Android App Upgrade

1

How to start working with us.

Geolance is a marketplace for remote freelancers who are looking for freelance work from clients around the world.

2

Create an account.

Simply sign up on our website and get started finding the perfect project or posting your own request!

3

Fill in the forms with information about you.

Let us know what type of professional you're looking for, your budget, deadline, and any other requirements you may have!

4

Choose a professional or post your own request.

Browse through our online directory of professionals and find someone who matches your needs perfectly, or post your own request if you don't see anything that fits!

Android App Upgrade is a term that refers to the updating of Android Apps. It is essential for any app developer since it ensures that an existing user base stays connected with your app. Unfortunately, in the early days of development, Google did not provide much support for this concept, and Android app developers had to find their way out by using different hacks for each type of progress. These hacks could have been challenging to maintain if you were developing an internal app sharing that would have a lot of user data connected with it.

However, the situation is entirely different as Google has provided full support with Android App Upgrade through its content provider component. This allows to tap manage apps to share their database updates offline without affecting the internet connection or having constant access to it. If you are an experienced

Android developer, then you can remember that as a common factor of all apps, they used to request access from the user by asking for additional permissions for internet connectivity. This was also a flaw in the past as users may not have had constant network connectivity and were stuck with a useless app. Google has addressed this issue smartly and introduced content providers which allow an app to share its database offline.

Android App Upgrade is more important for developers because the latest versions of Android fortify security with their malware protection techniques and make it mandatory for Apps to upgrade themselves on installation if they want to take advantage of these security features. This article will show you how Android App Upgrade works by taking you through the essential classes and methods involved in the upgrade process.

Content Providers

Content providers share data (SQLite Databases) between different Android apps. They use Content Resolvers to retrieve content from specified URIs, and URIs specify what type of content is returned, like images or videos. In addition, they allow the creation, querying, updating, and deletion operations on data they hold, which can be accessed by any app (Provider & consumer).

A provider typically defines a public static integer class named URI, which contains static final String values to identify the URI scheme and its corresponding content to be returned. This is done because this integer class will be used by external apps that want access to your Provider's contents. Provider declares these constants in its public API, and any app that has access to it can directly call these values and get content from your app. This is how Android provides support for shared data between apps without making any app dependent on another.

Do you need to enable auto update apps?

We can help! Geolance is a leading provider of Android App Upgrades. Our team has extensive experience in the field, and we'll work with you every step of the way to ensure that your app gets upgraded smoothly and quickly.

You won't have to worry about losing users or data when upgrading your app since our experts will do it all for you. With Glance on your side, updating an Android App becomes easy as pie! All you have to do is sit back and relax while taking care of everything else including a flexible update flow. Contact us today so we can get started on upgrading your Android apps ASAP!

There are three types of content providers:  

Public Providers – The instance of this type of Provider will be accessible by all the apps installed on a user's Android device. Private Providers – Instances of this type of Provider can be accessed only by the apps in which they were created (package name). Custom Providers – Instances of this type can be declared because you want to restrict its access to external apps or provide custom security features like encryption etc. You can also create an instance as either public or private if you don't want to customize and tap settings its security features.

Android App Upgrade Process

Apart from content providers of core functionality, Google has also introduced Android app upgrades through the class loader component in the latest versions of Android OS. If an app is installed on a device, it will be added to the list of 'android_files' within the binary-file manifest which loads all the dependencies used by an application. These dependencies are stored in this file under various sections like libraries, resources, etc. Each library dependency is resolved into a jar containing classes, resources files, etc. After this process, when your app runs for the first time, it determines what components are required to run each class present in these libraries loaded during installation. Each platform version has its class loader, which monitors all the classes defined in your app. This process detects whether these classes have been already loaded or not concerning its version. Suppose they are not present or there is a need for an upgrade. In that case, it loads these items by using the Android's shared libraries feature and ensures backward compatibility of content is maintained while upgrading an app according to the new platform version on which it has just been installed.

Content providers of an app do not need any special instructions because they will look into that during build time and decide what can be done with them based on available information at run time. So now, moving towards other class loaders, let's check how upgradeable apps work with them.

There is a separate class loader for each version of Android running on the device, which determines whether or not an upgrade is required for your app. These loaders will look into all the classes defined in your app and pull out those already loaded on the current system to be upgraded without any issue. As per Facebook's FacebookSDK upgrade guide, if there is a need to run some new activities, it has to register them as part of its classloader initialization process. This ensures consistency across all activity components about dependencies. For example, if you use libraries specific to an android version, say 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, etc., they should be available in all the versions your app runs.

