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I'm starting with iOS 5.1 and I'm trying to figure out how to download/and load asset files to the iPad, such as sprites and sounds.

Previously I think I packed them into a .xib file for iOS 3, (wasn't .xib for general user interfaces?) but I'm not sure if this practice is outdated with the new GLKit package.

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It doesn't matter where you put them, just make sure they are included in the Bundle –  bobobobo Sep 11 '12 at 3:47

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Add all the assets via Xcode so that it will be included in the bundle. I think this is true since the older versions. Once you compile your build (specifically the .app). All your assets/resources will go inside the package.

I've already tried downloading assets from an external source and putting them in the Library folder. This is very useful when you want to add something dynamically or if you're going for the 50MB filesize limit.

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