Dave Hamilton of the Mac Observer has a super metaphor for iOS 7’s coalesced updates:
“Alright, time for everyone to use the bathroom,” my father used to say on road trips. “But I don’t have to,” was the inevitable whine from (at least) one of us kids. Dad’s reply was always the same: “It wasn’t a question.”
My dad was focused on being as efficient as possible, of course. Instead of stopping for just one person to pee and then getting back on the road, it makes way more sense to have everyone pee at each stop. That at least prevents the inevitable inefficiency introduced ten minutes later when the next person feels nature urging them along.
OS X Mavericks does something similar, though with the CPU instead of the network. The results speak for themselves; Matt Gemmell has been retweeting battery life improvements all day. In both cases — iOS 7 and OS X — this efficiency is going to reveal itself in the battery consumption of the mobile products concerned. Very smart.