iOS needs direct firmware updates! Ditch the pc!

Discussion in 'iPad' started by aibo82, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. aibo82 macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2010

    I think its about time Apple made firmware updates directly in iOS so when they are due you get a push notification and it updates all on the device!

    There would be no need for a laptop then apart from backup if it was also pre-activated!

    What you guys think?
  2. WiiDSmoker macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2009
    Hermitage, TN
    I don't see how anyone allows Apple to get away with calling the iPad a post PC device when the first thing you have to do is connect it to a PC.
  3. sab165 macrumors member


    May 15, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Easy killer, there are other devices besides a pc to plug your iPad into ;)
  4. benjayman2 macrumors 6502


    Sep 1, 2010
    I wish that were the case too, but OTA firmware updates may be troublesome since most are around 550mb. Some people even have trouble just updating now and getting errors. Eventually OTA updates will be the standard.
  5. anjinha macrumors 604


    Oct 21, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    Post-PC device doesn't mean you don't need a PC. They also see the iPhone as a post-PC device.
  6. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    Post modern cinema is viewed in a modern cinema.
  7. yodaxl7 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    A Cursory High-Level Overview of the Current Status of Cloud-Based Syncing and iOS Devices
    After Apple’s iPad 2 introduction event last month, I ran into Josh Topolsky, and, of course, we talked about what we thought of it. Topolsky made an interesting observation: that the iPad 2 epitomized how Apple seems to be a generation ahead of its competitors on the device side — both hardware and software — but a generation behind on the cloud side.

    I’ve been thinking about the iPad in this context ever since, and I think it’s a perfect synopsis of the state of iOS. There will be no tablet this year from any competitor that matches the iPad 2 in terms of elegance, battery life, or build quality. No competing OS will match iOS in terms of on-the-device user experience.

    But most iPad competitors have little-to-no reliance on a connection to a desktop PC, the way an iPad does. Even RIM’s PlayBook is, in some sense, ahead in this regard. The PlayBook, as it is going to ship, is not a standalone device. It requires a tethered BlackBerry phone in order to do email, contacts, calendaring, or messaging — but it doesn’t require a PC.

    Michael Gartenberg has a good line: “‘Post-PC’ does not mean ‘Sans-PC’” — to wit, that just because the iPad requires a tethered PC doesn’t mean Apple is wrong that the iPad is a “post-PC” device.

    People arguing the other way aren’t hard to find. C.K. Sample: “Dear Apple: You’re Not ‘Post-PC’ Until You Cut the Cord”. Paul Hontz: “If iPads Are ‘Post-Pc Devices’ Why Must I Sync With iTunes Before I Can Use One?”.

    Fair question. Chad Olson, following up on Gartenberg’s piece for Macworld, proffers an answer:

    For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Apple is working on a way for the iPad to exist on its own. To “cut the cord” so to speak. (And to clarify, every time I say “iPad” I mean to say “any iOS device”)

    In order for Apple to do this they would have to have an answer for three key iTunes functions:

    getting your stuff onto your new iPad
    updating iOS
    backing up and restoring your iPad
    To Olson’s list I’d add one more: device activation. Those are the four reasons iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches require you to sync with a Mac or PC running iTunes.

    I think it’s worth considering these as discrete problems, rather than thinking about this as a single “Apple should eliminate the dependency on tethered syncing to desktop iTunes” issue.

    Apple TV 2 shows the way forward. It’s an iOS device that works independently. Take it out of the box, plug it in, turn it on, enter your iTunes Store credentials — done. But Apple TV 2 doesn’t store content; it only does streaming. And because it only does streaming, there’s no initial sync for music or video, and there’s no need for anything to be backed up. If your Apple TV goes belly-up, you don’t lose any data.

    So of the four reasons why other iOS devices require tethering to iTunes running on a Mac or Windows PC, Apple TV only tackles — and admittedly only needs to tackle — two of them: device activation and software updates.

    I suspect those are the first two desktop iTunes dependencies that Apple will eliminate for iPhones and iPads. If Apple TV can activate itself and update its own software, there’s no reason iPhones and iPads couldn’t do the same. I’m not saying it’s an easy technical problem to solve — see, for example, the problems Microsoft has had with updates to Windows Phone 7 devices — but clearly, it’s technically feasible.

    One obvious problem: what to do if there isn’t enough free storage space on the device? Perhaps, in that case, the updater would suggest either freeing up some space or plugging the device into iTunes on a Mac or PC to update the software the old-fashioned way. A less obvious problem: even if/when over-the-air software updates are enabled for iPhones and iPads, should Apple still present tethered-to-a-computer updating as the preferred update mechanism? The reason: iTunes backs up the device before installing the update. An iPad that’s never been synced to a computer is an iPad that’s never been backed up.

    That’s important, because I don’t think over-the-air backups or media syncing are coming soon. Wireless networking just isn’t fast enough. I’m not talking about Wi-Fi syncing over a local network to iTunes running on your Mac or PC — that may well be coming soon, but it wouldn’t solve the “how can these devices be ‘post-PC’ if they require a PC?” problem. We’re not talking about why the iPad needs a USB cable; we’re talking about why it needs a PC, period.

    Apple gets a rap for being bad at, or simply not caring about, “the cloud”, but that’s not accurate. It’s just that they’re moving things there one piece at a time. It’s already the case that a large amount of songs, movies, TV shows — and especially apps — are purchased from the iTunes Store by iOS users directly from their iPhones and iPads. That’s the first step Apple took away from iTunes (on the Mac/PC) as a required hub.

    So I’m thinking the iPad and iPhone won’t drop their connection to iTunes running on a PC in one fell swoop. It’ll be incremental, with new-device activation and software updates coming next. At that point, you’ll be able to use them without owning a PC. If you want to sync large libraries of music and video, you’ll still need a PC running iTunes, but if you have a large music/video library in the first place, you must have a PC already, so that’s not really a problem.

    It just isn’t technically feasible to have people backing up and restoring 32 or 64 GB of data to the cloud. It can take hours to download a single HD movie from iTunes over a Wi-Fi connection, and upload speeds are far slower than download speeds. iOS devices aren’t behind Android in this regard, because Android doesn’t do complete device backups/restores over the cloud. (Android devices don’t do complete backups/restores, period.1)
  8. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8G4 Safari/6533.18.5)

    You forgot to attribute that to Gruber.
  9. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Could you possibly provide a link to where you got this article instead of quoting the entire thing? Hard to take in such a lengthly piece when it's inside a forum post. Thanks.
  10. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
  11. yodaxl7 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
  12. TheWheelMan macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2011
    Even experienced cellphone uses don't recommend OTA updates because they have a high risk of failure, and you want to add it to the iPad as a "feature"? :rolleyes:
  13. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    Limiting it over Wifi would be fine. If you can install OS X updates via wifi, no reason we shouldn't be able to do the same for iOS.

    First, though, they need to change the update process so you're installing a small patch, rather than the entire OS.
  14. chiefpavvy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2008
    I agree with this sentiment, and I hope Apple remedies this in a future iOS (5?) version. Being tied to the hip with iTunes is annoying and unnecessary in this day and age. Apple really needs to get with the game in this area (and cloud stuff in general). You should be able to push a complete backup of the iPad to the cloud which could be pulled back down after a restore. And yes, you most certainly should be able to update the firmware without connecting it to a computer. That's nuts.

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