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

Google's new in-app update API comes in two flavors that offer devs different ways to encourage Android users to update their apps to the latest version through in-app prompts.

Alissa McAloon, Publisher

November 7, 2018

1 Min Read

Google has introduced a new developer tool aimed at encouraging Android users to update apps to the current version though in-app prompts. 

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.

As detailed in the Android Dev Summit, The API comes in two flavors: immediate and flexible. Immediate displays a full-screen message right when a player boots up an Android app that prompts them to update the app. That update is then downloaded and installed right then and there, from within the app itself.

The flexible option gives devs the ability to nudge app users towards updating to the latest version of an app through more subtle banners in the app. 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.

Right now, the in-app update API is being tested through the Android Google Chrome app and with select partnered developers, but Google plans to expand that early access program in the near future. 

About the Author(s)

Alissa McAloon

Publisher, GameDeveloper.com

As the Publisher of Game Developer, Alissa McAloon brings a decade of experience in the video game industry and media. When not working in the world of B2B game journalism, Alissa enjoys spending her time in the worlds of immersive sandbox games or dabbling in the occasional TTRPG.

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