Automatic download of new versions was not hooked up until .2407, so with the version currently on Stable, you’d only see the “download manually” menu item, yes. .2407 or later offer automatic download (the menu will show progress, in this case, and/or offer to “exit and update now”). I will check whether this automatic download handles the free version as well (as that sues a different download mechanism), and if not, will make that work for a near future update.
Correct, only the latest Stable channel is available as free download (as Trial, and for users of the free Silver compiler). Access to weekly Preview/Experimental builds is open of the perks of the paid license.