With smartphones becoming so widely proliferated, it is becoming more and more common for users who don’t have a PC conveniently available to them to own one. This introduces a barrier to entry on the iPhone – a standalone computer running iTunes is required to complete the activation and first time setup. Apple addressed this issue today by announcing their “PC Free” initiative for iOS 5, allowing first time setup, activation, and over-the-air updates directly from the device without the need to sync to iTunes.
The user is greeted by a welcome screen, prompting for requisite first time setup information. After entry is complete the device is activated OTA, dropping the previous operating system version’s requirement of syncing with iTunes through a cable connected to a computer.
Additionally, the update system has been re-thought and optimized for delivering OTA updates. Rather than being delivered as a complete firmware package, updates are now delivered as “delta” packages. A delta package is essentially a patch that contains only the changes from the previous version to the latest version, which allows the update packages themselves to be much smaller, saving precious bandwidth and time.
Image Credit: Mac World