How mobile users get notified of new app version
Question
Application Type
Mobile

We have developed native mobile app for both Android and iOS platforms and we now have few thousands users using our app (OS 11)

We are now planning a major release of the app which includes completely new UI, new Plugins (push notifications, analytics, metrics measurements) plus update to existing functionality.

We do understand that this type of upgrade will require the user to re-install the new version of the App from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store (referencing this page: https://success.outsystems.com/Documentation/11_x_platform/Delivering_Mobile_Apps/Mobile_App_Update_Scenarios).

What we are not sure about is how the existing app users would be notified that a new version is now available on the Play/App Stores so that they go and download the new version of the app. For example, for minor upgrades, the user usually get a blue banner message notification on the app that it was updated (automatic updates). But for a major app  upgrade like the one we are planning, would the users get any message on the app to notify them that a new version of the app is available for them to download? 

Also, if the user download the new version of the app, is that going to override the currently (old) installed app or would the user end-up seeing 2 apps (the old and the new)?

Appreciate your feedback.

Champion
Solution

Hi,

Sharing my thoughts on same :

- What we are not sure about is how the existing app users would be notified that a new version is now available on the Play/App Stores so that they go and download the new version of the app. For example, for minor upgrades, the user usually get a blue banner message notification on the app that it was updated (automatic updates). But for a major app  upgrade like the one we are planning, would the users get any message on the app to notify them that a new version of the app is available for them to download?  

For the minor updates It will get sync for sure !!

For Major updates [ let's say a plugin added] in this case you have to forcefully update the APK installed, what ypu can do is.. Generate a new build & submit on store then once approved you can use :

 - AppVersion Plugin to fetch the Installed version on UserDevice Link
- Create a Server-Action that will tell you whether the installed version is outDated or not
- If found outdated you can invoke a custom popup & redirect to the respective store as per device OS[ Android/iOS]
- Note: You can use System Module: Application, App_Mobile_Config, Espace & Mobile_Platform entities to find the versionNumber  you have on Server


So basically the moment you generate a build; the user has to upgrade from the store.. as of you manually tc of this.

- Also, if the user download the new version of the app, is that going to override the currently (old) installed app or would the user end-up seeing 2 apps (the old and the new)?
No, because the package-name i.e AppIdentifer is same & hence the Mobile Operating System will update the existing APK.


 

Hope it Helps,
Assif

Assif. Thank you for your reply.

Your suggestion actually did provide me with good guidance to recommend a solution for our business in order to ensure that the user is notified of new app releases.

I think what we will do, before the major app release, is to do a minor upgrade to the current app with ability to check if there is a newer app version available and notify the user when they open the app. This will get around the issue of ensuring the user is notified with the latest app releases.

I totally agree that whatever we do for the new app version must not break the old app as we may still have users using it. So we should not change/update/modify any server side action that the old app depends on. I don't think this will be the case for us but it is something we need to be mindful of (perhaps even completely regression test the old app to ensure it is working as expected).

Again, thank you for your suggestions.


Maitham

Hi Maitham,

Thanks for query, could you please check these links Mobile app update scenerio and How to update. Let us know its helps you out or not.

Regards, 

Shubham 

Shubham. Thank you for the reply.

We understand the update scenarios and we have no issues with updating the app.

We are just asking what the end user experience is going to be when a major app update is released on the App/Play Store. Would the user automatically get notified when they open the old app, that a new app version is now available and they have to download it? or would the user get no notifications whatsoever?

Since we have few thousands users already using our old app, we want to plan the upgrade and migration path correctly so the user experience is very very important to us.

I am just asking to see if anyone has done a major OS native app upgrade and how they notified the end users that a major release was available and that they must now download the new version.

Again, we understand that OutSystems updates the native app automatically if the update was 'minor' but for 'major' updates, the user will have to download new version of the app (the app won't update automatically) so how would the user know that a new major release was now available on the App/Play Store? would OutSystems display notification on the app?

Champion

We are just asking what the end user experience is going to be when a major app update is released on the App/Play Store. Would the user automatically get notified when they open the old app, that a new app version is now available and they have to download it? or would the user get no notifications whatsoever? 

No, it will not Handle this Update; It will try to update the possible stuff & for the new implementation it's the developer's responsibility to handle backward compatibility. Any major release you have to prepare that version to support/handle at least the usecases.
For ex:

Version-1: Released
Version-2: Has Firebase Integration [ Now this version should skip/handle the logic so that it should not affect the version-1 build; you may refer to version comparison implementations.]


As Outsystems recommend :

After these changes are published, the experience of the users with outdated apps may suffer some impact. In the case of plugins, it is a good practice to include fallbacks in the apps to avoid crashing until the last version is installed on the device. These potential issues are automatically fixed when the user upgrades to the latest app package.





Champion
Solution

Hi,

Sharing my thoughts on same :

- What we are not sure about is how the existing app users would be notified that a new version is now available on the Play/App Stores so that they go and download the new version of the app. For example, for minor upgrades, the user usually get a blue banner message notification on the app that it was updated (automatic updates). But for a major app  upgrade like the one we are planning, would the users get any message on the app to notify them that a new version of the app is available for them to download?  

For the minor updates It will get sync for sure !!

For Major updates [ let's say a plugin added] in this case you have to forcefully update the APK installed, what ypu can do is.. Generate a new build & submit on store then once approved you can use :

 - AppVersion Plugin to fetch the Installed version on UserDevice Link
- Create a Server-Action that will tell you whether the installed version is outDated or not
- If found outdated you can invoke a custom popup & redirect to the respective store as per device OS[ Android/iOS]
- Note: You can use System Module: Application, App_Mobile_Config, Espace & Mobile_Platform entities to find the versionNumber  you have on Server


So basically the moment you generate a build; the user has to upgrade from the store.. as of you manually tc of this.

- Also, if the user download the new version of the app, is that going to override the currently (old) installed app or would the user end-up seeing 2 apps (the old and the new)?
No, because the package-name i.e AppIdentifer is same & hence the Mobile Operating System will update the existing APK.


 

Hope it Helps,
Assif

Assif. Thank you for your reply.

Your suggestion actually did provide me with good guidance to recommend a solution for our business in order to ensure that the user is notified of new app releases.

I think what we will do, before the major app release, is to do a minor upgrade to the current app with ability to check if there is a newer app version available and notify the user when they open the app. This will get around the issue of ensuring the user is notified with the latest app releases.

I totally agree that whatever we do for the new app version must not break the old app as we may still have users using it. So we should not change/update/modify any server side action that the old app depends on. I don't think this will be the case for us but it is something we need to be mindful of (perhaps even completely regression test the old app to ensure it is working as expected).

Again, thank you for your suggestions.


Maitham

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