without syncing or manual intervention on the phone itself.
post #8 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

App updates on iOS are a mess. I don't want to have to download a 500MB app again just because a developer fixed a tiny bug. It should be possible for them to release a patch, rather than simply forcing users to download the entire application again.

Also, Apple needs to go a long way to get rid of the hideous iTunes client download process on PC and do more to be like http://market.android.com. Android users can purchase an app on this website from any PC and it will be automatically added to their phone without syncing or manual intervention on the phone itself.

A patch? You have to be kidding.

But if you are siting Android as a perfect example of how it should be done, I can see how you think that patches is the way to go.

And just ow many apps have you gotten that are near 500MB in size?
post #9 of 52
Much prefer to download the whole updated app than using patches.
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post #10 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

And just ow many apps have you gotten that are near 500MB in size?

I found out that my girlfriend likes hidden object games, so a few weeks ago when I saw that many of them were on sale, I bought some of them, and each of those were around 400-500 MB.

I only have a 16 gig iPad2, so I'll end up deleting them once she's done with them or as soon as she gets tired of them. Some games are rather large I've found out. I even saw a free game the other day that was close to a gig.
post #11 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

App updates on iOS are a mess. I don't want to have to download a 500MB app again just because a developer fixed a tiny bug. It should be possible for them to release a patch, rather than simply forcing users to download the entire application again.

Also, Apple needs to go a long way to get rid of the hideous iTunes client download process on PC and do more to be like http://market.android.com. Android users can purchase an app on this website from any PC and it will be automatically added to their phone without syncing or manual intervention on the phone itself.

Be careful what you wish for. I understand the need but there is an increased level of risk associated.

That said I hope I can make it a viable choice for large apps. At the same time I also hope their iCloud service will use intelligent backups to know what parts of a file it already has and doesn't have. WHy can't their Software Updater and iTunes Store be as versatile as Dropbox and torrents when starting and stooping app downloading?
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post #12 of 52
One thing I love on Android is automatic sync, it's really useful because my apps are always up-to-date without me thinking about it.

Another thing I had never heard of and that I discovered on my own is that when you go on the android market and select an app to download, it automatically starts the download on the phone. The first time this happened it felt really ... magical
post #13 of 52
This is a great move. The current process could do with a lot of streamlining.

I've only got 8 apps above the 100MB mark and they're all games.
post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by sennen View Post

Much prefer to download the whole updated app than using patches.

I absolutely agree -- the era where software publishers had to agonize over how many floppies or CDs to ship an update on is long, long gone. Ditto for the era where a hundred megabytes was an enormous hard-drive chewing download.

Patches are an open invitation to a whole slew of virtually untraceable bugs, while whole-app downloads guarantee a uniform user experience (at least on Apple hardware, where virtually every physical device can be tested with ease by even the smallest developers).
post #15 of 52
Quote:
Patches are an open invitation to a whole slew of virtually untraceable bugs, while whole-app downloads guarantee a uniform user experience (at least on Apple hardware, where virtually every physical device can be tested with ease by even the smallest developers).

I've been using the Playstation Network and Xbox live for years, I get patches all the time and never had a problem. Same thing on Android. If you prefer to wait for a 1 Gb transfer instead of a 20 Mb patch, that's your problem, I just don't see the logic.
post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splash-reverse View Post

Some updates can only be done over WiFi only... So, not entirely automatic if mean some delay when out of coverage.

Actually, that would make it even more automatic.
post #17 of 52
I'd expect that Automatic Downloads to have a WiFi-only or have a size limit. It's a not a bite deal since you can do this manually from the App Store. Having the backgrounding API pool the App Store update server or get a push from the update server would be child's play for Apple.

The big question is will they be able to push iOS updates over-the-air and will they incremental, sometimes following the same pattern as Apple's Mac OS security patches. I hope for both but I think only the first is likely, and with that only likely on WIFi from LAN-based repository.

The Automatic Download feature has been discussed, but what about the beginning of the paragraph? Is the first time they have referred to multiple AppleIDs to get app updates within the same machine/user account?
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post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

I've been using the Playstation Network and Xbox live for years, I get patches all the time and never had a problem. Same thing on Android. If you prefer to wait for a 1 Gb transfer instead of a 20 Mb patch, that's your problem, I just don't see the logic.

