If you own a Nexus device and have updated to Android Nougat, and you use Chrome Beta or Chrome Dev, you may have noticed something. Alright, maybe you didn't notice it because you don't have the eagle eye of Artem. Regardless, the issue is there and it's not a matter of #ArtemsLuck: I was able to replicate it on my Nexus 5X too.
Both Chrome Beta and Chrome Dev do not appear under My Apps in the Play Store on devices running Nougat. Even when they're installed on your device, you won't see them in the Installed list, which means that they won't detect updates and download and install them automatically when all of your apps do. The only way to actually update these two is to search for "Chrome" on the Play Store, tap on their respective listing (which, funnily enough shows the app as Installed), then see if the page says an update is available.
Here is a gif of the issue in action. You will first see my app drawer containing all three Chrome apps, then a list of the Installed apps under My Apps in the Play Store (sorry, the Nexus 5X is my secondary phone, I haven't updated some of these in a while) which only shows the stable version of Google Chrome. When I do a search for "chrome," the three variants do show up, all with an "Installed" label next to them. When I recorded this gif, I had already updated both Beta and Dev, but if I hadn't, the "Installed" label would still be there. Only when I open the individual listing of each app would I see that an update was available.
We think the issue is related to the change in signature in the Chrome APKs:
- 24:BB:24:C0:5E:47:E0:AE:FA:68:A5:8A:76:61:79:D9:B6:13:A6:00 was the one that was used by all variants of Chrome before Nougat.
- 15:33:A6:99:AC:AC:96:28:10:F1:7B:CE:96:4A:A2:2E:64:DF:11:53 is the one Chrome Beta started using after the minAPI Android 7.0+ APK rolled around.
- 26:98:C0:26:8C:6E:BA:8B:B0:60:EC:AA:27:DA:E4:20:98:68:3B:03 is the one Chrome Dev started using after the minAPI Android 7.0+ APK rolled, which if you'll notice is now different from Beta.
But we're not exactly sure. Even uninstalling and reinstalling while opting for the Android 7.0-specific APK didn't bring back Chrome Beta or Dev into the My Apps section. The only way I was able to see it again was to go back to an old version of Chrome Beta — I went for v43 randomly — and that's when it showed up in My Apps. But then I updated to v53 and poof it went away. So the issue was introduced somewhere between v43 and v53.
My theory is that only the old signature is being associated with the Play Store listing while the new one, which only shows up on devices with Nougat (because they're the ones who can run the new minAPI Android 7.0+ APK), isn't. Which is why you don't see this issue on any Marshmallow device, because duh, you can't install these APKs on Android 6.0.
You're welcome to test this out and let us know if one, you're seeing the same issue, and two, if you can pinpoint it better than us.
We're not even sure what can fix it — a Play Store update, an update to the Play Store listing to better associate this new signature, or something else — but in the meantime, remember to manually check for updates to Chrome Beta and Dev because they won't be done automatically.
- Artem's OCD and his weird habits of checking things no one else checks