What the iOS 7 app update icons mean

iOS 7 has introduced many features including changes to the icons in the Updates section of the App Store. Here is what the new app update icons mean.

The first screen after being notified in the App Store that you have updates will show as below. You can still update apps individually or Update All at the top.

iOS 7 update notifications

iOS 7 update notifications

 

After clicking the Update for each app or the Update All at the top you will see the icons change to the the below image.  Notice the blue open circle. While it spins it is checking for the valid update and prompts you for your Apple ID and password.

iOS 7 update notification

iOS 7 update notification

Once you successfully authenticate the right Apple ID, you will see the icon get a solid blue square which shows it found the valid update and it begins the download process. You can also click that to stop the download process.  (See below image) The thin outer circle begins to show the process of the download.  It will become a thicker blue circle once the download and installation process are completing.

iOS 7 icons showing applications updating

iOS 7 icons showing applications updating

Once the app download and install are complete the icon flashes the word Update then quickly changes to Open as shown below in image 4.

iOS 7 successful app update icons

iOS 7 successful app update icons

You will also notice that the App Store now keeps a history of the date you update an app with pending updates at the top. I have not found a way to clear the list of updates or if they expire off the list at any point.

Apple is also missing any documentation around this new update process. While I like being able to see recent revisions and fixes for my apps, I can see this list getting unnecessarily long for iOS devices with countless installed apps.

Have you wondered what these icons are for? Have you seen others?  Let me know in the comments.

Also read the article The iOS7 Font Color

 

  • Greg

    Thanks – very helpful. Couldn’t find an explanation for this anywhere else on the internet.