Google is changing the way your Android phone receives app updates. Rather than giving you a notification every time an update is downloaded and installed, the Google Play Store will handle things quietly in the background without pestering you.
These notifications rarely contain any information about what the update actually contains (bug fixes or new features) and are therefore of limited use.
It’s a simple solution to a small but frustrating issue, which happens when you plug your phone in to charge and the notification shade suddenly goes crazy as apps are updated automatically.
The change was first reported by Android Police in December, when alarmed Android users on Reddit began complaining about ‘missing’ app notification updates.
Google has now stepped in to clarify that this is actually a feature, not a bug, and we can expect to see far fewer notifications from the Play Store in future.
Although many users will welcome this change, not everyone is pleased and many have taken to Reddit to voice their complaints.
“It’s baffling,” said user Carighan. “It provides no benefit to the end user to not know what was updated, if anything one could think about automatically clearing the notification X hours after it happened. It also provides no benefit to developers, because for testing and for exposure you want users to know how active you are with updating!”
If you’d prefer to always be informed when an app receives an automatic update. you can revert the change by going to the Google Play Store’s settings, selecting ‘Notification settings’ and toggling the ‘Auto-updates’ switch.
You can also deactivate automatic updates here, enabling you to review the contents of each update and any substantial changes before it’s downloaded.