Creating a new app, so, question:

Should the default option be "auto-update turned off" as to follow the ethos of user control is King, or should it be turned on in the beginning so as to help rapidly build userbase numbers ?

If so, at what point do you change the default to off ?

10,000 users ?

100,000 users ?

1 Million ?

100 Million ?

  • 8
    Have it on by default but only to notify the user of new versions becoming available. Do not download them automatically and instead let the user decide if and when to download the update.
  • 3
    Make it simular to vs code or intelij. A notification on the bottom right corner that prompys the user to update and maybe whats in the new version.
  • 6
    What logic is that even? Updates don't help building a userbase because automatic updates are only available to people who are already users.

    And yeah, notify only is the right thing because you don't know whether the user has time and data volume to update right now.

    Also, don't do it too often because constant update nagging is simply annoying. A regular cycle of once per month seems OK. Resist the temptation to make an update out of every little brain fart.
  • 0

    I want to move the users from one product to another so to speak.

    Think of it as two products in one.

    First one is a useful addon for someone else's product, then the same addon can be used for my product.

    So rather than trying to push my product to a new customer base, I can take advantage of an already existing customer base for a competing product with an addon.

    All the suggestions so far, are good and noted.
  • 2
    @Nanos So your addon would then spam users to download another product? Looks like a dark pattern. Don't be too astonished when that backfires.

    Also, the idea of "building a userbase through auto-updates" seems to boil down to "download your app to users who are using the addon for another app". Which is pretty much a drive-by download, i.e. a malware pattern.
  • 0

    How did we go from 'download update' to spam so quickly ?
  • 3
    @Nanos Through your explanation that you want to use an addon for a competing product to build a userbase for your app through auto-updates.
  • 0
    A new term I hadn't heard before:


    "drive-by download attacks"

    But my app isn't an attack !

    It would be like you are shopping at supermarket X, someone hands you a flier for an app for that supermarket.

    You download it, and it works great.

    Then an update comes out, which also makes it work with another supermarket.

    Now you have two to choice from.

    Like one of those comparison websites.

    How is that an aggressive action towards the user by giving them more choice ?

    I can see how the first supermarket might not be so happy..

    But if they want you to pull the plug on your app, by then, its too late, you already got some of their customers. :-)
  • 0


    you want to use an addon for a competing product to build a userbase for your app through auto-updates.


    That is correct yes.

    I don't understand how one jumps from that to "It's spam!".

    I want to understand the thinking behind that, the steps so to speak.

    Is it because anything out of the ordinary is automatically categorised as 'bad' ?
  • 3
    @Nanos Users downloaded your addon for a competing product. If you use that to advertise a totally different app, that's the definition of spam.

    If you even think about abusing the update mechanism for the addon in order to install your app automatically, you're so far into the malware category that you shouldn't be astonished if you get banned from the app store.

    Yeah, you think your app is the coolest and greatest yadda yadda. So what, every vendor of every product thinks that. Guess what, if every vendor did that like you intend, the phones would be full of shit in no time.
  • 1

    > banned from the app store.

    Lucky for me, the app isn't in any app store !

    But handy to know they might take a dim view, if I did make it app store compatible. (Which I was wondering about !)
  • 1

    > If you use that to advertise a totally different

    > app, that's the definition of spam.

    Odd definition in my book.

    These days, it seems like anything to call something 'witchcraft'.

    Useful to know, thanks.
  • 0
    > so far into the malware category

    This I find useful to hear.

    So, if I created an app like this:


    Which started off listing supermarket X only, would that be seen as fine and not spam / malware like ?

    And then introduce an update listing supermarket Y, still ok, or now spam / malware ?
  • 1
    @Nanos I don't think this would be malware because in the supermarket example, it's still the same app - just with more reference data. But in that kind of app, comparing prices across vendors is the whole point, and you find better prices if you have more vendors to compare.
  • 1

    > it's still the same app - just with more

    > reference data.

    That's what my app is. :-)

    Did I do a bad explanation of my app to give a wrong impression ?

    I find it most fascinating how describing the same thing in two different ways, gets one way labelled bad and one way good.

    I guess this is what marketing departments are for, so people buy your deadly product because its so great !
  • 1
    @Nanos Yeah I understood your explanation that you have an addon A for an app B by a competitor, and you want to use that to promote your app C that is competing with app B. And that the addon A should be able to auto-download your app C for users who are currently using app B with your addon A, and disguising this as update.
  • 0

    Ah, I think I understand you better now.
  • 1

    I can see more clearly now why you think the way you do.

    I'm not sure if I try to describe it better, if you will understand me, eg. because the concept might be new, you might not grasp it.

    Though, as it is like already existing products, I wouldn't imagine that is a problem in itself.

    So I will have to think about how to portray the product such that it doesn't come across in a negative light.

    As I didn't think for a moment it could be seen in that way !
  • 0

    > and disguising this as update.

    I don't really want to disguise it as an update, I just want to be able to update the addon so the user can still do the same things they could before with competitor app B, but allow the addon to also work with my app C in a seamless fashion.

    My app C whilst similar to App B, will be different enough that folk will see they are in a different place, with similar functionality, but improved functionality. Such that over time, they may well stop using competitors App B and just use my App C.

