1.4.5 (Oct 6, 2016)
Mar 9, 2016
Jan 25, 2017
Quality Mobile Puzzle Apps (eggheadgames)
Quality Mobile Puzzle Apps (eggheadgames)
Source code


Siren for Android

Notify users when a new version of your Android app is available, and prompt them with the Play Store link.

This is a port of the iOS library of the same name:


Siren checks a user's currently installed version of your Android app against the latest version information stored in a JSON file on a server URL you provide. ( Unfortunately, the Google public API for version checking requires a token, and due to logistics and rate limiting, it's not feasible to use the API from an Android app).

If a new version is available, an alert can be presented to the user informing them of the newer version, and giving them the option to update the application. Alternatively, Siren can notify your app programmatically, enabling you to inform the user through alternative means, such as a custom interface.

  • Siren is built to work with semantic version numbering to provide a range of update suggestions for your customers
  • Siren is a Java language port of a Siren, an iOS Swift library that achieves the same functionality
  • Siren is actively maintained by Egghead Games for their cross-platform mobile/tablet apps ( great mind puzzles with no ads!)


  • Gradle support (using JitPack)
  • Localized for 20+ languages (See Localization Section)
  • Three types of alerts (see Screenshots & Alert Types)
  • Optional override methods (see Optional Override section)
  • Accompanying sample Android app

Similar Android libraries

Choose what works best for your scenario. We chose not to "screenscrape" the Google Play Listing. We've kept the prompt & update scenarios simple. We kept close to the iOS Siren library to keep our iOS & Android apps similar. Other Android solutions: AppUpdater (the most comprehensive and feature rich library, including support for checks at Amazon and FDroid), Gandalf (also has a "companion" iOS solution), Update Checker, Fit (callback framework, no UI),

Screenshots & Alert Types

  • The left picture forces the user to update the app.
  • The center picture gives the user the option to update the app.
  • The right picture gives the user the option to skip the current update.
  • These options are controlled by the SirenAlertType enum.


A minimal usage is to add the following to the onCreate of your main activity. This will check at most once a day for a new version and give the user the option to choose "Update" or "Next time".

private static final String SIREN_JSON_URL = "";

Siren siren = Siren.getInstance(getApplicationContext());
siren.checkVersion(this, SirenVersionCheckType.DAILY, SIREN_JSON_URL);

Installation Instructions

Add the repository to your root build.gradle:

allprojects {
    repositories {
        maven { url "" }

Add a dependency to your application related build.gradle

dependencies {
    compile 'com.github.eggheadgames:Siren:1.4.+'

Host a Json document with a public access that will describe your application package name and current application version.

{ "": { "minVersionName": "1.12.2" } }


{ "": { "minVersionCode": 7 } }


The SirenVersionCheckType controls how often the server is checked for a new version, and hence how often the user will be prompted. You can set it to IMMEDIATELY, DAILY or WEEKLY.

You can also define the dialog appearance and behaviour by setting SirenAlertType to react according to your version increment per Semantic Versioning. The default is SirenAlertType.OPTION. This generates a 2 button "Next Time" or "Update" alert. Other values are FORCE, SKIP and NONE. NONE will not display an alert, but will call your listener with appropriate text to display. See Example below.

You can combine these options to have different behaviour for different version changes. For example, you might will force a user to upgrade for a major version change (e.g. 1.x.x to 2.x.x), give them a "Next time" option for a minor version change (e.g. 1.2.x to 1.3.x) and add a 3rd "Skip this version" option for a 3rd or 4th level change (e.g. 1.2.5 to 1.2.6).

As well as the levels: Major, Minor, Patch and Revision, you can also set messages based on the versionCode of your app by using a minVersionCode field instead of minVersionName.

The following code shows how you can display "stricter" dialogs based on the version severity, with no dialog displayed for a versionCode change:

        Siren siren = Siren.getInstance(getApplicationContext());
        siren.checkVersion(this, SirenVersionCheckType.IMMEDIATELY, SIREN_JSON_DOCUMENT_URL);

If you'd like to just use versionCode for changes, you could check every time and force an update using code like this:

        Siren siren = Siren.getInstance(getApplicationContext());
        siren.checkVersion(this, SirenVersionCheckType.IMMEDIATELY, SIREN_JSON_DOCUMENT_URL);


Some developers may want to display a less obtrusive custom interface, like a banner or small icon. You may also wish to control which level of update to force a user to update vs deferring to later.

You can find a fully functional sample project at

Here is a code sample that shows how to handle all the alerts yourself:

    private void checkCurrentAppVersion() {
        Siren siren = Siren.getInstance(getApplicationContext());
        siren.checkVersion(this, SirenVersionCheckType.IMMEDIATELY, SIREN_JSON_DOCUMENT_URL);

    ISirenListener sirenListener = new ISirenListener() {
        public void onShowUpdateDialog() {
            Log.d(TAG, "onShowUpdateDialog");

        public void onLaunchGooglePlay() {
            Log.d(TAG, "onLaunchGooglePlay");

        public void onSkipVersion() {
            Log.d(TAG, "onSkipVersion");

        public void onCancel() {
            Log.d(TAG, "onCancel");

        public void onDetectNewVersionWithoutAlert(String message) {
            Log.d(TAG, "onDetectNewVersionWithoutAlert: " + message);

        public void onError(Exception e) {
            Log.d(TAG, "onError");


Siren is localized for Arabic, Armenian, Basque, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Slovenian, Swedish, Spanish, Thai, and Turkish.

You may want the update dialog to always appear in a certain language, ignoring Android's language setting. This is supported with the setLanguageLocalization method. For example, you can force a French update dialog by setting the locale as follows:


Testing Siren

Change the url in your app to point to a test location (e.g. is a convenient test site). Create an appropriate file and run your app with the temporary url.

For example, if my app's current version is and the applicationId is com.eggheadgames.sirensample, I could create a json file with contents:


Then, add code like the following in the onCreate() of my app's home page:

    private Siren siren = Siren.getInstance(getApplicationContext());
    siren.checkVersion(this, SirenVersionCheckType.IMMEDIATELY, "");

Running this should show an update dialog when I start the app. Of course using a value other than IMMEDIATELY may not bring an immediate prompt, unless your SharedPreferences are being deleted between attempts.