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Apple issues iOS 5's first over-the-air update, with battery fix

November 10, 2011 |  1:38 pm

iOS 5.0.1 update process

Apple has released its first over-the-air update for iOS -- known officially as iOS 5.0.1 -- that promises to bring relief to iPhone owners who have been complaining about terrible battery life.

To get the iOS update, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad owners have to go into their "Settings" app, select "General" and then select "Software Update." From there, the device will ping Apple to see whether an update is available -- and it should be available for everyone at this point -- and then the iOS 5.0.1 prompt appears.

iOS 5.0.1 installedOnce a user initiates the software download, the device will ask the user to plug the gadget into a power adapter.

I ran the update on an iPhone 4S without connecting any cable of any sort, and the whole process took about five minutes over Wi-Fi to download before my phone restarted itself with the update in place. However, the update at first said it would take about an hour to download, so download times may vary.

As the first over-the-air update for iOS, users can get the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system without having to plug their device into a computer to download the software from iTunes. As long as users have at least 50% battery life and are on a Wi-Fi connection, they should be good to go, cable free.

In addition to a fix to the battery life problem, Apple said the software update will add multitasking gestures to the original iPad, fix bugs that have to do with syncing documents to iCloud and improve voice recognition for Australian users using dictation.

The update is available for the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, first-generation iPad and third- and fourth-generation iPod Touch.

Feel free to sound off in the comments about your experience downloading iOS 5.0.1 and whether the battery life of your device improves.


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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Images: Screen shots of Apple's iOS 5.0.1 update process on an Apple iPhone 4S. Credit: Nathan Olivarez-Giles/Los Angeles Times