Updating Apps

Marty Silbernik is the author of I’m Too Old To Do This, a tech blog for folks who remember when none of this stuff existed. This article appears with permission.

I’ve always been one of those who wanted the latest and greatest… friends were always betting on how soon I’d have the newest iPhone or other gadget. I’ve slowed down a lot over the last few years, and just am not as impulsive and obsessive over the newest toy any more.

But one thing I’ve always done is keep my apps up to date. In fact, one of the minor OCD things I have is when I see that “badge” that says you have 41 apps that need to be updated. How can you NOT update the apps? Doesn’t that little badge bother you? (Yeah, I know — I still have a couple of small issues to work on).
The latest release of iOS – iOS7 will now automatically update apps in the background on your iPhone or iPad if you want it to. When I had my Android tablet that was already part of the system. The question I have is is that good or bad?
Good or bad is a relative term. If you like to have control of what goes on your phone or tablet then it’s bad. If you want to never have to worry about it then it’s good. For the overwhelming majority of us, having apps update automatically is a no brainer. Just make sure it’s set and let ‘er rip. Sure… occasionally, an App slips through the app store that’s broken and may not work on the phone or tablet. Over the years, there’s only been a few times that that has happened in thousands of updates. So, it’s just not something to worry about.

One suggestions though… be sure to use WiFi only, unless you’re on an unlimited data plan. In fact, I’d recommend that you use WiFi only, if you have WiFi, just because it’s a lot faster and I doubt that there’s any update that’s so important that it can’t wait until you’re back in a WiFi zone.

How do you check to see if Automatic Updates are on or off (or how do you change the setting)? It’s simple. On an Android phone, go to Google Play>Settings>General and hopefully (you know each version of the Android operating system is a bit different) and you should see a screen like this…

Just check or uncheck the Auto Update and Wifi settings and you’re good to go.
It’s just as simple on iOS 7. Go to Settings>iTunes Store and you’ll see this screen…

Again, turn on the updates, and if you want to go WiFi only, just turn off the setting for “Use Cellular Data”.

It’s that easy to make sure that your phone and tablet is up to date with all the apps that you use!

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About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.