    But I more imagine they will use both.

    (Usually the typical business approach I've seen is to think of customers using either your product or the competitors, never using both at the same time!)

    I can imagine App B folk might get a bit pissed with me though for stealing some of their customers !

    I'm really interested to understand how this differs from say a price comparison website ?

    In essence they are doing the exact same thing.
  • 2
    If i have to download a completely new product its not an update but advertisement. And if an ad came from third-party plugin i would seriously consider removing it or look for replacement.
  • 0

    I'm not a great fan of adverts myself like that.

    That is part of the reason why I was thinking of an auto-update, because that is like a seamless ad that doesn't pop-up and annoy you.

    "Completely new product" reminds me of Windows 10 :-)

    But folk don't stop using that when an update comes out do they ?

    Even if it changes things. (Though some may change some things back to the old way they preferred..)

    Which reminds me of an idea I had that would allow for rollback's so to speak, or rather just it would keep the previous version of the Add-on so if the new one has a bug/feature you don't like, you can keep using the old one.

    As we all know what a pain it is when an update comes out and breaks something and we have to wait for another update to fix that.

    So, are you saying a new product = advertisement ?

    Most interesting to hear the different views on these things.
  • 0
    > A notification on the bottom right corner

    > that prompys the user to update and

    > maybe whats in the new version.

    I like that idea.

    The new update should also include the option to turn off future prompts I reckon. (Nothing annoys me more than constantly seeing prompts to remind me to update when I don't want to do that right now!)

    I also like the idea of allowing the user to see what improvements are in the new version.

    Perhaps that could also include details about the improvements I made to allow the add-on to work with another product ?

    Though, going by the feedback here so far, I'm not sure folk would see that as a good thing & click "No to update!"

    It appears 2 matter a great deal how 1 describes just what this extra feature is.

    1 way, and its seen as a good thing, another way, and its seen as evil, even though its the same thing, just a different description.

    I hadn't thought folk could see it more than 1 way !

    As such, this feedback is invaluable.
  • 0
    @Nanos Come on, you can't tell me that you don't see a difference between:

    1) Adding new data points for use with an existing program
    2) Downloading a different program.

    Auto-downloading a new program is so sneaky that you would burn your reputation in no time. This is a move that you do exactly one time.
  • 0
    I just thought of another analogy, a bookshelf !

    Imagine you own a single book.

    And you keep on the table.

    This solution works fine if you have just one book, even if the table is small.

    But, get another book, and if you put on top of the other, the book at the bottom, you can't see what it is so easily !

    So, someone comes along and sells you a bookcase..

    Now you can see both books side by side easily.

    Now imagine, that bookcase has an update, that includes a free book, so now you have three books..

    Anything wrong with that solution ?
  • 0

    > 1) Adding new data points for use with

    > an existing program

    It will be doing that.

    > 2) Downloading a different program.

    And this at the same time..

    But not a different program. :-)

    An updated program to handle the increased data points.

    Does that help at all ?

    It's like the bookcase that has an update, the bookcase changes a little bit since the new free book is taller than the rest, so the shelves are a bit further apart.

    It is in essence practically the same bookcase, just updated to handle new stuff better.
  • 0
    > Auto-downloading a new program

    Reminds me of Windows 8 users who ended up with Windows 10 !

    Related link:

  • 1
    @Nanos The problem is not about updating your addon so that it will be able to also work with your app. The addon users are already using the addon anyway.

    The problem is trying to sneak in your app to users who currently are using your competitor's app. And no, a new app is not "additional data points". You are not adding new data points, you are adding a different program.
  • 0

    The add-on would work with the competitors app and my app at the same time.

    So, if I built the add-on to use my app and the competitors app in the first place, would that be fine ?

    But not update my add-on to have that functionally at a later date ?
  • 0
    If I've yet to find an answer which makes everyone happy, my next question is, what is the answer that makes everyone happy ?
  • 1
    @Nanos There's no issue with the add-on. The issue comes with trying to get users over from your competitor's app to your app.

    However, if you can, I think it would be smarter to make the add-on compatible with both right from the start.
  • 0

    > I think it would be smarter to make the

    > add-on compatible with both right from

    > the start.

    That would need me to code my add-on first. :-)

    Before I release the add-on.

    It only took me 3 hours to code the add-on and its good to go now. :-)

    Whilst the app, I've been working on it for years and its not nearly finished yet !

    So my thinking was, get folk using the add-on now, for months/years, and then when my app is ready, some of those users will use my app too.

    Still, nice we have an actual working solution that makes everyone happy.

    Is there a way to improve on that ?

    Eg. to take into account my app isn't ready yet ?

    It seems a shame me and one beta tester is benefiting from the add-on and no one else. :-)
  • 0

    What if I had a closed beta group to test the add-on, would that be acceptable ?
  • 0
    > I think it would be smarter to make

    > the add-on compatible with both right

    > from the start.

    So far that is the best answer I see.

    Most interesting to see how others see things if done another way !

    I'm reminded about asking this kind of question in the app group I admin, no one had the slightest issue with the idea I first put up.

    But then, that tends to happen in groups, people can easily end up with a single view of the world and cannot see it any different.

    This is why I like to hear different views !
Add Comment