I have not been able to install anything "automatically" or within the back end of WordPress. To be honest, if I think about it, I haven't been able to since I've updated to WP 3.5 And I had to update WP 3.5 manually (through my FTP client) as well. First time I ever had to update manually.
I could definitely update plugins automatically prior to 3.5. I waited a month while plugins updated before going to WP 3.5.
But I can't seem to update any plugins. They say they're updated, that the plugin has been activated, but when I go back to the Plugins list, I still have old versions.
I tried to install modules within another plugin yesterday and the same thing happened.
Any suggestions? I have my plugins folder and everything in it set to 777 permissions. My host does change the permission settings when things are uploaded to 644.