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Answers to common Live Updates questions.


What is the definition of a "live update"?

A live update is a single download of web resources from the Live Updates service. These web resources are used to replace some or all of the contents of either a standalone web app or the contents of a web app hosted within a native app. An app can receive a live update based on:

  • The CHANNEL_NAME variable configured in your app's installation of the Live Updates plugin.
  • The native versioning setup for the Web Deploy Build

What happens when Live Updates downloads are depleted or MAU limit is reached?

The limits associated with each plan are on a calendar month basis. Your quota will refresh at the beginning of each calendar month. If you exceed your quota for a given month, you will have to upgrade to a higher plan, or wait until the next calendar month to send more live updates. If you need more than downloads or MAUs, or custom limits, contact our sales team for options that will scale to meet your needs.

How do I update the Live Updates plugin?

New releases of the Live Updates plugin are created to accommodate changes such as bug fixes, new features, and support for new versions of iOS and Android. Changes introduced in new releases modify the native layer of the application, so an app can only receive the latest version of the plugin through a binary app store release.

To update the plugin in the app, install it using @latest:

# Capacitor SDK
npm install @capacitor/live-updates@latest
# Cordova SDK
npm install cordova-plugin-ionic@latest

This modifies the package.json file to target the latest version of the plugin:

# Capacitor SDK
"@capacitor/live-updates": "^X.X.X",
# Cordova SDK
"cordova-plugin-ionic": "^X.X.X",

Next, run npm i to update package-lock.json accordingly. Commit then push changes to the remote repo.

If Appflow is used to create the native build artifacts for the app, then create and deploy new native builds from the Appflow dashboard using the recently pushed commit. Otherwise, prepare the project locally by running the following commands:

npm run build

# Capacitor SDK
appflow live-update generate-manifest
# Cordova SDK
ionic deploy manifest

npx cap sync

Finally, compile the project from Android Studio and XCode and deploy the resulting build artifacts to the corresponding app stores.

Monthly Active User (MAU) Tracking

How are monthly active users tracked?

On a per-app installation basis. When a request is sent by the Live Updates plugin to Appflow's servers checking for a new Live Update, a unique GUID is sent representing one "user." The number of unique ids is counted up per billing cycle. View the total MAUs counted across all apps on the Usage page under Settings.

When did MAU data tracking begin?

Tracking began on March 20th, 2023, making April 2023 the first complete month of data available. Tracking includes customers using the Cordova-based Live Updates plugin and the Capacitor-based Live Updates plugin.

How accurate is the MAU tracking?

Highly accurate with a margin of error of plus or minus 0.81%. For your benefit, Appflow under reports MAUs by tweaking the algorithm to -1.62% (minus 1.62%). For example, if Appflow reports 10,000 MAUs, then the actual range is between 9,838 and 10,000 users.

Installing an app on multiple devices or reinstalling an app can inflate the MAU count.

Is any PII included?

No. Only a device-generated Id is sent to Appflow's servers.

Download Tracking

A live update is counted when a download attempt for an update has been triggered. If the "auto" or "background" live update method is used in an app, then a download attempt will occur when the app is opened and after the app confirms that a compatible live update is available for download.

An app using the "background" live update method can also trigger a download attempt once the app has regained focus after being in the background for longer than the duration specified by the minBackgroundDuration configuration.

If the download of the live update is interrupted (e.g. due to unstable internet connectivity) then the live update will not be applied to the app but the download attempt will count towards the live update usage.

View the total downloads counted across all apps on the Usage page under Settings.