Google’s own iOS apps are now asking for updates that don’t exist

Updates are always good, apparently it has become a necessity based on technological change.  

It’s been many weeks; Google hasn’t updated most of its iOS apps. This is perhaps to avoid potential criticism from the unexpected outcome from Apple’s new mandatory App Store privacy labels.  

So now, some of Google’s own iOS apps are complaining about the wait for the new update. It is noticed that iOS app’s users are now seeing confusing notices inside Gmail, Google Maps and Google Photos. The notice says that the apps are out of date — because there aren’t newer versions of the apps available.  

To see the notice, you have to be logging into your account — so if you’re already logged in, you might not see it. After you type in your email address, you might see this warning message: “You should update this app. The version you’re using doesn’t include the latest security features to keep you protected. Only continue if you understand the risks.” 

After you tap the continue button, you can use the app as normal — they still work. But without additional context, users might worry that they don’t have the latest and most secure version of an app. 

Google had promised its apps would start including the new mandatory Apple app privacy labels in a blog post on January 12th, and the company has technically kept its word. Google Authenticator and Stadia, for example, have been updated with the labels, and in our testing with those two apps, we didn’t see the “this app is out of date” message. 

We’ve reached out to Google for comment and will update this article with anything we hear. 

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