Some IRC discussion on this:

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  apt {upgrade,install} require an update call first

Status in apt package in Ubuntu:

Bug description:
  I think that this should be tracked in its own separate bug tracking
  my specific UX objection to the current status quo.

  subsequent discussion and

  We think that the updating of indexes should be an implementation
  detail of "apt upgrade" and "apt install", rather than something
  exposed to the user. If updating is judged be required (for example
  the index is more than X old), then it should be done automatically
  before the requested operation commences.

  Here's one proposed implementation:

  1) Fix bug 1429285 ("apt-get update --if-necessary").

  2) Add an option to have "apt install" and "apt upgrade" (also "apt
  full-upgrade", etc?) automatically and internally call the
  implementation of "apt-get update --if-necessary" first.

  3) Enable the option by default on Ubuntu.

  This would change the behaviour of "apt", which AIUI is intended to be
  the user focused CLI. It wouldn't change the behaviour of "apt-get",
  which AIUI needs to retain behavioural backwards compatibility for
  existing scripts.

  Then we could promote "apt install" and "apt upgrade" as much simpler
  commands to operate.

  Note that Julian disagreed with this proposed behaviour change in
  I think that the very user-focused Ubuntu perspective should be to
  focus on the common use case for "apt". Hence my (compromise)
  suggestion that we implement this as an option upstream, and then
  leave it to distros to choose the default behaviour for their users.

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