Google has a snazzy new trick to convince you to install a pending Android update

Android 13 review
(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google will show you more information about a pending Android update in order to convince you to upgrade.
  • The feature is known as Android Upgrade Invite, a user flow that will only be available if your handset is eligible for an available major Android OS upgrade.
  • You will be able to install the pending Android update right from the user flow itself.

Android upgrades happen every year like clockwork, but not everyone is as eager to download and install each new version. To address this apathy, Google has devised a clever method of persuading users to install a pending Android update.

The new feature, which was spotted by Mishaal Rahman, is known as Android Upgrade Invite, and it displays a series of screens that tease about what you'll get if you install the update.

"Upgrade Invite is a user flow that showcases the key new features included in the current available major Android OS upgrade," states the feature's documentation page.

The feature also shows a prompt that allows you to install an OS upgrade directly from the flow. Only Android OEMs with access to Google Mobile Services will be able to customize this feature to fit their brand of Android.

Similarly, OEMs will be able to modify the flow to remove features not found on their Android skin, update the language in the text blocks, or modify assets such as animations and colors to match their branding.

Users will then receive a push notification showcasing the new features available from a pending upgrade, as long as their device is eligible for the update. If the handset uses Google's OTA service, the notification is triggered automatically when a major OS update becomes available. This will bring up the Upgrade Invite flow. Otherwise, an OEM must manually distribute the notification to users through a broadcast or API use.

Previously, Android phones would show a changelog for an update first, and it's up to you whether to install it.

The latest feature comes as Android 13 still lags behind older versions of Android, accounting for only 12.1% of devices as of April 2023. While its adoption more than doubled since January, Android 11 remains the operating system of the majority of Android devices, with 23.5% of devices running the 2020 iteration of Android.

Whether or not the new Android Upgrade Invite works to Android 13's (and later Android 14's) advantage remains to be seen.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.

  • joeldf
    Wonder how this will work with AT&T provided updates?

    Because AT&T controls the update path to their branded phones, when an update is available, they tell you next to nothing about what it includes. If it's a big update, like a version jump, or in the case of Samsungs, a OneUI bump, it might say something like "includes new features and enhancements". Otherwise it just says "includes enhanced security features" when it's just a security patch.

    That's it. Nothing like what everyone else gets which usually at least lists what's new, what's fixed, and the major security patches.
  • Mooncatt
    Verizon just forces the downgrades on you. You can postpone them for a time, but eventually you're likely to wake up one day to find the phone auto-downgraded itself overnight.

    And yes, I meant what I said and did not have any typos.
  • joeldf
    AT&T does that too. You can tap "Remind me later" only so many times before it just does it.

    I have no experience with what T-Mobile does.