Why is my iOS updating by itself when I build the app?

Sometimes I build my app to make an APK to test it out on my Android phone etc. and it auto-updates my iOS app to my users without me ever publishing it.

Why does this happen and how can I prevent it? This is a serious problem for me.

When you build the app it is automatically published unless you use the --no-publish option. But instead of doing that it would probably be better to use release channels.

You could use e.g. a test release channel for test builds and the default release channel for production builds. When you want to deploy a test version of your app you could do this:

expo build:android --release-channel test

Then the iOS users who are running the production version will not see those updates because they will be checking the default release channel for updates.

Then if you are happy with the test version and want to make it available to the production users as an OTA update you can promote it to the default release channel.

See also the flow chart on the page just above that last link to see which updates an app will get depending on the SDK version, release channel, etc.

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Thank you. This explains my mystery. This issue of mysterious auto-updates was causing me a lot of headache.

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