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Crashing Android apps will now tell you to install an update to fix them

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The Play Store will make sure you’re on the latest version when your app won’t work


Despite all the testing and prototyping Android developers do to make sure that their products run well on your favorite Android phone, apps can sometimes just break and won’t start at all anymore. While it’s a rare occurrence, it’s a hassle to troubleshoot and fix, especially if you’re not well versed in tech. To combat this, Google is rolling out a prompt that will automatically ask you to install a Play Store update for a crashing app, if one is available.

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As part of the November 2022 Play Store system update changelog, Google notes that it will “help users to resolve app crashes with new update prompts.” Esper.io Android expert Mishaal Rahman dug into the Play Store app’s code to find out more about how this will work and what it will look like. He found relevant strings pointing at what text you will see in the case of a repeatedly crashing app that has a Play Store update available:

Update the app to fix crashes

The app stopped working, but the latest update for the app may fix the issue. Install the update and then open the app again. If you want to update later, go to %1$s in Google Play.

While it’s never ideal to have an app crash when you need to use it, this prompt will make it easier to get a quick fix. Based on the strings, it will likely be possible to update the app in question right away from the prompt, though it’s good that it’s also including instructions on how to do it later in case you don’t have a good internet connection when you run into the crash.

The functionality is likely related to the update prompt that apps can optionally send out to you when you launch them. This is meant to make sure that you’re always up to date and secure, which is more and more important these days as we trust our apps and devices with sensitive data.

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