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I'd like for apps to download 'free updates' whenever they are available so when I sync my phone they will already be there, similar to podcasts.

Is there a way to configure iTunes to do this automatically?

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Great question. I believe that such a feature does not exist, but they should add it to iTunes and the Mac App Store! – Christian Correa Oct 14 '11 at 19:39

There currently isn't a way to do this. Especially with iCloud app downloading, I don't think there's any technical barrier to automatic updates. I think it's probably an intentional decision by Apple to keep app updates manual. That way, users are not surprised when an app suddenly changes UI or gains/loses features. However, I personally think the benefits of auto-updating are greater than the costs, especially for the users who never ever update apps.

I'd highly suggesting taking a trip to and submitting this as a feature request. I'd love to see this as a preference added in. Apple (surprisingly) does place a lot of stock in user feedback, so the more requests about a certain issue, the better.

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Sadly, as of iTunes 10.5.0, there is no way to do this.

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This is now possible for jailbreakers.

Check out "Auto App Updater" on the ModMyI repo.

It does exactly that! I just installed it and it's perfect. For those of you that are worried that it's a bad idea to update apps without making sure they don't have "major bugs" should turn off auto updates for your mission critical apps in the settings. Problem solved.

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