A new feature in iOS 7 allows you to enable automatic app update downloads, meaning that you don’t have to go into the App Store app and manually download any updates you get, which can be an everyday occurrence depending on how many apps you have.
By default, automatic app updates are disabled, so you’ll have to go adventuring into the settings to turn it on, but once you have it set up, manually updating your apps will be a thing of the past. Here’s how to do it.
Enabling Automatic App Updates
To enable automatic app updates, open up the Settings app and navigate to iTunes & App Store. Under the section titled “Automatic Downloads,” you’ll see an item called “Updates.” Flick the toggle switch to the right of it until it turns green. This enables automatic app updates.
From now on, you won’t be bothered with manual updates, and if you’re worried about iOS not notifying you of said automatic updates, you will, in fact, receive notifications in Notification Center when apps are updated. Swiping the notifications to the side will take you to the App Store where you can see what changes were made to the apps. The new App Store in iOS 7 also keeps a history of what apps were updated when.
Furthermore, you can set whether or not you want automatic app updates to be enabled when using a 3G or 4G connection. Right below the Automatic Downloads section, there’s an item called “Use Cellular Data.” Flicking this toggle on will allow the App Store (as well as other iOS services to download updates and other content over a 3G or 4G connection. Turning the feature off will limit the App Store to download updates only when on a WiFi connection.
Should You Use This Feature?
It depends on your situation. Sadly, you can’t select specific apps that receive automatic updates while other apps remain manual. This is one of the biggest criticisms with the new feature; you either have to enable automatic app updates for all of your apps, or you have to install updates manually for all of them. If you’re looking for such control, you won’t find it here.
Secondly, if you’re the type that always waits to install an update just to make sure it’s not broken, then you probably want to disable automatic app updates. While most updates fix bugs and improve performance over the previous version, some apps get hiccups at times, and an update can wreak havoc, which has more and more users cautious about installing updates until they know it’s okay.
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