iPad Questions: apps not auto updating, when will mini have USB-C

I finally replaced my wife’s ageing Fire tablet. It is slow and it doesn’t have any apps - well, none of the apps for the services we use is available.

I replaced it with an iPad mini.

I already posted on Discord, but the App Store isn’t automatically updating, even though it is set to auto-update. This is causing sync problems with Signal on Android - if both don’t get updated automatically, they drop out of sync and the device that has updated gets new encryption keys and can’t receive any new messages, until the older machine also updates. Her Galaxy S10 updated, the iPad didn’t, so no more messages on the phone until I manually updated the iPad. Why? Why doesn’t auto-update apps automatically update the apps, when they are available?

I thought the iPads had switched to USB-C now, but the mini still has lightning, which is a pain. Is an update to the mini expected, that will also give it USB-C? Every device in the house now uses USB-C, except for the iPad.

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I’m hoping for an iPad Air-like refresh for the mini (newer design, Face ID, USB C and pencil support). While rumoured, I’m not sure it will happen.

I’m terms of app updates, it’s never been consistent in its auto updates for me on either my kids iPads or the iPhones my wife and I use.

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Your query about auto-updates on iOS peaked my interest. I assume you have googled all the possible problems and solutions, so won’t go into how to enable auto-updates. I did find one possibility to your problem that might be worth investigating. If you downloaded the app to the ipad from a different Apple ID than the ipad is normally logged into, it appears you may not get auto updates for that app. Have a look at the iOS reference on this link from Signal:

It is also interesting to compare app update dates with version release dates. Click on account icon in upper right corner of App Store, scroll down to App of interest. It will tell day app was updated (“Today”, “Yesterdaty”, “3 Days Ago”…). If you then tap on the app name, it will take you to the store description of the app, where you can tap on “Version History”. This will show when the latest version was updated. In my case, apps that auto-updated this morning show version updates “1 week ago”.

One last item I have noted during many years of App Store usage. I have US and Au app store accounts. There are times one or the other is not available. So one might make an assumption it is possible updates in the different stores might be released on different dates.

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It is a new account, set up explicitly for this iPad on Tuesday this week - it is the first Apple device my wife has had since 2013 and she couldn’t remember the email address or password of that account.

Going into the App Store settings, it was marked as “auto update” (English equivalent of the German text). In the App Store, going into my account and listing the apps, it offered “update” for Signal.

I suspect the auto-update feature is very laissez-faire… it will eventually do an update, but it will roll out the update period over many hours/days/weeks. Presumably this is because app updates are not supposed to generally be urgent if the app is well designed and if the staff validating the apps are doing their job sufficiently.

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Probably totally useless information, but it appears you can see a log of app updates on the iPad. On mine, this information can be seen in files located in settings/privacy/analytics data titled xp_amp_app_usage_dnu-year-mo-dy-xxxxxx.ips (xxxxxx is time stamp hrmnsc)

I found multiple files for some days, and apps that were shown to have auto updated in the App Store Update page were located in files timestamped 0000xx, indicating to me the app updates occur at midnight.

Apps ready to update show up as “Pending” on App Store update page during the day, then update at midnight (assumption).

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