Manual app updating, prior to iOS7, was beneficial to developers as a mechanism to notify their customers that a new version was available1. Since Apple doesn’t otherwise provide developers with a way to communicate directly with their customers, that indirect mechanism served an important role.
in iOS 7 apps silently get updated, automatically. This morning, I just happened to wander into the App Store app and discovered several apps that had recently updated—some of which contained interesting functional additions.
Perhaps with iOS7, enabling customer communication by finding creative ways of capturing user email addresses—i.e. ways that don’t violate Apple’s policies—will take on a higher priority with developers.
I think some developers abused this with unnecessarily frequent updates, simply to trigger a reminder that their app exists. ↩