One thing that really bugs me about iPhone apps is that users need to be constantly updating to get the latest version. By updating, I mean going to the App Store and clicking the “Update” or “Update All” button.

Users have a bunch of reasons not to update apps—they forget, too busy, don’t want to wait for the download, have an older phone or OS so that updates won’t work, or they just don’t know that they need to at all.

Of course web applications don’t have this problem. Every time you visit a site or refresh a page you’re getting the latest version. Some desktop applications are fairly forceful about upgrading as well. Chrome updates every time you open the app (by default). Many other desktop applications are aware that there’s a newer version and will prompt you to upgrade.

It seems like it’s still super rare to see any sort of upgrade messaging within iPhone apps. I only recall being forced to upgrade once and it was a Zynga game.

I think ideally your iPhone would download the latest versions of your apps (and iOS) in the background, maybe at times when you’re connected to wifi. However, I don’t see this happening any time soon.

In the meantime I’ve started to integrate upgrade messaging into the apps that I work on and would love to see more open source projects addressing this issue. iPhone app releases contain lots of bug fixes and new features and it would be great to get these out to users as soon as possible.

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