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20 April 2023

Automatic Update Prompts for Crashing Apps

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Posted by Kurt Williams, Product Manager, Google Play

We are excited to announce a new feature that will help you to increase the rollout velocity of app updates and meet Play’s quality bar. On phones and tablets running Android 7.0 (SDK level 24) and above, the Play Store will prompt users to update your app if it crashes in the foreground and a more stable version is available. This will reduce your user-perceived crash rate.

Update the app to fix crashes dialog
The Play Store can now automatically prompt users to update your app after a user visible crash.

What you need to do: nothing!

These new prompts don’t require any integration by you and are enabled automatically when Play determines that a newer version of your app has a statistically relevant, lower crash rate. Furthermore, since the dialog is shown by the Play Store and not your app, the update prompt can be shown even if your app crashes on startup.

Data driven improvement over time

There are a few thresholds we take into account, which we will tune over time to achieve the best outcome. These include:

  1. User activity level of an app version according to Vitals to ensure we have statistical relevance
  2. Foreground crash rate of an app version and of its newer version
  3. Number of times a prompt can be shown for each version of your app on a device, if the user doesn’t choose to update

We believe that this new feature will help your users update to the best available version of your app, and help you deliver the best experience to your users.

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