Android app update mechanism problems

Posted on .

The process of updating apps in Android is basically broken for my particular use case. Background: I’m not a heavy mobile user. I’m not chatting all day or browsing websites from my phone. When I’m at home, I prefer using the big screen in my computer and typing comfortably with a full-sized keyboard. I mostly grab my mobile phone when I’m out and when I need to use an IM app.

I would like to have a way to update my phone by reviewing the list of updates, tapping on an update button and simply waiting for it to finish. The current process looks like that but the last step is severely broken. The updating process stops soon after the screen goes off and changing the settings to keep the WiFi on even when the screen goes off doesn’t fix anything for me. I’ve tested that and several other workarounds I found in help sites to no avail. The only thing that works is preventing the screen from going off either by constantly fiddling with the phone or by temporarily modifying the settings so the screen does not go off (and then remembering to check if it’s finished from time to time!). I understand heavy users don’t have this problem because they can trigger the update process and let it run in the background while they use the phone.

Also, I don’t quite like that it downloads the updates one by one, even waiting for the installation process to finish before starting the next download. Every Linux package manager I know (I admit I don’t know many) downloads everything first, and even Windows Update (which I’ve criticized in the past for other reasons) does just that. Android makes the update process unnecessarily long, which contributes to the screen going off, etc.

On top of that, Google seems set to update about 7 or 8 of their apps every single week. Every. Single. Week. I like to have my software up-to-date, but… really? So every weekend, when I do my mobile phone update routine I receive the moment disinclined, in stark contrast with Fedora, where I’m usually a “dnf upgrade” and a happy minute away from having an up-to-date system the vast majority of weeks.

comments powered by Disqus