Updating WebAPKs More Frequently

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When a Progressive Web App is installed on Android, Chrome automatically requests and installs a WebAPK of your app. Being installed via an APK makes it possible for your app to show up in the app launcher, in Android's app settings and to register a set of intent filters.

Chrome periodically checks to see if the manifest has changed, and if a new WebAPK is required. Starting in Chrome 76 (July 2019), Chrome will check the manifest more frequently: checking every 1 day, instead of every 3 days. If any of the key properties have changed, Chrome will request and install a new WebAPK.

Chrome 76 and later

Chrome checks for updates either every 1 day or every 30 days. Checking for updates every day happens the large majority of the time. It switches to the 30 day interval in unlikely cases where the update server cannot provide an update.

Hypothetical update check for Chrome 76 and later

  • January 1: Install WebAPK
  • January 1: Launch WebAPK → No update check (0 days have passed)
  • January 2: Launch WebAPK → Check whether update is needed (1 day has passed)
  • January 4: Launch Chrome → No update check (Launching Chrome has no effect)
  • January 4: Launch WebAPK → Check whether update is needed (1+ days have passed)
  • January 6: Clear Chrome's data in Android settings
  • January 9: Launch WebAPK → No update check (From Chrome's perspective this is the first WebAPK launch)
  • January 10: Launch WebAPK → Check whether update is needed (1 day has passed)

Chrome 75 and earlier

Chrome checks for updates either every 3 days or every 30 days. Checking for updates every 3 days happens the large majority of the time. It switches to the 30 day interval in unlikely cases where the update server cannot provide an update.

Hypothetical update check for Chrome 75 and earlier

  • January 1: Install WebAPK
  • January 1: Launch WebAPK → No update check (0 days have passed)
  • January 2: Launch WebAPK → No update check (1 day has passed)
  • January 4: Launch Chrome → No update check (Launching Chrome has no effect)
  • January 4: Launch WebAPK → Check whether update is needed (3+ days have passed)
  • January 6: Clear Chrome's data in Android settings
  • January 9: Launch WebAPK → No update check (From Chrome's perspective this is the first WebAPK launch)
  • January 12: Launch WebAPK → Check whether update is needed (3+ days have passed)

Further reading

For complete details, including additional triggers that cause Chrome to check the manifest, and potentially request and install a new WebAPK, refer to the Updating the WebAPK section of the WebAPK docs.

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