Implementing the Google Play In-App Update API in Kotlin

Mobile app updates are a vital part of maintaining a great user experience and ensuring that your app stays secure and up-to-date with the latest features and bug fixes. However, getting users to update their apps can be a challenge. Google Play’s In-App Update API provides a powerful tool for encouraging users to update their apps seamlessly within the app itself. In this article, we’ll explore how to implement the Google Play In-App Update API in Kotlin to enhance user experience and keep your app current.

Understanding the Google Play In-App Update API

The Google Play In-App Update API allows Android developers to prompt users to update their app from within the app itself. It offers two types of updates:

  1. Flexible Updates: These updates allow users to continue using the app while the update is downloaded and installed in the background. Flexible updates are suitable for non-critical updates or when users can choose to update at their convenience.

2. Immediate Updates: These updates force users to install the update immediately. Immediate updates are ideal for critical updates, such as security patches.


Before we dive into implementing the In-App Update API, make sure you have the following prerequisites in place:

  • A project with an Android app written in Kotlin.

  • Android Studio installed and updated.

  • A Google Play Developer account with your app published on the Google Play Store.

Implementation Steps

Now, let’s walk through the steps to implement the Google Play In-App Update API in your Kotlin Android app:

Step 1: Add Dependencies

Open your app’s build.gradle file and add the necessary dependencies for the In-App Update API:

dependencies {
    implementation ''

Sync your project to ensure the new dependencies are downloaded.

Step 2: Check for Updates

In your Kotlin activity or fragment where you want to check for updates, import the required classes and initialize the In-App Update manager:


class MainActivity : AppCompatActivity() {

    private lateinit var appUpdateManager: AppUpdateManager
    private val MY_REQUEST_CODE = 123

    override fun onCreate(savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {

        // Initialize the AppUpdateManager
        appUpdateManager = AppUpdateManagerFactory.create(this)

    // Function to check for updates
    private fun checkForAppUpdate() {
        val appUpdateInfoTask = appUpdateManager.appUpdateInfo

        appUpdateInfoTask.addOnSuccessListener { appUpdateInfo: AppUpdateInfo ->
            if (appUpdateInfo.updateAvailability() == UpdateAvailability.UPDATE_AVAILABLE
                && appUpdateInfo.isUpdateTypeAllowed(IMMEDIATE)
            ) {
                // Request the update

In this code, we initialize the AppUpdateManager and check if an update is available and if it's of type IMMEDIATE. If an update is available, we request the update.

Step 3: Handle the Update Result

Override the onActivityResult method to handle the result of the update request

override fun onActivityResult(requestCode: Int, resultCode: Int, data: Intent?) {
    if (requestCode == MY_REQUEST_CODE) {
        when (resultCode) {
            Activity.RESULT_OK -> {
                // Update accepted, app will be updated in the background
            Activity.RESULT_CANCELED -> {
                // Update canceled by the user
            ActivityResult.RESULT_IN_APP_UPDATE_FAILED -> {
                // Update failed, handle the error
    super.onActivityResult(requestCode, resultCode, data)

Step 4: Trigger the Update Check

You can trigger the update check at an appropriate time, such as when the user launches the app or through a settings menu:

// Trigger the update check when needed

Step 5: Test Thoroughly

Before releasing your app with the In-App Update API, ensure that you thoroughly test the update flow in various scenarios, including successful updates, canceled updates, and update failures. This will help provide a seamless experience for your users.


The Google Play In-App Update API in Kotlin is a powerful tool to keep your Android app up-to-date and provide a seamless user experience. By implementing this API, you can prompt users to update their apps without leaving your application, ensuring they have access to the latest features and security enhancements. Remember to handle different scenarios gracefully and thoroughly test your implementation to guarantee a smooth user experience.

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