updated 06:40 pm EDT, Fri July 22, 2011
iOS 5 beta 4 tweaks Windows
The launch of iOS 5 beta 4 has added a handful of improvements for over-the-air updating. Windows users can now get access to the Wi-Fi syncing that had been given to Mac users first. The update lets users sync either automatically when charging or manually when wireless.
Some core iCloud syncing features are now active. General documents and data will now sync through iCloud to relevant apps and services, such as through newer versions of the iWork apps on the Mac and other iOS hardware. Apple gives an option to turn cellular syncing off if bandwidth or roaming costs are problems.
Early checks have also proven that Apple's promised delta updates for over-the-air upgrades in iOS 5 are noticeably much more efficient. Beta 4 is about 133MB for existing beta 3 users where the full install would be about 700MB. The size potentially saves time and bandwidth on Wi-Fi, although it may be too large for some carriers. Apple hasn't said whether every carrier will support 3G updates and might let AT&T or similar force users to get updates over Wi-Fi.
More feature updates are likely to surface. Apple's change log for beta 4 still shows a number of outstanding bugs and that it still has some time to go before the software is ready to go public.