HOW are apps able to push updates without me manually going and updating the app?

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Specifically, im talking about TikTok and Facebook. Around the time TT added the tap and hold fast forward, I turned off auto-updates bc the ads were getting worse. Since then, there’s now the ads when you first open the app AND the ones when you watch a video to the end.

Also, when FB added the AI search bar, I deleted it, downloaded an APK from early 2023 and turned off auto-updates. It was fine at first, but I just saw that the AI search bar was added again.

How can these apps add features like this without me updated the app myself?

In: Technology

2 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

many apps these days are just webpages. The app that you download from the store is just a web browser that only renders that webpage. The app then askes Facebook’s servers “Yo, what ‘webpage’ should I be rendering from the user today?” and Facebook sends out the current copy of the “app”

Another potential problem I have noticed is auto-updates in play store dont seem to turn off correctly per app, I had to turn of ALL updates to prevent auto-updates for any apps.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Sometimes tech companies will put features behind flags that they turn on and off remotely. There’s a few reasons to do this: 

* they’re concerned that the feature could overwhelm their servers, so they turn it for just a few people at a time, and see how it goes

* the code has been finished for a while, but wasn’t tested. Once the code has been tested, they’ll turn on the feature.

* sometimes they want to see how users respond to the feature. Amazon does this a lot. Like, if we put this new thing on our pages, are customers more likely to buy the item? So they’ll split their users in half, give one of them the feature and see if they get the result they wanted.