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I'm not getting on what basis Google Play will update apps when auto-update is enabled.

Is it time-specific, or something else?

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    On StackOverflow, (speculation) 5 or 6 times. stackoverflow.com/questions/11950178/auto-updates-google-play – geffchang Aug 1 '13 at 13:12
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    @geff: The question you link to seems different. Here chethan (and me) are interested in what triggers auto-update to start. It can be very annoying that it starts when I start using my tablet and would need the processors for myself. – domotorp Dec 27 '13 at 8:42
  • @domotorp in my experience, it's whenever the phone is charging, but I don't have a source for that. – Josh Aug 6 '16 at 17:02
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Adding to @Josh's experience mentioned in the comments above, the auto-update is not time-specific - I too have only seen the auto update proceed when on WiFi (my chosen setting) and plugged in charging. On my Sony Xperia running Android 7.0, it appears to be the default behaviour.

I can't find any more reliable sources for this behaviour, but there is lots of personal experience: http://forums.androidcentral.com/google-pixel-pixel-xl/747707-auto-update-apps-while-charging.html

Annoyingly, it is not mentioned on Google support, and I can't figure out how to give feedback to them about it: https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/113412?hl=en-AU

I can only post 2 links in this answer, but the 'WiFi and charging' requirement has been requested as a configurable feature (google 'how-to-allow-auto-update-of-apps-in-play-store-only-when-plugged-in') and there may be a workaround to achieve similar behaviour using the WiFi on Sleep setting (listed on benjaminoakes dot com).

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My phone's Google Play app auto-updates around 1:30 a.m. daily (phone is never plugged in at that time), so there is definitely no connection of update with phone plugged in.

Phone must have WiFi on (selected in Google Play settings) for update.

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