I’ve stopped automatically updating my mobile Android apps

Google Play Logo

I have had enough and stopped allowing automatic updates to my Android apps from Google Play. Done. Finished. Period.

With each new release flying out the door from the majority of the developers I have seen slowness, features stop working, loss of account data and constant crashing. Reviews from other users pour in with the same complaints. I have reloaded my OS cleanly.  The phone is brand new. It is the apps.

Let’s talk about some examples that I reverted back at least one or two versions:

  • Foursquare – crashes, location issues being too far away with GPS and wifi on, force closes
  • Waze social GPS – resetting of privacy, crashes, forced Facebook hooks
  • Fring – loss of friends, requirement of Fring Out, loss of deposited funds
  • Square Register – forced wifi (even if none available) for some transactions
  • Shazam – numerous “connection cannot be made” complaints scared me off
  • Facebook – An introduced slowness on refreshes, crashes, loss of picture uploading abilities

That is a starter list of applications I am refusing to update from Google Play.  I keep checking back in on them and look for more recent updates that may have fixed issues.

I know there are so many different Android devices and flavors to account for.  I know that it is hard to cover them all.  But when users across all types of newer devices have the same complaint, something in the code went wrong and leads me to think testing was not done enough.

I appreciate Flipboard for example.  I have been on four of their latest beta builds. We can report bugs, UI issues and more.  When I load the new gold update I never have an issue. They are testing it right.  While they are larger, no matter what you size you need better testing.

So what about you? Are you allowing Android to update all your mobile apps automatically? Have you switched to manual and started reading reviews first? Give me some feedback here, Google Plus or Twitter.

  • Ant Pruitt

    I see what you’re saying, Chris. I’m gonna keep updating, but yeah that latest Skype update for my tablet bugs me.

    -RAP, II

  • http://twitter.com/aponte Andreas

    I think I’ve stopped updating automatically about a year ago after reloading the OS for the third time in a short time frame. My secondary phone runs Android and had issues with the phone getting sluggish and slow, crashing now and then but most annoying was the very bad quality of some app updates. So similar experience and yes, I’ve started reading reviews and skipping more than one update for apps.

  • Gayathri

    I stopped updating my android phone with auto updates about an year back. Now I am very careful what apps I load and when I update them. Definitely the reviews help!!

  • Vitor Pereira

    Funny, never had such problems in 2 years. Are you using a device with vanilla Android or something loaded with vendor/network provider bloatware?

  • http://TheSocialNetworker.com IdoNotes

    I run the stock load that Sprint puts on for ICS. All the providers include something. This isc one was better than the 2.x versions I had on my old phone

  • Vitor Pereira

    Right, vendors/network providers do a much better job of breaking
    Android than app developers. I’m running pure Android 4.1.2 on a Nexus S and don’t see any of that.

  • http://TheSocialNetworker.com IdoNotes

    LOL. I just updated Skype for my desktop at work. Lets see how it goes.

  • http://TheSocialNetworker.com IdoNotes

    Good to know I am not alone in this.

  • http://TheSocialNetworker.com IdoNotes

    The reviews that have some details behind them are helpful. The one star with “this sucks” are not

  • Ant Pruitt

    The desktop version seems to be better. Not as resource heavy as before (FINALLY)

    Still pissed about my Android version updating.

    -RAP, II

  • http://twitter.com/RupertClayton Rupert Clayton

    I also have stopped automatically updating Android apps, but the main reason is because I can’t afford to have my on-device storage taken up by the carrier’s bloatware updates. I have an HTC EVO 4G on Sprint with Gingerbread (2.3.5). I need access to my corporate network, which means I’m not allowed to root the device, so I’m stuck with such valuable pre-installed apps as “Sprint Football Live” and “Nascar”. If I allow these bloatware apps to autoupdate then my onboard storage is sucked up by the never-ending patches. Instead, I have reverted them back to stock and disabled updates. It’s just about the only way I can keep enough free memory for the phone to run.

  • http://TheSocialNetworker.com IdoNotes

    Interesting. I have the 4G LTE device now but plenty of space. No NASCAR or Sprint Football Live. I did have those on my Sprint EVO as you did with older android and did run out of space. Phone upgrade?

  • http://twitter.com/RupertClayton Rupert Clayton

    I think the HTC EVO is coming up to its second birthday, so yes, an upgrade may be in the cards.

  • hid xenon

    The Car electronics equipment improve its simplicity, comfort and safety
    these years.Drivers can use car horn to alert others. Car fog
    lamps
    and hid
    xenon
    provide light on special occasions. Car compressor and starter
    motor
    ensure the safety of driving.Regularly checking of
    auto
    bulbs
    is required.

  • http://www.bilal.ca/ Bilal Jaffery

    Why can you not root the device? I’ve managed to run rooted devices on corporate networks in the past and admins didn’t care at all. (In fact, as long as policy is enforced, it doesn’t matter at all). I just wanted a better OS ROM on my device.

  • http://TheSocialNetworker.com IdoNotes

    I don’t want to root my device and that doesn’t solve the issue with quality control of the application layer. I am stil finding (8 months later now since I wrote this article) that application updates are worse then the predecessor. Facebook, Foursquare and some others will not get updated until the reviews start turning to the positive.

  • http://www.bilal.ca/ Bilal Jaffery

    Blame this on the need to monetize on mobile. Most startups are struggling to find a way to survive and hence the gimmicks, bloated attempts and lack of QA — just to be the #1 download in the app store.

  • Rupert Clayton

    Most corporate environments require their MDM software to be installed as a pre-requisite for allowing corporate data on the device. And generally, MDM default policies include a prohibition on devices that have been rooted or jail broken. In my specific case, our IT overlords have chosen MaaS360 and our policy doesn’t allow rooting.

    But thanks Bilal and Chris for the comments, ‘cos it reminds me that I really do need a device upgrade. :-)

  • http://www.bilal.ca/ Bilal Jaffery

    I guess I’ve been lucky. I’ve always attempted to load up the Google AOSP based roms and in scenrio like yours, I would load it up and then just unroot before installing the MDM policy.

  • http://TheSocialNetworker.com IdoNotes

    Yes, I hate the bloated vendor loads for sure. Most apps I use have nothing to do with with things like the Sprint Zone that is always pushing notifications and you cannot easily remove without rooting