OTA update (over-the-air update)

Contributor(s): Colin Steele

1. An over-the-air update is the wireless delivery of new software or data to mobile phones and tablets.

Wireless carriers have traditionally used over-the-air updates to deploy firmware and configure phones for use on their networks. The initialization of a newly purchased phone, for example, requires an over-the-air update. With the rise of smartphones and tablets, carriers and manufacturers have also turned to over-the-air updates for deploying new operating systems to these devices. 

Starting with iOS 5.0.1, Apple said it would make all iOS updates available over the air. Previous iOS updates required iTunes and a physical connection between the iOS device and a computer. 

2. Over The Air (OTA)  is a standard for the transmission and reception of application-related information in a wireless communications system



This was last updated in July 2012

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