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Android and the constant app updates

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by PhilipX20, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. PhilipX20

    PhilipX20 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I love using Android as my daily computer but the updates that are kinda like daily cn get pretty annoying, I don't get why developers need to make so many updates to their apps in such a short time. It'd be unerstandable if the app was broken but that's not the case for most apps, anyway.

    My solution to this is putting the apps on manual update so I'll only get to update them in a week or a month.

    Still, the Windows 10 updates are way worse. The Windows 10 updates take forever to install and it feels like you're installing a fresh copy of Windows 10, even though you aren't.
     



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  2. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    I'm just going to hop on the soapbox and rant a bit. When you have any kind of online presence you need to be aware of how dangerous the Internet has become, and it's only getting worse with no signs it will get better. Instead of viewing those frequent updates as an annoyance, you should look at them as a benefit. While you might focus only on arguably trivial feature updates and whatever inconvenience it is when applying them, a lot of updates involve bug fixes and security patches, something none of us should be ignoring. If you don't like updates, don't allow your device any online access. Or at least understand you're intentionally opening up yourself to things like identity theft or turning your device into a botnet. The Internet has devolved into a really hazardous entity, you're better off accepting the good and bad aspects of those frequent updates.
     
  3. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor

    There could be no front facing feature updates in the apps that updated, but it could have been a small code change that closed a backdoor for hackers.
     
  4. PhilipX20

    PhilipX20 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Good point about the bug fixes and security patches but on Windows it wasn't this often, though.
     
  5. psionandy

    psionandy Extreme Android User

    If you want to avoid frequently application updates, you could always move to a blackberry os device, or symbian, webos, palm or even epoc32
     
    svim likes this.
  6. PhilipX20

    PhilipX20 Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Those dvices are a bit outdated for me. I'll stick to use my Samsung Tab S2 as is.

    Symbian was great back in the days.
     
    zuben el genub likes this.
  7. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Extreme Android User

    If they fix security in an update, then say so. Most just say "added new emojis" or a language I don't speak. Since I don't game or use social apps, I tend to read what's being updated and 99% of the time it's something I don't want. At least my astronomy apps ask if I want the latest list for comets, etc. I don't bother, scope not big enough for real faint fuzzies. Some of the apps that want updating also aren't running since I've refused all permissions while I make up my mind whether or not to delete.

    I use Linux. I get a list of updates. What I do with it is my choice. I have an update for Firefox sitting in the list. I uninstalled Firefox the first thing and went to Waterfox. So why should I update Firefox?
     
    MoodyBlues likes this.
  8. Deleted User

    Deleted User Guest

    The most common message I see in many updates is "minor bug fixes". Bugs are a fact of life for software products. I usually wait for a time, and then install all the updates in one batch, rather than doing it daily.
    Put it this way, if you found an annoying bug in some app you were using, wouldn't you want the developer to fix it ASAP?
     
    kate and lunatic59 like this.
  9. kate

    kate Dreaming of Bugdroid.
    Moderator

    For anyone who doesn't know how to do this:
    1. Open the Play Store.
    2. In the top left corner tap the menu icon.
    3. Tap Settings.
    4. Tap Auto Update Apps.
    5. Tap the option you want. The WiFi option will only use WiFi. "Update apps anytime" can use your mobile data. "Do not auto update apps" will not update any apps.

    Select "Do not auto update apps" then when you want to update go to My Apps in the Play Store and it will show which ones have updates waiting.
     
  10. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Actually all of the really big publishers seem to give no information at all about their updates. You get told "update available", you look at it, and under "What's new" it says... exactly the same as it's said for the last 6 months.

    The word for this is "arrogance".

    That said, I can't myself say I feel I have an excessive number of updates. Sure, I have a handful every day, but I also have a lot of apps installed (and am on the beta programme for a few of them). I have noticed for a long time that if I get an update for an app it's not unusual to get another one a few hours later. Whether this is a bug in Google's systems (so they notify you of the same update twice) or developers who keep adding one more tweak after releasing (and of course don't update the changelog) I couldn't say.

    (And yeah, I don't auto update on any computer, app or OS. That's just me: I always tell them to notify me of updates and I'll make my choices - which almost always are to apply the update, but I don't let the software provider make the choice for me. You can guess from this that I don't use Windows 10 ;)).
     
    #10 Hadron, Jun 15, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  11. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Something like "Minor bug fixes" could actually mean "Added more advertisements", because the developer got greedy. I've known that happen with a couple of games, to the extent that the "updated" game was unplayable and completely ruined by intrusive ads, and then was marked down on the Play Store by users.
     
