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I thought I had turned off all the automatic upgrades for the apps on my phone (T-Mobile G2 w/ Froyo).

However, yesterday, I got a notice that said that I had new GMail and described the new features.

I checked GMail, and I did have the new 2.3.5 version.

Then I checked Android Market, and it shows "Allow automatic updating" as unchecked.

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I know that Google can reach out and pull apps off your phone (like it did with some recent malware). I suppose it might be able to force updates to apps, probably in cases where it's an important security update. I haven't heard of them doing so, however. – Al E. Aug 3 '11 at 17:58
I had the same experience. Automatic updates are off, but the new GMail arrived without input on my Moto Droid/2.2.2 – TomG Aug 3 '11 at 19:42

I believe that Google can and will update their system apps like Gmail, Market, Search and Youtube (I think that is still system app).

There have been plenty times that the Market updates itself, without any interaction from the user. I have not seen them actually update anything automatically, except the Market, but if you have a "with Google" phone, I am sure there is some blurb somewhere that says they may update the applications without you knowing, or something.

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