Following the Readers’ Choice award and our holiday hiatus, the Android Police weekend poll is back. The first question of 2020 is simple: Do you have the Play Store set to automatically update apps on your phone or not?
For most, it’s probably a good idea that you have the auto-update setting enabled. It might seem obvious to some, but app updates don’t just introduce changes in looks or new features, security enhancements and bug fixes are also usually delivered with new versions — even if many app changelogs (including Google’s) reveal basically nothing about what’s new most of the time. That said, sometimes it’s handy to disable auto-update for just a single app if you’ve manually rolled it back to an older version for a particular reason, though keep in mind the security risk you could be taking when you do.
However, if you’re big into tech and seeing precisely what’s new, like the editors here at Android Police, then disabling auto-updates has its own advantages. I personally like to see what’s new when it lands on my phone, going through both changelogs and the apps themselves to check out tweaks for myself when I see updates land. That’s a whole lot easier for me to do when they aren’t silently updating all the time in the background.
If you didn’t know this was a thing, or you aren’t sure what your phone is set to do, the setting lives in the Play Store app in the sidebar navigation menu -> Settings -> Auto-update apps. If you’ve already got it disabled, then you’re probably used to seeing the prompt to enable auto-updates in the updates tab for your app list, which appears sometimes. As previously mentioned, you can also disable auto-updates on a per-app basis, too, via the three-dot menu on Play Store app listings.
So, is auto-updating enabled or disabled on your phone? And if it’s turned off, we’d be curious to know why.