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Before deploying changes to your application you may want to read Making Changes to a Deployed Application which outlines how changes can affect data exports or application usability.
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Releasing New Versions and Updates
- Connect your phone to the computer. Open the phone's SD card. (Sometimes phones will have two SD card folders - one in internal memory and one that is the actual physical SD card. In this case try using the internal SD card first).
- Make sure you have a file browser on your phone (This should come automatically with all devices). If you do not, you can download one from the Play Store (ex. Amaze File Explorer).
- On HQ, go to the Deploy page for your app, find the build you want to update to, and then press the "Deploy" button for that build.
- Select "Offline Install" on the Download to Android menu that appears, and then click to download the file "CommCare.ccz".
- Copy the downloaded .ccz file to your phone.
- From the CommCare home screen, open the settings menu by pressing the three dots in the upper right-hand corner (or your phone's Settings button)
- Select Update App. If you do not have a connection, the app update screen will say "No network connectivity". However, you can open the settings menu on that screen (the three dots in the upper right-hand corner), and then select Offline Update.
- Choose the .ccz file that you just downloaded. If you cannot find the file, you may need to tell your device to "show internal storage" or "display advanced devices", which should be in the settings drop down when you open the initial file selection from CommCare. If this doesn't work, install Amaze File Explorer and select the file that way.
- Select Update App once more to start the update process.
CommCare for Feature Phones
Remote update is not well supported on feature phones; in general you should expext to simply remove the old version of the app and install the new version.
There is a update feature which sometimes works in areas with very good connectivity: Login as "admin" or a user with admin rights, and from the home screen navigate to Settings -> Check for Updates or in the login screen go to Options -> Tools -> Check for Updates
Technical Details and Naming Conventions
When new features are added they are generally added to Major and Minor updates to CommCare. If an application on HQ is moved to a higher Minor or Major version number (1.2 -> 1.3 for instance), an application's resource files won't be able to be downloaded by an older version of CommCare.
Advanced Software Upgrades
Since CommCare's resources are almost always included with the application files, upgrading CommCare often happens at the same time as the Application Resources are updated, and as such a full re-installation should be used to update both at the same time (see note below). This method of upgrading is not fully supported, but can be used by experts.
In-Place upgrades basically involve installing the applicaiton onto the phone without first removing the old version. This is possible using the OTA, Phone-to-Phone, and Memory Card installation techniques. It is never recommended unless you are using a completely offline deployment, or in specific future use cases where OTA installation is being used to manage remote upgrades.
The below are guidelines for the minimum that should be required when performing an upgrade. Keep in mind that the safest way to upgrade an app is to always follow the full re-installation instructions.
Major Version (1.N.N -> 2.N.N)
Major version bumps will first require the migration of your application's resources to the newest version using CommCare HQ. Once a build of the app is available on the newest version is available, you should follow the full re-installation instructions.
Minor Version (1.1.N -> 1.2.N)
Minor version bumps shouldn't require any changes to your application resources (although they will often permit you to include new features in them), simply create a new build with the existing resources and perform a full re-installation.
Maintenance Version (1.1.1 -> 1.1.2)
Maintenance releases are generally designed to be safe for an in-place upgrade on top of the old app (generally in order to correct bugs with OTA upgrades, although this feature isn't widely usable yet). However, a full re-installation is still recommended.