Do apps ever auto-update just using cellular data?

Discussion in 'iOS 8' started by RickMC, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. RickMC macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2014
    I have unlimited data so sometimes if I can't get on WiFi it doesn't kill me to use my data. However, I have noticed that even if you have Auto app updates turned on and Use cellular turned on, when you open the app store updates will appear but they won't automatically download themselves. As soon as I connect to WiFi they immediately start downloading. It's not really a big deal to me, just nitpicking. But has anyone ever had their apps auto update when not on WiFi? It has never happened to me in both iOS 7 and iOS8. I don't see many questions about it because I'm sure people just use WiFi and don't want downloads to use cellular data.
  2. HansumKingtut Suspended


    Aug 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    No Apps Wont update Over Cellular unless told to.

    The short answer is no they won't update over cellular. Unless you tell them to. Its a feature of "Background App Refresh" and this works by picking opportune times to refresh apps and download things. Opportune sort of referring to a good wifi connection, a good amount of battery available, and also based on your habits of use. Also the app store limits cellular downloads to 100mb so anything bigger and it also won't. I have an unlimited data plan as well, and wouldn't mind if it did this, but I understand why it doesn't.

    Hope this helps.
  3. RickMC thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2014
    Oh so if you don't have Background App Refresh turned on, apps won't even auto-update on WiFi?
  4. GreyOS macrumors 68040


    Apr 12, 2012
    i think you're talking about different things. OP about updates to apps pushed out by the App Store. First comment about Background App Refresh. Let's use 'update' for the former and 'refresh' for the latter.

    I don't think they are related. If you have Background App Refresh off it will still auto-update the app if you have auto-updates enabled. But I don't know the answer to OP's question - whether it auto-updates over cellular or not.
  5. bransoj macrumors 6502a

    Jul 31, 2013
    My understanding is its nothing to do with Background Refresh at all. If i remember correctly there are some settings under the iTunes section in the settings where auto updating of Apps is turned on, if its turned on there is a second toggle as to whether you want to use cellular data to do this or not. I have it turned on for my iPhone and iPad and it works fine.

    I still go in occasionally to check the list of whats updated recently and some times it will find new updates that its not picked up automatically i assume because its not done its check since they were released so i just update them manually. On my iPhone it only happens when i'm on Wifi as well as i have the cellular data option turned off...although i do have unlimited data but i got caught out a couple of times with apps trying to update whilst in poor data coverage areas and in a bit of a loop where i couldnt use the app so i left it as wifi only.
  6. RickMC thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2014
    Yeah I have auto download app updates turned on and Cellular turned on but the app store never updates them...they just stay pending til I connect to WiFi. So it seems that apps don't auto update unless on WiFi. AT least for me. I haven't had a single app automatically update by Cellular data since iOS7 came out.
  7. kwokaaron macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2013
    Have you tried toggling both options off and then on again? Maybe try restarting your phone after that as well. Sometimes the options get 'stuck' and needs to be re-toggled. From the short description under both options I would say that it should automatically update your apps when you're using cellular (if the app is less than 100MB like what HansumKingtut said). If that doesn't work you might need to try the "Reset All Settings" under General -> Reset and reconfigure your phone settings.

    Also, I have a feeling that it checks to see if you're in an area when strong cellular signal as well as your battery life before trying to download updates.

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