Android Market: App Update Notifications Broken?


android-market-updateIf you have an Android Application downloaded and a newer version of that application is available in Android Market, you’ll usually get a status notification and when viewing the app in the market it will have a very visible “Update Available” next to it (see image). At least it SHOULD – users worldwide are experiencing problems with the feature.

I’ve been getting tips for a couple days on this and it is now quite obvious the problem is widespread. Longtime AndroidForums member Dkaufman1 has shared his own frustrations, linking to a Google Support Page showing the problem does indeed seem to be affecting the masses.

I’m wondering if Google is aware of the problem – if they aren’t yet I’m sure they will be soon. I’m also wondering if this problem could be caused by users installing leaked ROM versions – even ROMs that were supposedly leaked “official” ROMs but perhaps without a few lines of important code somewhere that carriers/google added in at the last second. Surely all those cupcake delays were for a reason, right?

The App Update Notification is a small yet pretty crucial feature that a lot of people are going to miss until the problem is fixed. If you didn’t know it was gone, I bet you’ll suddenly start missing it pretty badly. What you don’t know can’t hurt you but guess what? Now you know!

[Thanks to Dave Kaufman and everyone else who sent this in (remind me if you did and I’ll add your name/linkhere… unless you’re lying) ! ]

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

SuperHero: HTC Sense on HTC Dream/G1

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  1. I posted this in the forums a few days ago.

    I can see the “Update available” status ONLY when looking in the Marketplace Apps and Games sections, but not in the “My Downloads” section.

    if ATrackDog is to be believed, there are even a few that are escaping that, as I’ve been notified that the new version of Google Maps I have isn’t the most recent, even though the market says it is everywhere I look.

    Additionally I’ve been getting “update availabe” notifications in the shade, but when I go to “My Downloads” the same thing — no updates in that section.

    I noticed in my thread someone said that the indexes are messed up and the only way to fix them all at once is to do a factory reset.

  2. I was having issues with the update notification not appearing even before I installed the “official” US version of cupcake.

  3. my wife shows updates available but nothing shows as having an update when you view the installed app page. very odd stuff

  4. the same thing here…
    actually i’m expecting an update in order to take care of cupcake’s fails…

  5. Whew, I thought it was just me. Glad to hear this. Well, not glad, but… you know what I mean.

  6. The update notifications worked for a few days after getting cupcake. Now I only see updates in the market place. I’m not using any leaked rom either.

  7. I’m running standard official cupcake and am having the same problem.

  8. Make sure you visit and comment in the Android Market – Google Support Page thread mentioned in the article (Google forums) more voices, more power. I hope they remedy this soon.

  9. This just shows, we need a PC app to download and sync apps!

  10. I’m also wondering if this problem could be caused by users installing leaked ROM versions

    Wonder all you like — as one of the commenters on the support page who have clearly mentioned that we’re only using OTA firmware updates, I think that’s pretty decidedly not the issue.

  11. Yeah I noticed the problem too. I can manually update the app but it doesn’t show up as “update available” in my downloads. I initially thought that it was an isolated issue but now I see that it is a widespread problem.

  12. Same as everyone else. Thought it was just me at first. Glad to see that users have already started clamoring, and I’ll join in for added measure. how am I supposed to know if an updated version is out without scrolling through the entire apps list until I find my app?

  13. Yea, I’ve been having the same problem for awhile too. Additionally, the ‘updates available’ notification has NEVER worked for me since it was introduced.

    For right now, aTrackDog it is…

  14. This is also being discussed over at the official T-Mobile forums. So far, no one has been able to get T-Mobile or Google to acknowledge the problem.

  15. i have this problem too… a very small flaw yet very annoying. i installed the “official” update manually shortly before it was released OTA

  16. Dont miss to increase pressuro on google support by posting that you also have the problem on:

  17. Wow, I figured this was just my phone and would eventually sort itself out. For me it started by saying five updates in the shade (for example), but there were only three actually (well, supposedly) available when I went to my downloads.

    Now it never tells me automatically about updates, and going to the my downloads page shows no updates. And going into each app on that page never shows an update available. It’s either through browsing the market or clicking on “view more apps by this developer” button.

    Which brings me to why I posted – my tip if you don’t want to install aTrackDog is to do this. If you know there’s an update or want to know, then the best way I’ve found (rather than browsing the market hoping to find your app) is to go to the app in question through “my downloads” and then go to “view more apps by this developer”. That way you’ll see the ‘new’ updated versions.

    I must say, this all started after the Google Maps second update. Anyone else notice that coincidence?

  18. I’ve had my G1 since Dec, and I’ve only had that Update Notification TWICE. It really does not work as it should. Sometimes, it goes off when I go to My Downloads, and can clearly see for myself that I have a new update.

  19. I thought im the only one with this problem, however i’ve switched to “track dog”, hopefully google will get to fix this soon

  20. I have always been using only the official firmware releases and I too see this issue.

    I’m seeing the same behavior as Jason D mentioned. I was thinking it was something I did, since this happened just after I played around with the Notification option in the Market app (didn’t know it was there before). Good to know it’s not just me.

