Being the stock app hub for Android smartphones and tablets, the Google Play Store is an integral part of the Android experience. It routinely gets new features and security patches that quash any existing bugs. The changelog from the November 2022 Play Store system update discussed a new prompt coming to the app market that would ask users to update a repeatedly crashing app if a new version is available. Months after we first learned of this, the company announced on its Android developer blog that it is launching the feature.
Every smartphone user, regardless of their preferred platform, has faced force-closing or crashing apps at some point. Google is taking it upon itself to inform Android users of such apps by letting them know that an update is available to remedy the problem.
More importantly, developers don’t need to do much to enable the prompt, with Google saying that its systems will automatically enable the popup when it ascertains that an update can improve the app crash rate. The screenshot below gives a better understanding of the new notification that will appear for a majority of Android users fairly soon. However, Google didn’t provide a specific timeline for the rollout.
This prompt will show up on phones and tablets running Android 7.0. The new prompt is generated by the Play Store, meaning it can appear even though the app it refers to keeps crashing.
Google further said it will use certain thresholds to determine the delivery of the prompt. These include gauging the user activity level based on data from Android vitals and setting limits on the number of times the prompt can appear for a particular user if they’ve declined to update the app.
It must be noted that apps installed outside the Play Store, such as through alternative app stores, will not receive these prompts. Google always recommends users to only download apps from reputed and legitimate sources, with the Play Store being the primary option.
Nevertheless, this feature addition is welcome, especially if you don’t have auto-update enabled for the Play Store. Android apps already offer similar prompts notifying users that a newer version is available. This modified prompt, however, specifically targets apps that are crashing or force closing.