Do you see that red bubble above? It indicates the number of apps that I have on that device that currently have updates. Does that bother you? I know people who must always have their apps updated. On the contrary, for myself, that number in the red bubble grows every day. On my iPhone, it is up to 117, on my iPad: 53.
For the most part, updates are a good thing. Bugs are often fixed, and improvements are made. Features are added. Added hardware support can greatly improve the look of an app (e.g. when apps were optimized for the larger iPhone 5 screen).
How do you update apps?
Basics: Go to App Store, and tap the Updates tab on the far right. A list of apps will appear. Tap “What’s New” to view the new features. Then tap UPDATE if you wish to do it. That’s it. The next time you open that app, it will be the updated version.
iOS7 will have a new feature called Automatic Updates. Your iPads and iPhones will have the ability to download all updates without you ever having to worry about doing it manually. Sound convenient? Well, I for one, will turn this feature off (You will be able to turn Automatic Updates OFF in Settings).
Why don’t I update all my apps?
I did answer this question in my FAQ section, but in reviewing:
I have a TON of apps. It’s probably obvious that I spend a lot of time checking out new apps, both for education and personal uses. Honestly, there are apps that I have not touched since downloading them. Occasionally, I will go through them and delete the ones that I never intend on using.
When I do update, I actually like to review what the changes are before updating it. There are times, believe it or not, when it is NOT beneficial to update an app. Sometimes, developers will actually remove features that people like. Once an app is updated, there is no going back to any previous versions. An example would be the app Airfile, which I profiled a few months back. It was great: you could link multiple Dropbox and Google Drive accounts and move files between them. Then they got greedy and decided to limit the number of accounts, while charging an additional fee to users for the same features. I have even occasionally read in the update notes developers encouraging users NOT to update that version.
Warning: If you (accidentally) press UPDATE ALL, they will indeed all get updated, even if you turn your device off. This can be bad news if there is an app that you love that has “negative” update features.
All this being said, all the major and popular apps will receive new updates for iOS7 coming out. New, flat icons have been created, and are awaiting the upcoming software update. The current icons will look outdated on the new iOS. New updates will take up more space on your device! If you have a smaller capacity iPad, definitely delete the apps that you won’t be using. Also, make sure you are on WIFI and not a data connection when updating, you don’t want to use up your data on this.
How about you? Do you automatically update an app when it comes up or are you selective? Let us know in the comments!