App Components for Android Upgrade Process

Let's have a look at some example code that illustrates how this process of upgrading apps works with components:  

     public static final String[] sdkVersions = { "3", "4", "4_1", "5" };     private static Context mContext;            public static Context getContext()          {             try             {                 if(mContext == null)                 {                     mContext = getApplicationContext();                 }          } catch (Exception exception) {}         return mContext;     }

In this example, a list of platform version names is defined on which application will run. This list will be used as a reference to create class loaders. Next, the application context is obtained and checked for a null value; if it's null, it creates an instance of Context using the getApplicationContext() method so that all the activities running on your app can access this activity.

    private File dataDir;        public static File getDataFolder()         {             try                 {                     return new File(getContext().getFilesDir(), "myapp");             } catch (IOException e)         {             return new File(dataDir.getPath());                 }         }

This method returns the path of the 'android_files' directory, which contains shared libraries loaded by build tools.

     //...         private static Context mContext;            public static Context getContext()          {             try             {                 if(mContext == null)                 {                     mContext = getApplicationContext();                 }          } catch (Exception exception) {}         return mContext;     }

Now let's have a look at application context creation in the previous example:

    private File dataDir;        public static File getDataFolder()         {             try                 {                     return new File(getContext().getFilesDir(), "myapp");             } catch (IOException e)         {             return new File(dataDir.getPath());                 }         }

In this example, a new instance of the application context is created because Context classLoader will create all activities and other classes required by your app. This means all these activities and components run in the same application context, so this activity object should be available to all the activities.

     //...         private static Context mContext;            public static Context getContext()          {             try             {                 if(mContext == null)                 {                     mContext = getApplicationContext();                 }          } catch (Exception exception) {}         return mContext;     }

In the previous code snippet from the FacebookSDK upgrade example, if there is a need to run some new activities, it registers the application context with the new activities created.

     //...               public static void registerActivityLifecycleCallbacks(Context context, ActivityLifecycleCallbacks callbacks)                 {                 if (mContext == null)                 {                     mContext = context;                 } else if (callbacks != null)                 {                     mContext.registerActivityLifecycleCallbacks(callbacks);          }          }

This method registers a new set of activity lifecycles using the existing application context object. All activities now run inside this application context as they have been registered with it. If these activities have components specific to a version, then those need to be available within the application context.

     //...             private static Context mContext;            private static HashMap<Version, ActivityLifecycleCallbacks> hashMap = new HashMap<Version, ActivityLifecycleCallbacks>();            public static void registerActivityLifecycleCallbacks(Context context, ActivityLifecycleCallbacks callbacks)                 {                 if (mContext == null)                 {                     mContext = context;                 } else if (callbacks != null)                 {                     mContext.registerActivityLifecycleCallbacks(callbacks);          }          }

The application has a class-level variable defined as 'HashMap' to store version and activity-specific callbacks. This method first checks whether there is an existing application context. It then registers a new activity lifecycle with the existing application context by checking if activities are already registered.

     //...             private static final int APP_CURRENT_VERSION = 3;            private static final Version MINIMUM_SUPPORTED_VERSION = appContext.getPackageInfo(0, 0).versionCode;                 public static void checkAppCompatibility()                 {                 ActivityLifecycleCallbacks versionSpecificCallbacks          = hashMap.get(MINIMUM_SUPPORTED_VERSION);          //Registering all Activities that need version specific support to current Application Context object        if (versionSpecificCallbacks == null)         {                   versionSpecificCallbacks = new ActivityLifecycleCallbacks(AppCompatActivity.class, AppCompatDelegate.class);            mContext.registerActivityLifecycleCallbacks(versionSpecificCallbacks, getClass().getClassLoader());        }                 SingleApi21Support singleApi21Support = new SingleApi21Support();          //Registering all Activities that need version specific support to current Application Context object        if (hashMap.containsKey(MINIMUM_SUPPORTED_VERSION))                 {                   singleApi21Support.registerWithNewActivities(hashMap.get(MINIMUM_SUPPORTED_VERSION));        }         //...             private static class AppCompatActivity extends Activity implements                  AppCompatDelegate.Callback, CompoundButton.OnCheckedChangeListener {             /* Delegated methods */         public void onSaveInstanceState(Bundle outState)                 {}         public void onCreate(@Nullable Bundle savedInstanceState)                 {}         public void onConfigurationChanged(Configuration newConfig)                 {}

     //...

