Some Android apps will soon update even while still in use

Android Dev Summit

Naturally, I go into Google Play to see if there is an update, only to find almost half of the apps on their phone in need of updating.

Google has introduced a new developer tool aimed at encouraging Android users to update apps to the current version though in-app prompts. The prompt comes when the user starts an app, they must update it before using it.

In the meantime, Google published "Android Enterprise Security", a white paper detailing the new enterprise-centric security features that have been added to Android after Pie's release in August.

According to the example provided by Google, the first one - called "immediate in-app update" - will also have an on-screen pop up, letting you know that an update is available. The Android Developers blog says that the "update flow" can be customized to feel like part of the app (see GIF at the top of this article).

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But Google noted that the app has grown to 30 million monthly users, some of which were using powerful phones with plenty of storage.

Google is enabling users to have up-to-date Android apps all the time - without making any efforts to download them by visiting Google Play. Mahbod also said Google will expand the In-App Updates API to its Early Access Program "very soon". The API provides a couple of options to Android developers to push latest updates to their apps.

OK, so it's not exactly "updating as you use" as Google implies, but it's as near as dammit. Now, in keeping with its view of the future for the Next Billion Users (Google's capitalization), the app has a new UI as well as a new name.

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