Inside iOS: How to Apply Over-the-Air Software Updates

Every Thursday, Inside iOS provides tips, explanations, and other valuable information about using iOS for both beginners and advanced users. Feel free to visit our Inside iOS hub for previous tips.

One of the several great features that Apple included in iOS 5 was the ability to download and install iOS software updates directly over-the-air. What that means is that you can update your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to the latest iOS version directly from your device without the assistance of iTunes.

Better yet, new iOS versions install as delta updates, meaning that only the code that is changed in the software is installed; the benefits of this method are shorter download times and smaller file sizes for iOS updates. To update your device over-the-air, you will need to begin by navigating to Settings.

Next, you will want to tap General followed by Software Update. Then, your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad will automatically check if your device is running the latest version of iOS.

If your device is running an older software version, the latest update available will be displayed and you’ll want to tap the Download and Install button. After agreeing to Apple’s fine print terms, the update should download and begin the install process. It’s that easy.

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