Announced at today’s Android Dev Summit
At today’s Android Dev Summit, Google announced a new set of features as part of the Android App Bundle tool, including an In-app Updates API that will allow developers to more aggressively nudge users to download the latest version of an app.
To essentially force users into updating, devs now have two new options to hasten app updates. For pressing issues — such as security bug fixes — developers can display a full-screen message the next time a user starts up an app to notify them that an update is available. Users will also have the option to opt out of the update, in case they’re not connected to Wi-Fi, are low on battery, or whatever other reason.
For less urgent updates, the In-App Updates API will also allow users to continue using the app normally while the update is being downloaded in the background, with the new version applied on the next startup.
This is a big deal for both the end-user and developers behind popular and up-and-coming Android apps. If an app contains a critical bug, the API helps developers more urgently push users to update to the latest patched version instead of assuming users have automatic updates turned on. It also erases the inconvenience of waiting for an app to update if you want to keep using the app, especially if you’re working with low download speeds.
The new Updates API is still in early testing with a few Play Store app partners, with plans to expand to more (and eventually all) developers soon.