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Facebook looking to push updates outside of the Google Play Store

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Facebook looking to push updates outside of the Google Play Store
It sounds like Facebook is getting tired of having to go through Google in order to offer updates to Android users. This is actually a pretty interesting idea. There are reports that Facebook is going to try pushing updates to its Android app outside of the Google Play Store, meaning users would still install the app initially through Play, but updates after that would come straight from Facebook. This functionality would only be for Android users, because this sort of thing would be impossible on iOS. 

The reason why it's interesting is that it helps Facebook to avoid a big problem with any platform (aside from the web, of course): people are really lazy about updating software. The higher into the tech elite you go, the less true this is, but for the vast majority of users, updating software is something that becomes habit to ignore. Google Play does offer automatic app updates, but that feature isn't on by default, so the ones who really need it, don't use it (unless the option is toggled by that person's "tech savvy" friend or family member.) 

The idea is that Facebook would be able to avoid this trouble, and offer the app updates directly to users automatically, which would make it much easier for Facebook to ensure everyone was using the same software. The updates would only be downloaded over WiFi, and won't use your data plan. 

There are a couple troubles with the idea though. First, it's unclear if Facebook is even allowed to offer an app with this sort of functionality in the Play Store to begin with. The only other apps that we can think of that do this would be the Amazon Appstore, and Swype, and neither are offered through the Play Store. And, would Facebook be able to get enough users to get the app outside of the Play Store. More importantly, this presumably would have to be done through sideloading, which opens up strange security risks when that option is toggled on the device of someone who doesn't really understand the implications.

19 Comments
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posted on 15 Mar 2013, 16:49 15

1. D.Aceveda (Posts: 360; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)


Here's an idea Facebook. How about making the FB app good instead of crippling it with every update.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 17:14 3

2. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8306; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I haven't updated the Facebook app in two months because each update makes it worse and worse. Facebook Team, if you would release a stable update, you wouldn't have over 2 million one star rating in the Google Play Store.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 17:31

3. michael95gt (Posts: 38; Member since: 19 Jul 2009)


I think they're trying something now with my Nexus 4, my notification bar is showing FB to be attempting to download something for the past hour or so. I go to the Play Store and it shows as up to date. I've gone into settings and Force Closed FB twice, but after about 30 seconds it starts back. The notification reads: Facebook (build 144481) Any ideas? I have screenshots if I had a way to post.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 17:39 1

4. _VipeR_ (Posts: 46; Member since: 30 May 2011)


I just had this happen as well. It looked as if it was downloading in my notification bar, but nothing was actually transmitted. After an hour, I long pressed on the notification and went into the app info. It took me to the download manager and I force closed it. Interesting that this article popped up the same day that this happened.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 17:50

7. michael95gt (Posts: 38; Member since: 19 Jul 2009)


It's still happening as of now, I'm gonna connect to wifi as soon as I get home and see what happens since the article said the updates wont download over the cellular network

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 19:25

10. michael95gt (Posts: 38; Member since: 19 Jul 2009)


Update: I connected to wifi when I got home and the download indicator when away shortly after. Not sure what happened, it didn't indicate that an update was installed or anything. Oh well, at least its gone. :-)

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 19:51

12. checkmymike (Posts: 81; Member since: 28 Dec 2011)


Same with mine. But after a while it downloaded the update and i was asked if i want to replace the current fb app, together with the changelist. I confirmed yes and the fb app was updated. Gonna test it now.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 20:52

13. Fuego84 (Posts: 278; Member since: 13 May 2012)


I had this face book build 144481 trying endlessly to download I opened my browser went into the menu, downloads, and there it was it status was downloading, I just deleted it.

posted on 16 Mar 2013, 16:13

19. axllebeer (Posts: 265; Member since: 05 Apr 2011)


I had this happen to me the other day as well. As soon as I get home I always turn of wifi. Later it was gone. Im running an Evo LTE. This must've been the reason as to why

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 17:40

5. bparkerson (unregistered)


Michael, go to Google+ and post your info along with the screenshots and im sure you'll find an answer. While you're there, honestly give Google+ a good test drive for a month. Enough time to build your circles and, I bet like me, you'll say the heck with Facebook.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 17:41

6. bparkerson (unregistered)


Michael, go to Google+ and post your info along with the screenshots and im sure you'll find an answer. While you're there, honestly give Google+ a good test drive for a month. Enough time to build your circles and, I bet like me, you'll say the heck with Facebook.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 17:53

8. Jyakotu (Posts: 820; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)


This happened to me on my Galaxy Nexus some days ago. It was showing that Facebook was trying to update itself, so I was wondering why, since I always manually update my apps.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 17:58 1

9. andro. (Posts: 1955; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


I seen several customers complain about this, the Facebook app is getting some pretty poor ratings and comments about the spam update notifications outside the play store, many whoupdated the app say its crippled its functionality. And judging by the comment many many people have reported it to google

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 19:31

11. dirtydirty00 (Posts: 257; Member since: 21 Jan 2011)


my facebook app automatically downloaded an update. then i got a notication that it had done so and told me to 'click to install' the update

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 21:31

14. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Bad idea, keep the update through play store

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 21:32

15. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Also, there is an option to have updates occur automatically on play store settings.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 22:02

16. Tux_Alan (Posts: 74; Member since: 30 Jan 2013)


So these jackasses are responsible for that nasty never ending download that wouldnt start ... Evil evil thng..

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 23:10

17. Shinydesert (Posts: 60; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)


So happy since I deleted my Facebook account,I realized that I needed to get a life. I don't miss it at all.

posted on 15 Mar 2013, 23:54

18. crazymonkey05 (Posts: 145; Member since: 20 Nov 2012)


this happend to my brothers LG Revolution i opened facebook because he said it was acting wierd and bam there was a prompt saying that his version was unsupported and needed update...now he is at 2.2.1-g2

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