iOS 5 may feature app auto-downloads

A wireless sync statement on iTunes hints of a new way to download apps and tunes may be coming in an iOS update

Sure, WWDC is just around the corner, but that doesn't mean that the Apple rumor mill stops churning.

A MacRumors reader stumbled upon what may be a new feature coming to iOS 5 — "Automatic Download." The reader found the potential feature when using iTunes to check for app library updates. The update page said:

"After you've finished downloading, sync your device to this computer to begin using your updated apps. Or if your device has Automatic Download enabled for apps, your updates will download to your device without having to sync."

Sounds like you may be able to get the latest apps automatically installed on your iPhone or iPad without visiting the App Store or syncing with iTunes.

Obviously, such a feature doesn't exist on iOS devices now, which makes this a likely candidate for iOS 5 - which we all know is being announced at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday.

It's also interesting to note the page said "if your device has Automatic Download enabled for apps," which sounds like it's possible this feature can be enabled for other things. Let's not forget we heard earlier in the year that Apple might break the iTunes sync shackles to include over-the-air updates for iOS.

Apple has since pulled the wireless sync statement from iTunes, but thankfully MacRumors grabbed a screenshot before it did.

Tags Appleappsapple iphoneconsumer electronicsapple ipadiosPhonesiTunes

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Paul Suarez

PC World (US online)

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