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iTunes leak suggests Automatic Download option coming to iOS 5

Hints at an upcoming Automatic Download feature for iOS apps have emerged in iTunes, according to a new report.

MacRumors notes that Apple's iTunes has leaked a new Automatic Download option that would automatically download app updates to iOS devices without needing to perform a wired sync.

After explaining a syncing option for installing updated apps, iTunes describes a previously unannounced feature. "If your device has Automatic Download enabled for apps, your updates will download to your device without having to sync," the My App Updates screen now reads.

Given that an Automatic Download setting doesn't currently exist in iOS, the iTunes leak appears to suggest that the feature is coming to iOS 5. Apple announced on Tuesday that it will show off the next major upgrade to iOS next Monday at the Worldwide Developers Conference.

Apple has long been rumored to add over-the-air update functionality and wireless syncing to iOS. On Friday, rumors surfaced that the iPhone maker plans to transition its Airport base stations to run iOS, possibly adding a caching update option.

Apple's plans could also involve the forthcoming iCloud service, which the company has billed as its "cloud services offering." Though much of the hype surrounding iCloud has focused on an expected streaming music service, the service will also likely replace Apple's MobileMe product, which offers syncing of information such as bookmarks, email, contacts and iCal events.