On July 29th, Google released an update for the Gmail application, that brought it to version 2.3.5. Since I had version 2.3.4, I was expecting to be notified of the update shortly as I had for updates to other applications including ones that came pre-installed on my phone, such as Google Maps.

Alas, I still haven't received the notification, even though I can see the update available in the market (yes, I realise I can download it manually).

I have since surmised (though this is a guess on my part) that the difference is that gmail is considered a "built-in" app, but Google Maps, while pre-installed on my device, is not considered built-in.

Is this right?

If it is, why are built-in apps treated this way? Is there a technical reason, or are they somehow considered more sacrosanct, because of their status n the platform?


Apparently, the SDK doesn't list Google Maps as built in, but it does list the "email" app. Furthermore, Google Maps is listed as a "Downloaded App" but Gmail isn't.

  • Is it possible that it autoupdated? Aug 7, 2011 at 1:56
  • @PortableWorld no the version is still 2.3.4. Should it auto-update?
    – zdan
    Aug 7, 2011 at 2:20
  • Since it is a built in app, I don't know. Hard to say since the autoupdating option is inside the Market Place. My Gmail app doesn't show up in the Market Place. Good question. Hope someone provides an answer. Aug 7, 2011 at 2:34
  • I can confirm that Maps is a system app on my phone, as well as a couple apps I've downloaded manually from the Market, e.g. Flash. The link you added shows apps that come with the Android emulator -- no Google apps like Gmail, Maps, or the Market come with the emulator. Aug 7, 2011 at 4:01

2 Answers 2


If the app has never been updated via the market (you are still using the version that was bundled in the ROM) then there's no link between the market and the installed app. Because of that, you won't get update notifications. Once you install a newer version from the market you will begin to receive notifications of future updates.

  • I don't think so ... I do not recall ever needing to manually search out and install Gmail, it's just showed up in My Apps. Market linkage can be part of a ROM as well. Aug 7, 2011 at 3:54

Google Maps is generally a system app as well. There's another question where the user had GMail update automatically despite having auto-updates shut off. So as far as we know, Google pushed this update out specially just like they push out Market updates. Perhaps there was a critical security fix or something like that.

  • Interesting, that other asker had the update pushed, but I haven't. I wonder what the difference is? If there was security fix, I would definitely want to know about it.
    – zdan
    Aug 7, 2011 at 3:03
  • @zdan Google tends to do rolling updates, so it could just be that you hadn't been hit yet. Or network issues, some configuration thing not quite right on your phone ... probably lots of things could be the cause. Aug 7, 2011 at 3:56

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