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iOS code hints at over-the-air firmware updates via 3G

One of the features that must be enabled before iOS devices are truly "PC-Free" is the ability to perform firmware updates over the air (OTA) regardless of where you may be. 9to5Mac is reporting that a detailed look at the iOS 5 Beta 2 SDK produced solid evidence of OTA firmware updates using Wi-Fi or 3G networks.

Hidden deep in the bowels of iOS 5 are several text strings that refer to 3G download errors. For example, one states that "This update requires a Wi-Fi or 3G connection to download," while another warns the user if the iOS device doesn't have enough battery power to download a full update: "This update requires at least %i%% battery, and 500 MB of available storage." The OTA update will not begin unless a specified battery charge level and 500 MB of storage is available.

This is one iOS 5 feature that I'm really looking forward to -- not having to do a slow backup and update while my iPhone or iPad is connected to the iMac. Readers, what's your take on 3G OTA firmware updates? Leave your comments below.

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