iOS 5 Beta 2 was released last night for registered developers. The big news about the new beta is that WiFi Sync has been enabled – though only for Mac users it looks like.
Here are the recommended steps and requirements for getting WiFi Sync enabled on an iPad (or other iOS device) running:
— You need to be running iOS 5 beta 2 of course, iTunes 10.5 beta 2, and Mac OS X 10.6.8 or a preview build of OS X Lion.
— After restoring your iPad to iOS 5 beta 2, you should do a first sync while connected to your Mac.
— In iTunes, while your device is connected, go to the Summary page for the device and down to the Options section of it. Make sure you place a tick in the checkbox labeled ‘Sync over WiFi connection’.
— Once you’ve done those steps, you should then your iPad listed under Devices in iTunes even when it is not connected to your Mac. Very cool.
— From then on, wireless sync will kick in automatically each time the iPad is connected to power on the same local WiFi network as the Mac you enabled sync on.
— You can manually trigger a sync on the iPad by going to Settings > General > iTunes Sync and tapping Sync Now. Or you can select the iPad in iTunes on the Mac, make a change or addition to what is synced, and hit the Apply button.
— Or, and this is really very slick, you can select books, songs, movies, and any content in your iTunes library and drag it over to the iPad under Devices and it will start syncing right away (as long as you’re on the same WiFi network of course).
To get WiFi sync you need to connect your iPad and on the Summary page go to Options and select ‘Sync over WiFi connection’
Apple advises that you should be sure your iPad / iOS device is plugged into a power source when performing wireless sync. I’ve done a number of syncs so far without being connected to power. If I was ever doing a full re-sync after wiping a device I would probably want to make sure I was connected to power, just so there’s no risk of the device shutting down during a long sync.
Other than WiFi Sync there era not too many notable additions or new features enabled in iOS 5 beta 2; it’s mostly bug fixes and minor enhancements. Here are a few that caught my eye in the full change list though:
- Starting in iOS 5.0, video content in applications and websites are AirPlay-enabled by default.
- Apple TV Software beta enables users to mirror the contents of an iPad 2 to an Apple TV (2nd generation) using AirPlay. This beta software also enables Photo Stream on Apple TV so users can access photos stored in iCloud.
- During the iOS 5.0 beta period, any documents stored on the servers might be purged periodically before GM. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you do not store any critical documents or information on the servers.
- NEW: iMessage seed 2 will be unable to communicate with iMessage users on seed 1.
The iCloud storage point is one to definitely be aware of. Data on the servers may be purged during the betas before a GM build is released. So don’t store anything critical on there while using the betas.
Wireless sync is a great feature. We’ve known that for a long time – I’ve used it on the infamous original Zune device and via the jailbreak app on my iPhones. Apple’s implementation of it in this beta looks very good. I really like the ability to just drag and drop new content onto the iPad in iTunes on the Mac and see sync invoked immediately.