Before the iPad, updating computer software was often difficult and confusing. It was tough for users to know when updates were available, and finding a download link on a company’s support website proved challenging at times. Fortunately for iPad and iPhone users, Apple established a simple app update system as part of its App Store. Since then, fast and easy app updates have become one of the defining features of the iPad.
Here’s how the app update process works:
- When updates are available for your installed applications, you’ll see a red badge (or circle) on the blue App Store icon on your iPad or iPhone–this indicates how many individual app updates are available. We recommend keeping the App Store icon on your home screen so can easily see when updates are available.
- After opening the App Store, tap the Updates tab at the bottom right of the screen.
- On the Updates page, you’ll see descriptions for each of the updates that are available. From here you can install them individually, or tap Update All at the top right to download and install them all at once.
- You’ll see a small progress bar at the bottom of each icon that indicates the update is being downloaded. When the blue bar reaches the end and disappears, the update is complete.
You can also manually check for app updates by tapping the App Store icon and following steps 2-4 above. So if a friend tells you about some great new features but you don’t see the red badge yet, you don’t have to wait.
It’s important to keep an eye on app updates since they are often sent out to address bugs and fix user-reported issues with apps. The updates also typically add new features–a great deal since they are completely free. If you’re not checking for app updates from time to time, you could be missing some great new features.
While we’ve rarely experienced any issues during app updates, our one piece of advice is to always run an app at least once after updating to make sure it installed correctly. This is especially important if you’re planning on using it in the air where you won’t have internet access to resolve the issue.