This method checks all activities that need version-specific support and accordingly registers them with the application context. These are singleton objects which are also added in the constructor of the HashMap class for maintaining a list of callbacks by different activities across app upgrade versions.

     //...             public static class AppCompatDelegate extends ActivityDelegate {             /* Delegated methods */         public void onConfigurationChanged(Configuration config)                 {}         public void onCreateOptionsMenu(Menu menu, MenuInflater inflater)                 {}         public boolean onOptionsItemSelected(MenuItem item)                 {                     return super.onOptionsItemSelected(item);                 }

     //...

This class has a method called 'registerWithNewActivities' which takes the HashMap object of version-specific activities and adds them to the application context.

    private static final String TAG = "SingleApi21Support";                 @Override   public void registerActivityLifecycleCallbacks(ActivityLifecycleCallbacks callbacks) {         super.registerActivityLifecycleCallbacks(callbacks);                 HashMap<Version, ActivityLifecycleCallbacks> callbacksMap = new HashMap<Version, ActivityLifecycleCallbacks>();         /* Mapping activities to their desired version specific callback */         if (Build.VERSION.SDK_INT >= Build.VERSION_CODES.HONEYCOMB) {                 //Registering all Activities that need version specific support to current Application Context object        callbacksMap.put(MINIMUM_SUPPORTED_VERSION, versionSpecificCallbacks);        } else if (Build.VERSION.SDK_INT < Build.VERSION_CODES.HONEYCOMB) {                 //Registering all Activities that need version specific support to current Application Context object        callbacksMap.put(MINIMUM_SUPPORTED_VERSION, versionSpecificCallbacks);          //Handle backward compatible cases here             } else {                 throw new RuntimeException("Please check minSdkVersion in manifest or build.gradle file");        }         mContext.registerActivityLifecycleCallbacks(callbacksMap);         }

@Override  public void onCreateOptionsMenu(Menu menu, MenuInflater inflater) {         super.onCreateOptionsMenu(menu, inflater);                 MenuItemCompat item = menu.findItem(R.id.menu_item_newInstance);                 if (item != null) {                     item.setOnMenuItemClickListener(new MenuItemCompat.OnMenuItemClickListener() {             @Override             public boolean onMenuItemClick(MenuItem item) {                 //Create activity instance here and call version specific methods ..............

    private static final String TAG = "SingleApi21Support";         private Map<Version, ActivityLifecycleCallbacks> mCallbacksMap;         private HashMap<Integer, CallbackRegistration> sharedState;         private CallbackRegistration activityCallback;                 public SingleApi21Support() {             /* Initializing callback registrations */         sharedState = new HashMap<Integer, CallbackRegistration>();             /* Registering activity callback using ActivityLifecycleCallbacks.registerActivityLifecycleCallbacks() method */           mCallbacksMap = new HashMap<Version, ActivityLifecycleCallbacks>();             //Registering all Activities that need version specific support to current Application Context object             if (Build.VERSION.SDK_INT >= Build.VERSION_CODES.HONEYCOMB) {                     mContext = this;                 } else if (Build.VERSION.SDK_INT < Build.VERSION_CODES.HONEYCOMB) {                     mContext = ((FragmentActivity) getActivity()).getSupportFragmentManager().getFragmentManager();                     } else {                     throw new RuntimeException("Please check minSdkVersion in manifest or build.gradle file");             }             activityCallback = mCallbacksMap.put(MINIMUM_SUPPORTED_VERSION, new ActivityLifecycleCallbacksAdapter() {             @Override             public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {                 //call version specific method to setContentView here .............

The code above is essentially the same as we've seen before. The onCreate() method calls through to mCallbacksMap.put() and Context depending on which version of Android we're running on:

/**             * Putting callback registrations into a map and returning that map             */         protected Map<Version, ActivityLifecycleCallbacks> putCallbackRegistrationsIntoMap(CallbackRegistration... callbacks) {             /* If no callback registrations are passed in then return an empty map */                 if (callbacks == null || callbacks.length == 0) {                   return Collections.emptyMap();             else {                 /* Iterate over the callbacks and add them to a map */                 for (CallbackRegistration registration : callbacks) {              mCallbacksMap.put(registration.version, registration);             }             /* Return the map containing all callback registrations */                 return mCallbacksMap;   } }

Geolance is an on-demand staffing platform

We're a new kind of staffing platform that simplifies the process for professionals to find work. No more tedious job boards, we've done all the hard work for you.


Geolance is a search engine that combines the power of machine learning with human input to make finding information easier.

© Copyright 2022 Geolance. All rights reserved.