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Update My Apps FAQ


What is UMA?

UMA is an abbreviation for "Update My Apps".

When I search for App A, why is UMA talking about some 'package'?

In Android, apps are supplied as packages (and identified by their package name).  UMA is searching for the package that is the app asked about.

Why do I see more packages (apps) in UMA than Android's applications list, Android Market(tm), etc?

In Android, apps are supplied as packages.  Other things are also supplied as packages including widgets, parts of Android itself and manufacturer-supplied software.  UMA lists all of these so we can understand permissions all of them use.

Why is package 'X' not found by UMA?

For one of three reasons:
  1. Package has been removed from Google's Android Market(tm)
  2. Package was never in Google's Android Market(tm)
  3. (Really rarely) It's only temporarily disappeared -- you could try again once.
Examples of (2) are:
  1. Android OS packages
     - they get upgraded when your phone upgrades itself.
  2. phone manufacturer packages
     - your phone's manufacturer probably has some way to upgrade these.
  3. packages from other Markets (e.g. Amazon's Android Market(tm))
     - see below
  4. packages you downloaded outside any Market.
     - unusual -- you'll have been asked to allow application installation from "Unknown sources".
For packages from other Markets (item 3), UMA might be extended to query these.  Please feedback in the forum (especially if you know there's a webservice to query!) and we'll see what we can do.

Will UMA work on devices without Android Market(tm)?

No.  UMA presently queries Android Market(tm) to determine new permissions, etc.  Without it present, your apps likely came from a different source so UMA can't tell you anything useful.  Sorry.

Why does UMA v1 need to use my Google Account, what will it use it for, what can it see and what are the risks?

Short explanation

 Why does UMA need my Google Account?
solely to access Android Market (tm).
 What used for?
UMA only uses it to ask for info on latest version of your apps.
 What can UMA see?
UMA...
- can't see your password,
- only uses your account on your Android and
- only records information on your Android and only directly related to telling you about app updates.
(caveat opt-in crash reporting which is opt-in and anonymous analytics which is anonymous!)
 Risksnone (we believe)

Detailed explanation

UMA works by asking Android Market(tm) for the details (permissions, etc) of the latest version of your apps.  It then compares them with the version on your phone and shows you the difference, etc.  In order to access Android Market at all, UMA needs to use your Google account.  It does this in a safe, secure and Google-approved way -- fundamentally (see Technical explanation below), UMA asks Android to log you into Android Market and then give it a ticket to continue doing so.  This means UMA never gets your password and can't access any other services as you.

Technical explanation

UMA is requesting account of type "com.google" (via the GET_ACCOUNTS permission) and an authTokenType of "android" (via the USE_CREDENTIALS permission).  This last value restricts which Google services can be accessed.  GMail, Calendar, etc all have different values so UMA cannot access these (or anything other than Android Market, as far as we know).

I've got a question / suggestion / feedback about UMA that's not answered here, where should I feed back?

Please post in our forum!