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Android Dev Summit

Google's in-app update API gives Android devs new tools for pushing updates

The new experience comes from an In-app Updates API that is now in testing with early access partners and will reach developers in the coming future.

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 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 name change is meant to reflect the app's ability to help facilitate a smartphone owner's needs no matter which device they are using.

The tool, very appropriately dubbed the Google Play in-app update API, gives developers the ability to display dialog boxes in unupdated Android games or apps that either encourage players to update their copy to the latest version and allow them to do so while the app is still running. Originally created to help Android users in certain countries that do not have a lot of storage on their mobile devices, the app was quickly adopted worldwide.

The latter - which Google calls "flexible in-app update" - will be for new but not pressing features. With this, you can receive a notice from the app that an update is recommended, though, you can continue using the app normally while it updates in the background.

OK, so it's not exactly "updating as you use" as Google implies, but it's as near as dammit.

With a flexible in-app update, there is no full-screen update message.

Google director of engineering Aurash Mahbod said the company is testing the In-App Updates API in Google Chrome.

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