iTunes leak suggests Automatic Download option coming to iOS 5

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 51
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 51
    guch20guch20 Posts: 173member
    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?
  • Reply 3 of 51
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,505member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 51
    Some updates can only be done over WiFi only... So, not entirely automatic if mean some delay when out of coverage.
  • Reply 5 of 51
    dave marshdave marsh Posts: 297member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 51
    neiltc13neiltc13 Posts: 182member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 51
    onhkaonhka Posts: 1,025member
    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?
  • Reply 8 of 51
    sennensennen Posts: 1,465member
    Much prefer to download the whole updated app than using patches.
  • Reply 9 of 51
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 51
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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?
  • Reply 11 of 51
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,509member
    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
  • Reply 12 of 51
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 51
    aestivalaestival Posts: 68member
    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).
  • Reply 14 of 51
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,509member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 51
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,570member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 51
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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?
  • Reply 17 of 51
    aestivalaestival Posts: 68member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 51
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,233member
    Automatic means without user intervention. Over the wire when online or on wifi. Not going to app store to start.
  • Reply 19 of 51
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,509member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 51
    mrstepmrstep Posts: 446member
    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.
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