Will you be using auto app updates on iOS 7? [Poll]

Will you be using auto-updates on iOS 7? [Poll]

iOS 7 is bringing a ton of new features - see our complete iOS 7 preview - but one of the more controversial is automatic app updates in the App Store. The idea is simple enough. Instead of seeing a red, numbered badge on the App Store app, tapping it, then going in and manually updating all or specific apps, if enabled, it just downloads updates as they're ready and installs them automatically. Without any involvement on your part. The good side, it's effortless. The bad side, what if it automatically installs a buggy app?

That's the big fear. A server-side problem could be fixed almost immediately. However, given the delays for most developers - anyone not Facebook or Twitter - in getting even an expedited review, if an app update leads to crashes, feature failures, or any other problem, it won't be fixed for one to ten days.

But fear is normal. People are change adverse. Automatic updates could fix security issues people haven't bothered to update and get on their own. They could force developers to take yet one more look before uploading apps. They could force Apple to provide a better, faster process for developers to fix bugs when they do, inevitably occur.

It could also be the first step towards a Google Chrome-style model where apps are just updated constantly in the background, all the time, and everyone, every day, has the latest version. Discreet updates become a thing of the past, and new bits simply replace the old whenever they're ready.

I'll be turning them on with reckless abandon. I fear no future. But what'll it be for you? Can you just not wait for auto-updates, or are you going to turn them off as fast as Apple and iOS 7 turns them on? Vote in the poll and tell me why you voted the way you did in the comments.

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Will you be using auto app updates on iOS 7? [Poll]


Is there a way of clearing the app update history? I like the idea of auto updates but only want to see those since I last reviewed the update history.

That was my only problem was the app update history would just stay there its nice to know what was updated but I didn't like not being able to delete them after reviewing the update

I like updating myself manually. I don't want to be holding the device when apps update transferring hundreds Of Megs per year through my hands just to update apps. I press update all and walk away. Healthier option. Everyone else can do what they feel they must.

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I have an iPhone 4 that I use as a clock and music streamer. I might install all of my apps on that too, and have it update automatically and update my iPhone 5 manually. That way, I can test it safely. <g>

No, I prefer to see how the app does first. I have no problem manually updating apps now. It is as simple as opening the app store when it has the notification and clicking "update all".

Me too.

Not too mention, if it's not broken or affecting my phone, then why in the hell would I update it.

Now with that said, once they update the iOS then you have to go from there and tread lightly.

I even wait a couple weeks on OS updates, just to make sure they aren't buggy.

I have live by that philosophy for a while now on all my tech and it has save me a lot of head aches.

If I can designate certain apps to not auto update then I will gladly use it. But I won't use it at all if that option is not available. Why? Because I HATE Zite 2.x. And I refuse to use it, therefore do not ever want my Zite to auto update because I LOVE the original Zite Classic. And the publishers of Zite refuse to reissue Zite Classic as a separate app. So I'm stuck with manual updating for the foreseeable future unless you can tell the OS to NOT auto update apps I love as is.

I think it's pretty clear that Apple will never allow you to do selective updates. It's going to be an all or nothing proposition. [shrug] At least you still have the manual option and it's not that difficult.

How are developers going to handle large changes to apps? If they don't pop-up a screen at initial launch (after updating) to explain the changes it may jar the user as they weren't expecting interace elements to change. That's one of my main concerns.

Basically, I just want to *know* what is in the update and I won't ever see that info if it's all done automatically in the background.

Yes you will. Once updated the app still shows in the "updates" tab in the app store where you can expand it and see what's new.

Auto-updates has been absolutely awesome on iOS7 so far and I am sooo glad Apple finally added this simple feature!

With "Find My iPhone" and "Surfline" pushing out updates last night that broke the apps, it's such a touchy subject. I hope that the change will bring about the updates to the system you talk about Rene, fingers crossed.

I think it's safe to assume most developers who publish updates that auto-update causing the app to break or misbehave will fix it pretty quickly as to not lose business.

As Rene said, because of Apple's strict rules, it can take between 1-10 days for the fixed update to get pushed through. I've already moved on to a different surf app.

Absolutely! The days of wacky updates killing us are rare events in today's world. It really harkens back to the days of windows and crappy quality software. But, for many of us those old habits die hard. Our technical need for control is something deeply ingrained and it feels wrong not to feed these old habits. However, I realize now it's time for technology to work for me, and not me for it. Auto-update on on ON !