    MoodyBlues and Xavier Black like this.
  12. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    Well, everyone is chiming in with their opinions on the good and bad aspects of updates. I think update detractors are cherry-picking the bad points while ignoring the good. The bottom line is any kind of online access involves a lot of risk in today's world. There are literally hundreds of thousands of exploits that each specifically target the operating systems, computer applications, smartphone apps we use hours each day. Instead of dreading updates we should be appreciating them, it's evidence that some exploit is being addressed. Something that might prevent you from identity theft or other similar, very serious problem.

    At this point none of us as consumers can determine what all these updates actually apply to. Yes feature or other similar updates might not be necessary, and there are some updates that do create instability in an app or OS but those are pretty rare occurrences. An update might be apply to a feature update (or downgrade when we don't like them), or a bug fix, or a security patch. In an ideal world it would be nice to have updates categorized so those who chose to can pick what they want, but here in the real world the fact is there can be overlap between those feature/bug fix/security aspects so categorizing any update might involve a lot of subjective opinion, both by developers and by users.
    The bottom line is we're all tenuously connected to each other, the Internet itself is just a massive network, and that's a massive problem since as far as security issues things are getting really hazardous. Every few days there's a revelation about some online service that's been 'hacked', revealing user data in the thousands and often millions or billions. Some are internal oversights on bad procedure, but some are directly attributed to some network admin or web developer that ignored applying the necessary security update. A good example is the recent Equifax breach, which after months of varying false statements by management the truth was finally revealed -- a security update was ignored. (Specifically, an update for an Apache Struts web server application. A critical update that was available for several months prior to the 'hack'.) So this one intentionally ignored security update has resulted in a serious problem for billions of people that now have their current and past contact info, social security number, bank account number, and much more freely available online. (The number continuously grows as Equifax management is also continuously caught lying about the affected numbers.) Now multiple this kind of situation by thousands and that's a snapshot of just one day when it comes to the Internet. Lots of people have convinced themselves for various reasons to skip updating but it's a growing problem that in a large part we've created for ourselves.

    And that's the issue with just those 'annoying' updates to your Android device. Intentionally ignoring updates for selective reasons may be a personal choice on making your device less safe, but again, we're all connected to each other so doing something like allowing your device to become part of botnet has an impact on all of us.
    Regarding those little descriptive blurbs included with Play Store updates, they're essentially valueless. A developer may actually fill it in with a detailed message on what's being fixed or patched, or it might be just filled in wth that boilerplate, generic 'bug fix' terminology that can actually be just a bug fix to the base code or a serious security patch that's noted from the CVE database. On average I've noticed third-party developers are often better at providing actual details, while big corporations like Google typically reveal very little. But in either case it, for any user to base their decision on applying an app update on those blurbs isn't getting an accurate assessment. (Also, some very serious exploit fixes are intentionally not revealed up front because of timing issues -- if's often better for all involved to release a security patch ASAP to try to stay ahead of when some exploit is then revealed to the public. So that generic 'bug fix' could be just that, or it could in reality be something much more important.)
     
    Jfalls63, MoodyBlues and psionandy like this.
  13. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    You are aware that Waterfox if based on Firefox ESR, yes? If you're averse to security patches, Waterfox relies on Firefox ESR updates so your query is very conditional. Also, more on this here:
    https://www.howtogeek.com/335712/update-why-you-shouldnt-use-waterfox-pale-moon-or-basilisk/
    The article is focused on security aspects though, so if Waterfox is your preference because of user interface issues than that's certainly a factor, but as far as security it's still dependent on Mozilla.
     
  14. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Extreme Android User

    I'm also using it on Mint. It has to ask to update. I prefer my own security apps.

    I actually prefer Pale Moon which is Goanna. It's just having a rough patch with extensions right now. I like the looks of the old Netscape browsers and having toolbars handy. My keyboard is in a keyboard drawer which is usually shut. I like elbows on the table and a Wacom Tablet.

    On Windows, you can configure some security suites to take over the email - black and whitelisting included.

    The apps I use are usually more forthcoming. They are all in the paid category and do state exactly what they did update.

    Google will be taking some of that out of the phone maker's hands. Now they need to get the developers of apps to state what the update really does.
     
    #14 zuben el genub, Jun 16, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
    MoodyBlues likes this.
  15. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    NPAPI plugins are being phased out across the board, in the near future support for them will be dropped completely from all major browsers. When it comes to plugins like Adobe Flash, that time cannot come soon enough.
     
  16. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    My computer runs Windows.
     
    Jfalls63 and zuben el genub like this.
  17. psionandy

    psionandy Extreme Android User

    I think XKCD are on to something


    [​IMG]
     
    Hadron and zuben el genub like this.
  18. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Extreme Android User

    Mine runs Linux (Mint) and 7 Pro, too.
     
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