In all versions of the App Store up until iOS 13, there has been an Update tab — a whole page of the store dedicated to showing you the latest updates to your installed apps. In iOS 13, that’s gone, replaced by Apple Arcade, whether you subscribe to the new gaming service or not.
So, how do you update your apps in iOS 13? And if you have auto-update switched on, then how do you even see which apps have been updated, and read their release notes? Fear not. Manual update is still there. It’s just hidden.
How to manually update apps in iOS 13
To update your apps in iOS 13, open up the App Store as usual. Try to resist the temptation to tap the second tab from the right, because that is now the Apple Arcade tab. Good luck with that, though. I’ve been using iOS 13 since the first summer beta, and I still keep opening this tab.
The next step is to tap your account avatar, at the top right of any screen. In iOS 12, this is the way you access your previous purchases, your subscriptions and other App Store-account-related stuff. In iOS 13, this panel is also where your updates live.
On the iPhone, this tab is full-screen. On the iPad, it’s a small panel in the center of the screen. Look at this ridiculous waste of space:
At the top of the panel you will see lesser-used functions like sending a gift-card via email. Meanwhile, your most-used task — app updates — requires scrolling down. It’s a little better on the iPhone, but not much.
To refresh this list, pull down on the panel, like when you refresh Twitter or the Mail app. This is where you’ll see a big improvement over iOS 12. Refreshing proves almost instant in iOS 13. It’s much quicker than the sluggish old updates.
As before, you can update individual apps, and also Update All. iOS 13 also brings another great new feature: the ability to delete apps directly from this list. To do so, simply swipe left on any app, then hit the delete button this reveals. If you ever got sick of seeing a never-used app in your update list, but were too lazy to hunt down the actual app down in the mess of folders on your Home screen, this is for you. In fact, this might be my favorite new App Store feature.
It makes sense that Apple would dedicate precious App Store frontage to something as valuable as Apple Arcade, instead of using it for mere maintenance functions. But the poor design of the new panel is embarrassing. It looks comically tiny on the giant iPad. And even on the iPhone, you must scroll down to reach the most-used feature on that screen. Or maybe it’s just us nerds who care about app updates. Maybe the normal people in the world really are adding funds to their account balance or redeeming codes.