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I won't be using them because I have a slow Internet connection. I don't want to have to download the same app twice. So I will continue to download to iTunes and sync my devices. Besides how many times have we seen apps get updated only to have the developer tell everyone not up update and also state a fix has already been submitted to Apple? The answer for me is more times than I have fingers. I will have my mom's iPhone set for auto updates since it's her only device and I don't want to have to update her apps for her anymore.

Agree with someone's comment earlier. I will use it, but if you can choose which apps to automatically update that will be a plus. Would be smart for Apple to give users that option. Looking forward to the update in September.

I personally don't think I'll use them.. Not unless there's an option for the updates to only be installed automatically via WiFi.. Wouldn't want to unnecessarily use my mobile data and waist where as I have WiFi at home ..

I think this is a very valid point. In addition for me, I have satellite internet at my house. So I've got (very restrictive) metered data even at home. We get "unlimited" data during the hours of 12-5am, so I'd want my phone to auto update between those hours only. I'm guessing that wont be a feature out of the box.

I voted "no" not because of the control but rather I want to know what apps are being updated and what the update is about. I have hundreds of apps on my phone, some of which I do not use a lot so when something is updated, I want to know what is new about the update beyond just "bug fixes". Without me manually doing this, I may not know of a cool new feature that would make me want to use the app more until I launch it and even then, it may not be immediately obvious what is new and improved.

I always updated apps straight away before, can't stand seeing that red number bubble... a little OCD. I have been running iOS7 since Beta 1 and it hasn't been an issue and haven't noticed any battery hits on an iPhone 5.

Two good examples of auto update disasters, is Splash ID 7 where people lost all data, were put in trial mode, even tho they had a paid license, and other problems. 1 Password's last update had a bug where it would crash when syncing with Dropbox. Their demo mode also crashed. They even warned about not updating until a fix. There will also be times that an update will no longer work with your current iOS. Will auto update make developers beta test longer to make sure it works? Not so sure. I would rather keep it off.

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No way. I just want an option to REMOVE apps with updates. Is there a way to do this now? No way do I want it to update an app. I have a weather app (weather channel) that they updated and made the better version a paid version, yet the 'update' turned the great (now paid) app into crud. What an update, right? not! But I was smart enough not to update/sync my iPhone with the newer installed 'update'd app...saved myself. So is there a way to clear available app updates? Or do I have to keep them on there, hoping not to ever tap on update (because then you can't even stop an update if hit accidently...how stupid).

How do we know that the app we're choosing to update is buggy or not before updating it??? Do people wait for reviews for each update to see what they say?? I would like to have the update automatically ON but only if it gives you a history to see what has changed. And also an option to do it only on WIFI.

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For me, it will be depending on my decision to auto update the apps and games.
Maybe Apple must switch it off by default when IOS 7 reaches the public.

I use it... it works great... It only updates when you are on WiFi and the phone is idle (when you are sleeping usually).

Absolutely. I've been waiting for auto-updating for years. It's driven me nuts that iOS didn't have it. Then again to show how different some people can be, I have a friend who hates the idea.

I'm currently ruining ios7 beta 5 and I wish I would have payed more attention to this feature. I went to bed and awoke the next morning to find all my apps updated which is a pain. Although some people see it as useful I dont like the feature at all. I was always someone who waited to update any app to see wether it was truly and update or rather if the developer was making the app less useful for me. Well anyways lesson learned. And the auto-update button will remain off.

There's nothing like waking up in the morning to an app you use daily and finding that functionality has been lost, the interface has changed, and your previous data needs to be re-inputed.

Auto-update no thank you sir.

Wow, a bunch said yes.
Can I have your credit card number?
Watch South Park?
Funny, but if you really think about it?!?!?!?!

Don't look at convenience as safety. It will kill you every time.

I prefer to read through the change log before updating apps (I've seen numerous instances where a developer posts a warning in the change log telling users not to install an update until a fix is posted).

I did turn it on for a day to see how it worked, and it is pretty nice. I received a notification in the morning that said 4 apps have been updated, tapped the notification, and that took me to the App Store Update tab which lists the updated apps.

Also, I noticed updated apps get a dot inserted at the beginning of the app name on the springboard. Pretty slick, and probably a good idea for most people to use auto updates.

Today Google released an update to their Google Authenticator app. One "feature" of the app was to forget all of your saved tokens. Auto update would have forced that app on me which would have locked me out of my 3 personal email accounts, one business account and my college account.

No thanks. I'm a big boy, I can update my own apps thank you very much.

What I try to do it do an iCloud backup and if I see the update is no good I go back to the previous backup and the backup will install the previous version