At todays 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 theyre 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 youre 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.
Developers will soon have the ability to let users stay in apps while an update downloads. Getting locked out of an app while it updates is probably the very definition of a first world problem, but Google is addressing it anyway. The company is introducing a new API for Android that will allow users to continue using apps while an update downloads in the background -- or boot them out of the app when it's a critical update. Google announced the In-app Updates API at its annual Android Dev Summit -- alongside support for foldable displays -- while celebrating 10 years of the OS. The API will give developers a couple options when it comes to updates. The first is a full-screen experience, which blocks use of the app until the update downloads and installs. That option is recommended to be used for important updates that need to be installed immediately -- critical security patches, bug fixes and the like. The other option is what Google is calling a flexible update. When enabled, users will be able to continue using an app while an update is downloaded. Developers will also be able to customize the update flow so it feels like it is part of the app. For now, the new In-app Updates API will only be available to Android developers who are early access partners. Google hasn't announced an official date that it will get wide release but said the API will be available to all developers soon.