According to a recent teardown by the folks at XDA Developers, the Play Store might be picking up a new feature someday that allows it to automatically install titles, like apps or games, that you pre-register to be notified about. That could mean that the next time you want to check out an upcoming mobile game, instead of just being sent an easily-dismissed notification when it finally comes out, it could just be installed on your phone automatically.
Three strings in total were spotted inside v18.6.28 of the Play Store, all of which correspond to pre-registering and which relate to some kind of explicitly named “auto install” functionality, stating “You pre-registered for this app and it’s now installed on your device. Enjoy the app!” Another nearly identical message for games was also spotted.
Teardowns being teardowns, features spotted in development may not always manifest, as we know all too well from our own examinations inside apps. But the presence of these changes makes it clear that Google is at least considering the idea, even if we may never get it.
Pre-registering for titles on the Play Store first rolled out back in 2015. For those unfamiliar with the process, after noting your interest in a title, you get a notification that tells you when you can finally download the app — this in contrast to the update notifications the Play Store more recently took away.
We don’t know what sort of extra controls or options might be bundled in with this new auto-install feature if it pans out. For example, you might have been interested in a specific title and consented to install the app when certain guarantees were made, but if the facts change, so might your decision.
Presumably, if and when Google decides to roll a feature like this out, we’ll know more about it then.