So you can install an app, go offline, try to use it, and realize that you can't because you did not install it after all but Google lied to you.
Google now supports uploading such modules to the Play store where they can be approved, analyzed and tracked, thereby allowing on-demand features without allowing third parties run arbitrary, unvetted executable code on your device.
If developers see even a small fraction of users choose uninstall, they won't force updates anymore. Nearly half of android users at any point in time have run out of space and can't install updates anyway.
Do you have a source for this? Not saying that you're wrong but I'd be very surprised if this was the case. In my experience Android is so laggy as to be completely unusable at anything above about 85% storage utilization. In fact it's the first thing I check when friends / family members complain about their phone being "slow".
I really like my Nook, but having Android and Google apps locking up so much of the internal space seriously impacts its usability.
Public storage is a different story, but that is not "any app" anymore.
I'm going back to Nokia.
I don't like this idea from a user experience point of view. I hate auto updates (on iOS) because I have been disappointed heavily more than a few times with some games that got worse (on ads or more ads or experience) or some apps that made bigger changes in how they work and how they charge users (like going to a subscription model from a fixed price model).
I also like to read the release notes of app updates so that I get to know about new features in a release. This is very cumbersome (or impossible) to know if auto-update is turned on. Some apps show the list of changes on launch of the new version, but this is up to the developers to do in a way that's not very intrusive while keeping it interesting. Ideally, there should be APIs for these, and users should be able to reject updates and stay on an older version if that's what they want (subject to some platform related restrictions or constraints).
Edit: It's ironical and amusing that Android, the (almost) "do whatever you want" OS on mobile, is the one forcing this on users first. Surely there'll be ways developed to disable this by/after rooting the device?!
Another example: venmo recently updated on my iPhone SE (very small 4" screen by modern standards). I can no longer send a payment request or pay a friend because the buttons for those options are literally displayed off screen. I can also no longer dismiss the "get the venmo card!" popup that appears a few times a day when I log in because, you guessed it, the dismiss/ok/cancel buttons are all rendered off-screen. I actually knew this was an issue prior to updating because of a friend, but auto-update pushed the new version to me before I could stop it and now I can't use venmo.
Software needs different release channels for different users. A lot of us would rather be on stable stuff than the bleeding edge. Of course, with modern alpha/beta testing techniques bugs are going to show up in most applications no matter what (looking at you, Spotify)... but it would at least help a little.
Whats the big deal exactly? Do you complain when a web page changes?
I have complained at web page regressions, especially when they sacrifice usability for visual improvements, but only when I have some sort of stake in the page, such as paying for the service or being a long time user who has contributed consistently.
And the specific part that galls me about this feature, which will result in nastrygram ratings and comments stems from this new "feature":
"Developers can force users to update, say with a full-screen blocking message, force-install the update in the background and restart the app when the download has completed or create their own custom update flows."
That is a hard no from me.
Given some of the responses to the Reddit and Slashdot redesigns...
There is a universe of difference between an app and a web page.
“The developer wants you to upgrade” is never a compelling reason to upgrade. Plenty of software gets worse and worse with every release, so it’s critical to at least allow users to stay on the older, better versions.
Developers can't commit to maintaining old web-facing APIs forever.
Why? The dev just says "the issue is fixed in the current release" or "we can only support current releases". Job done.
On Android, in offline scenario, the installer doesn't even know who is the author and whether it changed. Here, all it knows is the above: package name + key used to sign.
If I don't want to update now, I shouldn't have to. My device, my rules.
And this feature encourages bait and switching: free app is no ads and free, and then at update+1 gets malware installed for free on forced update. We've already seen this with optional updates - only now they won't rely on tricking the user. They'll just update.
If you didn't do that, then you really couldn't force the updates to the old versions.
I disagree. This will just encourage app devs to engage in more forced updates, and forced updates are always bad things.
The major case is game clients for multiplayer games where it doesn't make any sense to split your player community into older versions. Games across all platforms work this way so its nice to see a consistent UI for Android.
However, this will encourage the use of forced updates outside of that use case. That sounds like a terrible thing.
This might turn out to be a helpful feature from Google... then again it might turn out to be half implemented, have a confusing user experience, not work properly for most usecases, and mainly serve to confuse new developers with yet another thing to learn, when all they needed to do was a bit of HTTP and layout work. 8 years doing Android, I'm 50:50 about most of Google's "help" until I've seen it in action.
It has since been bought by Gaiam, where it was switched to a >4.99$ per month subscription, while offering little to no additional features. Furthermore when contacting the company they had no way of honoring my original purchase, the response was basically "too bad for updating, and here's 10% off a yoga mat".
I greatly fear the integrity of software ownership when it comes to apps. I love the model of paying a fixed price for a great software release that fulfills a need. I feel like there needs to be some way for the user to retain the state of an app or there's no longer the guarantee of keeping what you originally paid for. You're now at the whim of an vendor cutting features or putting them behind a paywall after the original sale.
Can developers add new permissions this way?
This makes an app account hijack even more dangerous.
As a result, this is a net negative and a further appleization of Google app store through removal of choice.
as a user ->i already switch to an app's beta ASAP, this makes doing that unnecessary(if the dev is smart about it and doesn't just force updates for monetisation)
People complaining are forgetting that apps aren't applications - they're small and easily forgotten/uninstalled unless they come up with something new and exciting - which right now is locked behind a clunky visit to the clunky play store. Apps controlling updates isn't me having less control - i always have the power to uninstall an app if it gets irritating about updates. The new feedback/rating system means that apps that mess this up will plummet rapider than before in the play store too!This feedback loop gives me more insight as a user into a devs practices vs before just hoping a popular app was decent about updates.
Google files explorer even encourages you to uninstall apps you don't use for a long time to save space - which (anecdotally) finally led me to nuking all adobe products from my phone and life and switching to arguably better paid app alternatives for mobile.
Yes, it totally is.
> i always have the power to uninstall an app if it gets irritating about updates.
So, if I have an app that works perfectly well, then it force-upgrades to a form that doesn't, my only choice is to stop using that app? I should be able to continue use the version that works for me. If I can't, then I don't have control over my own machine.
1.leave a bad review
2.uninstall the app
That is literally the contract between you and the app dev btw, they aren't obligated to try and keep users if it doesn't make sense business wise and you aren't obligated to stick with them any longer. This is the dark side of the freemium model i guess but how does it make sense for an app dev to provide you free use of their idea by you using an older version of their app(if their business model doesn't align with that)?
It has always been possible to implement on your own, and often was. It just removes additional friction. It's a feature intended for apps with security updates, or apps that require online communication with the server, like games.
Regardless of the intended use (whether or not that intended use justifies forced updates is a different question), it is certain that app developers will be using this for more things than that.