Leaving aside the obvious jab at Playstation Network...

Software has bugs, as I'm sure you understand, and patch-application software also has bugs:

software bugs + patch bugs = more bugs (which is bad)

I know people who find Microsoft products relatively bug-free, and there are thousands of people very happily driving Volkswagens around out there, but that doesn't mean that their experience is typical or even indicative of anything. Your personal experiences (and mine) are pretty much meaningless taken on their own.
post #19 of 52
Automatic means without user intervention. Over the wire when online or on wifi. Not going to app store to start.
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post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by aestival View Post

I know people who find Microsoft products relatively bug-free, and there are thousands of people very happily driving Volkswagens around out there, but that doesn't mean that their experience is typical or even indicative of anything. Your personal experiences (and mine) are pretty much meaningless taken on their own.

It's my experience so it's meaningful for me. I never heard anyone have problems with patches. And patches are supposed to reduce bugs, not increase them, and in general that's what they do.

I really hope this is coming to iOS. I'm really waiting for this with new notifications and new homescreen.
post #21 of 52
Very cool. At the end of the day, iTunes on your Mac/PC should automatically 'see' purchases/updates and give you the option to auto-download them all as a backup if you want, from whichever device you did the actual purchase. But the devices should know what you bought as well and could automatically ask if you want to download your newly purchased app.

Give the App Store the same functionality on iOS that you have on the Mac, and maybe you don't even care if it's in iTunes - you could be prompted whether you want to download it, and if you say later, you could see it in the App Store under a 'purchased items' tab, hopefully with 'recently purchased', 'installed', 'not installed' type filters.

Way way nicer. So hopefully whatever they cooked up is something along those lines or even better.
post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrstep View Post

Very cool. At the end of the day, iTunes on your Mac/PC should automatically 'see' purchases/updates and give you the option to auto-download them all as a backup if you want, from whichever device you did the actual purchase. But the devices should know what you bought as well and could automatically ask if you want to download your newly purchased app.

Give the App Store the same functionality on iOS that you have on the Mac, and maybe you don't even care if it's in iTunes - you could be prompted whether you want to download it, and if you say later, you could see it in the App Store under a 'purchased items' tab, hopefully with 'recently purchased', 'installed', 'not installed' type filters.

Way way nicer. So hopefully whatever they cooked up is something along those lines or even better.

I don't know. There are apps I want on one device and not the other. I would like the App Store to now if I bought, say, the iPhone/iPad/Mac Universal Angry Birds app and after DLing it on my iPhone if it asked me if I want to push those to my other devices now.

More importantly there are two things I want. 1) In regards to apps and all iTS media, I want the option to have my "state of play" to be synced back to the server when I stop. This means in a game like Angry Birds will have info between everywhere I play that game on an iDevice and Mac. No having to restart from the beginning, even if the app isn't a full Univseral. Game Center could handle this with a push sync service.

2) I want to be able to start a song/audiobook/video on one device and then pick up where I left off (back 3-5 seconds) from the other device. iBooks do this with iBookstore nicely though the Kindle is a better example of this great features as it syncs between Mac and Windows viewing, too.


PS: As an aside I'd also like the devices to get smarter at knowing their location. If I come home and my iPhone connects to my local WiFi network I want Mail to no longer Push emails because I'm now near my Mac.
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post #23 of 52
Does this bring us one step closer to wireless syncing?
post #24 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

One thing I love on Android is automatic sync, it's really useful because my apps are always up-to-date without me thinking about it)

It's great for you and I can appreciate how useful it may be, but I prefer to update my apps on my own. Heck, I don't even like to have my Mac OS updates download own their own. For me, it's much safer that I initiate them myself. I can't tell you how many times I decided to update an iOS app and it was a bad update that caused crashing or even one that took away features. Luckily, I still had backups that I could revert back to. To each his own but I like having control over my updates.
post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by guch20 View Post

I'm having the same confusion...you don't need to sync to update apps right now. What's the big deal about this?

the deal is the greedy sons of bitches at ATT and verizon are upping the price of data to ungodly levels. This means that land based lines like cable and such with wifi will still be better for downloading large updates...ATTs 200MB cap could easily be blown by one iOS update or 30 app updates...which isnt uncommon in a month...so any auto update if implemented, be it just for apps or all of iOS would be wifi only for sure...
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post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

App updates on iOS are a mess. I don't want to have to download a 500MB app again just because a developer fixed a tiny bug. It should be possible for them to release a patch, rather than simply forcing users to download the entire application again.

