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Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 07:35 am PT (10:35 am ET)

iOS 7 beta: Developers, Sen. McCain applaud App Store auto-updates

Apple tweaked a lot of things for its forthcoming iOS 7 update, but there is one move in particular that has drawn cheers not only from the crowd of developers at WWDC, but from the halls of Congress: auto-updates for App Store software.

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Among the many changes announced with the unveiling of iOS 7 was the addition of automatic updates, which drew big applause from the crowd of developers, Apple fans, and press at Moscone Center. U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) also added his own voice to the chorus, tweeting his appreciation of Apple finally resolving what had for him been a pet peeve.

"Thanks to Tim Cook for the automatic iphone [sic] app updates!" McCain posted on Monday.

McCain's tweet hearkens back to a complaint the senator made in his closing remarks during a hearing on Apple's taxes held on Capitol Hill. The senior senator from Arizona repeatedly expressed his belief that Apple's policy of routing its overseas revenues through an Irish subsidiary amounted to tax avoidance.

Throughout his statements and questioning, though, McCain remained polite to Apple CEO Tim Cook and the other Apple executives in attendance. He and the other senators on the panel repeatedly expressed their admiration not only for Apple's products, but for the company itself, as well as its founder and current leaders. Ending his remarks, McCain struck a light tone.

"I'm out of time," the senator said to Cook, "what I really wanted to ask is why the hell I have to keep updating the apps on my iPhone all the time, and why you don't fix that."

The remark drew laughs from the hearing's attendees, including Cook, who responded, "Sir, we're trying to make them better all the time."



While Apple largely reinvented the smartphone market — giving it a much more app-centric focus in the process — the iPhone maker has been somewhat late to the game with regard to certain automation aspects. The ability to have apps automatically update is one of those aspects, as that feature has been built into iOS' main rival, Android, for some time.

The announcement of automatically updating apps for iOS 7 received one of the larger rounds of applause during Monday's keynote presentation. The Apple executives that took the stage made sure to point out that the update would contain scores of other new features.