updated 05:20 pm EDT, Tue July 26, 2011
Backs Apple's 'PC Free' push
The completed version of iOS 5 should allow people to configure AirPort and Time Capsule routers without having to go through a desktop or notebook, a series of images from an AppleInsider reader show. Within the firmware's Wi-Fi Networks menu, located under Settings, a new "Set up an AirPort Base Station" option is present, listing any AirPort or Time Capsule peripherals in the immediate area. Tapping this prompts users to either create a new network or "Do something different."
The latter is a catch-all which lets people join an existing network, replace a router, or see error messages which might help troubleshoot any problems. When creating a network, people can assign a name and any necessary passwords. A "Show Passwords" option becomes available so the information can be written down elsewhere.
The setup feature appears to be a less-publicized part of Apple's "PC Free" concept, a staple of iOS 5. The company wants iOS devices to function without having to sync with a Mac or Windows system, for instance activating and/or installing firmware updates totally independently. Backups are a weakpoint however, as while iCloud should save some data, there are critical gaps. These include many filetypes, such as video, or music not bought from iTunes unless a person has paid for iTunes Match.