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My wife and I both use cheap Android devices and our network is Cricket Wireless.

Mine is an LG with Android 5.1.1. Hers in an Alcatel with 5.1.1.

We are both generally out of system storage and keep auto-update turned off in the Play Store (for better or worse).

But “11 hours ago” (it’s 12:30 UTC now), auto-update was enabled without user intervention. A few small apps managed to update before both devices ran out of space. I put “11 hours ago” in quotes because that’s what the ‘recently updated’ list in Google Play says.

WTF? I searched the HN and here and found nothing yet. I did web searches in “news” mode and found nothing. I searched twitter and found one user reporting the exact same thing and one user reporting something similar.

Thanks, –hobbes

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      Moto G, 2nd gen., Android 6.0, auto-updates off.

      Was surprised to find two apps updated this morning. Thought I might have accidentally hit the go-ahead on the notification from the play store while silencing the alarm. Auto-update remains off, however.

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      Google can push whatever updates they like through the Google services layer on an Android phone: it wouldn’t surprise me if they’d do just that when there are security holes being actively exploited in the wild, even if the user has explicitly turned off updates on their phone.

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        Right. I am operating under the assumption that 1. Google did it and 2. They had some good reason.

        But, I want details!

        Hm, I found this… https://source.android.com/security/bulletin/2018-04-01

        And this https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/android-security-updates

        But, neither seem to be the sort of place where I’d see google developers discussing whether or not to push updates.

        Anyway, it doesn’t seem that an update to some specific app was pushed. It seems that the “auto update” feature was temporarily turned on, then off again.

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          Hmm, I don’t have an Android phone but out of the blue my Apple Watch gave me a notification that I needed to update. The patch notes say “This is a security update” and Apple doesn’t comment on security updates, and I can’t find anything in the news about it. Wonder if it’s related.

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      Yup, I was surprised by that. I was watching a video in an app and the app crashed because of the auto-update.

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        What Android version, manufacturer, and phone network do you have?

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      I have auto-update turned on, but yes, I did get a batch of updates 11 hours ago.

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      My android phone rebooted by itself about 5:00pm EST yesterday- is that about the same time?

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      I’m glad you asked. Just a few hours ago, my Moto G5 suddenly turned off and booted back up again. No problems with the device like this until today.

      The crashes continued (after about a minute of uptime) until I enabled the “Google App” app. I disabled it months ago to avoid seeing or interacting with the unremovable search bar widget.

      I’m very interested in hearing what happened. I have all auto-update functions disabled. Well, at least I thought I did!

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        so now you have to deal with the search bar widget?

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          I apparently do, unless I install a completely different launcher.

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            Arrow launcher is amazing, I don’t know if you’ve tried it. :)

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              I have not. Thank you for the suggestion!

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      Android 4.1.2, auto-update off, on wifi but not on wireless, last updates were in February according to the Play Store app. Just updated Firefox, and now it’s the only Recently Updated.

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        It only got Firefox? Are you low on storage space for apps? Mine only got three apps, but Firefox wasn’t one of them.

        • android web view
        • barcode scanner
        • …something else…

        Looked to me like it was going in alphabetical order.

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          Oh, no I’m sorry I meant to say that I updated Firefox, just to make sure the whole “Recent” thing was, in fact, working. It still reads the same. 9+ GB available.

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      Nobody has said what their network is. I presume that if it was Cricket, somebody would have mentioned that?

      So, we’re seeing different manufacturers, different Android versions, and different networks (please confirm).

      Theory one: everybody’s devices do stuff like this randomly all the time.

      Theory two: some components exist in multiple Android versions. Maybe everybody who was affected has some component in common?

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      I honestly haven’t used a phone or Android version that old in a while. On mine, I just leave auto-update on with no notifications selected. That said, Google does control the Play store app and the Play services system, so is entirely capable of switching that. I am disappointed but not terribly surprised that they would sneakily re-activate auto-update when the user had it switched off, or at least not pay much attention to a “bug” that did that. You probably need to be using a custom AOSP ROM if you want to really for sure never auto-update.

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        I kept auto-update turned on with notifications on until the device ran out of internal storage space. These days I have to carefully budget available space.. I manually update Firefox and Signal regularly, and my mobile banking app when it requires me to, and Lyft when it requires me to, etc. I simply cannot update everything without removing some apps, and I’ve already removed everything that I don’t use daily or require occasionally.

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      four Android devices in my home, none have done anything out of the ordinary lately. two are running stock ROMs, one an OEM “Play” ROM, and one a custom AOSP build. might only be impacting devices with carrier ROMs?

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      A Redmi Note 4 with LineageOS 7.1

      No android app auto-updated, but whenever I opened any google play application, it being play store, play games or anything else, the google play store app would start updating, despite me asking otherwise.

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      I don’t pay enough attention to my phone to tell ya bro.