Also, Apple needs to go a long way to get rid of the hideous iTunes client download process on PC and do more to be like http://market.android.com. Android users can purchase an app on this website from any PC and it will be automatically added to their phone without syncing or manual intervention on the phone itself.

Oh no. No patching. All or nothing, no patching.

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post #27 of 52
I hope there's a way to opt out of automatically updating apps. I never click "Update all" because I've been burned a few times. I always check the ratings for the current version of an app before I update. If it's full of 1-star ratings with comments like "OMG THE UPDATE IS BROKEN FIX THIS!!!" or worse, "OMG I HATE <version-changes> PLS GO BACK TO THE WAY IT USED TO BE" then I will deliberately avoid updating. It unfortunately has happened more often than it should.

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post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I found out that my girlfriend likes hidden object games, so a few weeks ago when I saw that many of them were on sale, I bought some of them, and each of those were around 400-500 MB.




Hey, someone had to do it.
post #29 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Oh no. No patching. All or nothing, no patching.

If they can make it right I'm all for it because apps like TomTom probably don't need all that data updated. Even as a jai breaker* I'd really like to see security updates pushed to iDevices much in the same way Mac OS security updates are a separate, small installation.


* I jailbreak but nary a stolen App Store app is on my device.
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post #30 of 52
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Originally Posted by quinney View Post




Hey, someone had to do it.

I wasn't going to breach the topic but since you've busted it wide open I guess I'll go all in.

Hey Apple ][, can she find the hidden object in this pic?
http://melaniekillingervowell.files....-underwear.png
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post #31 of 52
I certainly hope they make this user configurable. I for one, don't wanna have my updates happening in the background on ATT, while I am online via their service. I far prefer it being done when I am under wifi, or at home synced up.

Downloading OTA takes more time, and interferes (bandwidth wise) with other things you might be doing via data.
post #32 of 52
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Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I wasn't going to breach the topic but since you've broken it wide open I guess I'll go all in.

Hey Apple ][, can she find the hidden object in this pic?

Odd contents for your 23,000th post, but...

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergsf View Post

It's great for you and I can appreciate how useful it may be, but I prefer to update my apps on my own. Heck, I don't even like to have my Mac OS updates download own their own. For me, it's much safer that I initiate them myself. I can't tell you how many times I decided to update an iOS app and it was a bad update that caused crashing or even one that took away features. Luckily, I still had backups that I could revert back to. To each his own but I like having control over my updates.

Android allows a choice of either method.
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post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I found out that my girlfriend likes hidden object games.

post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I wasn't going to breach the topic but since you've busted it wide open I guess I'll go all in.

Hey Apple ][, can she find the hidden object in this pic?

<nasty dude's crotch shot deleted...>


Hahaha... I also was in the 'I'm not going there' camp (No comment like 'My next magic trick is called make the sausage disappear!'). You, on the other hand... you turned it to 11. Now I need to go puke.
post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I wasn't going to breach the topic but since you've busted it wide open I guess I'll go all in.

Hey Apple ][, can she find the hidden object in this pic?


delete the weiner
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post #37 of 52
Don't care about this. How about wireless syncing with iTunes in general? After all, they have to use that tiny data center somehow...
post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

delete the weiner

I'm going to be forced to ask you how in the world you think that could ever be possible.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #39 of 52
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Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I'm going to be forced to ask you how in the world you think that could ever be possible.

i know i know

mustard ??
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post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by guch20 View Post

I'm having the same confusion...you don't need to sync to update apps right now. What's the big deal about this?

There is no big deal. It's just a weekend and all the little Apple kids are bored and cranky from waiting for the announcement on Monday. They have nothing else to talk about, but there's no new news.

Ergo, the childish penis joke by solipsism.
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