Apple appears to be poised to improve the update processes for both iOS and Mac OS X. The company may debut direct, over-the-air updates for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches beginning with iOS 5. Additionally, the Mac App Store could be the "preferred" platform for delivering updates to Mac OS X Lion.
According to multiple sources for 9to5 Mac, Apple hopes to debut OTA updates for iOS once iOS 5 launches sometime this year. iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches currently must be connected to a computer running iTunes to download and install updates. However, the iOS-powered Apple TV does not; it can update itself directly over the network. iOS 5 should enable this capability for iOS devices, potentially enabling iPhones to update even over 3G.