iOS 7: What's That Pale Blue Dot Next to App Names?

In iOS 7, from time to time, a pale bue dot will appear in front of the app's name. What is that exactly?

For example, if you look closely, you may see something like this on your iPad or iPhone.

Those pale blue dots are not the Earth, as seen from 6 billion kilometers by Voyager 1. Rather, they indicate that the app was recently updated and has not yet been launched since the update.

The pale blue dot will appear either if iOS 7 updated the app with Automatic Updates or if the user updated it manually. (Here's a Quick Tip on how to turn Automatic Updates on and off.)

After you launch that newly updated app, the blue dot will be gone.

The ostensible reason for the the blue dot is to let the user know that an app has been updated. If the user wasn't expecting that or didn't want that, it's a good thing to know before the app is launched.