Android apps will update while you're using them

Isaac Cain
November 9, 2018

If a player opts into the update, the new version is then downloaded in the background while the app remains running and can either be installed once it's complete or the next time the app is minimized or closed. We've also redesigned the user experience to make sure that the content of your mobile phone is the focus when you use the app, all while keeping the same functions and playfulness that people love.

The new API gives developers two new ways to update the apps: flexible and immediate.

The feature was announced as part of Android's In-App Updates API, which Google said is now being tested and will launch to developers soon.

Essentially, the In-App Updates API can force users to update their apps.

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What it does do, however, is ensure that users can keep using the app indefinitely, rather than be stuck in a remote location with an edge connection (yes, some places still have those) waiting for a 48MB app to update.

Files by Google is an app that's very, very similar to what was first presented in the Android Go app called Files Go. With Immediate in-app updates, the application will show a notice as soon as the app is opened that an update is required in order to start using it.

OK, so it's not exactly "updating as you use" as Google implies, but it's as near as dammit. 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). Once the update is downloaded, simply restart the app and you're done. Google has added widely requested features in the latest In-app Updates API.

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