    Btw, I do see “update available” in the “My Downloads” section for apps that I haven’t updated in a long while (because I didn’t care for the new features). But for apps that I updated often (probably ones which were up to date when this issue started) I don’t see the “Update available” in the “My Downloads” section.

    Hope the fix this soon. As for aTrackdog, well it’s not always right because the internal versions sometimes slip thru and get into aTrackdog.

  21. Hi their I tipped you off :)

    Also , I have this problem and i have the original phone not modified at all runnong cupcake , the HTC Magic

    Chan man :D

  22. mine had an update and i went to do the update and it gave me a problem and force close. then there was no more update so i thought it just took place. ha.

  23. I’ve had the same problem, and like other here, thought it was just me, and that it would just go way on its own. It’s been weeks, and no fix…

  24. I have been having the same problem as well. Starting using aTrackdog to get updates. Updated some apps with it then was notified that there was an update in the notification area (default marketplace notification). Sure enough, I went to my downloads and saw a game needing an update. Updated just fine. It may be fixed now. Maybe it was a certain app that was jacking it up. Connectbot and K-9 was what I had updated with aTrackdog.

  25. within 15 minutes of this post my phone alerted me of an update available. i manually installed cupcake a week before the ota. i expect its a problem within the marketplace itself and not a firmware issue

  26. I’ve had the same problem as everyone else. After reading this I decided to check “my downloads” just for kicks… and it showed “update available” for a few apps for the first time in a week or so. Perhaps the issue is being resolved.

    Try checking your “my downloads” now…

  27. Its fixed!! Woo!

  28. Was having the same problem yesterday but just checked and it is showing apps available for update again, for me at least.

  29. Hmm, nothing seems to want to download now, they all get stuck at “Starting download…” on both Wifi and Edge

  30. Everything working again as normal this morning (UK).


  31. All looks to be working at this time in USA

  32. Agreed the MyDownloads are updated, but the update notification icon did not alert me.

  33. Yes! I thought I was the only one! For over a week at least I’ve had this same problem, and then my girlfriend had this also. AND I can’t download anything from the market. It hangs up on the ‘authorizing credit card’ or ‘starting downoad’ screen. Will stay like that for days. Only way I’ve found to download things now is i shut off my phone n turn it back on. That usually causes my downloads to complete. What’s up with this?

  34. I just got an update notification this morning (U.S. EST). Looks like it’s working again!

  35. Got update notification last night. I guess its working. Oh Yeah!

  36. Still not working for me. I have to manually check for updates and currently have a download pending from the market for the last 6 hours

  37. I still think this may have issues. It started right after the cupcake upgrade– The notifications bar would show “you have 5 updates” and when I would go to the market there would only be 3 listed… I was a little confused on what I was missing. Then like everyone else, my updates stopped wholly for the past week or so… restarting last evening. I’m pretty sure the status bar again showed a different number of updates available than actually showed in “my downloads.” Anyone else noticing this discrepancy?

  38. Download from market still says ‘starting download’. 10+ hours now. I’ve had downloads that hung up for more than a day already. Only way I’ll get it to finish is if I restart my phone.

  39. It seems to be working again. It started showing more apps as “Update available” under the My Downloads section.

    For the people complaining about the Downloads getting stuck. That issue has been there from day 1. Just cancel and retry it and don’t leave the details page of that app till it’s installed. That generally takes care of the issue for me. I think it’s some bug in that code that makes sure the download happens in the background and does not try to burn your battery by continuously trying to download.

  40. @sk: no, this has never happened until the cupcake update. I downloaded things all the time and nothing like this ever happened. Hell, I was downloading 5 apps at a time sometimes. Now, my downloads won’t work unless I RESTART MY PHONE. Cancelling and starting the d/l again DOESN’T WORK. And my updates aren’t showing up in My Downloads, either. Just checked by looking at my downloads, then checked for apps in the regular market and it shows my updates there.

  41. Oh and my girlfriend just received a new g1 from our insurance company, it didn’t have 1.5 on it yet. She could download things no problem. Then, it sent her the update notice and when it finished she had the same problem downloading things.

  42. I’m facing the same problem. A lot of force close problems. I tried to download new applications and the feedback was currently downloading more than three weeks now. We are not enjoying from our phones as we thought.

  43. I’ve noticed that the downloads hang at “starting download” more often on wifi than they do on EDGE or 3G. Tried to download NubiNews Reader 4 times on wifi and it hung every time. Turned wifi off and restarted and it downloaded instantly. I wonder if there’s just some issues with the market and wifi?

  44. Had this problem for 6 months. I’m really bent about this. I have 15 updates available and mine hangs at starting download. I’ve tried all the basic stuff. Why is there not a fix? Inferior product. Iphone on the way. Users shouldn’t have to worry about this. Slackers!

  45. Hey,
    have a look at the “App Update Notifier” android app. It will notify you about updates for your installed apps :)

  46. Yup my update notification don’t work either because even though its small but I like the feature for its convenience.

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