Sunday, December 4, 2022

Google Play’s new “app quality bar” update and how will it affect users

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Google has announced a new update for its app store that will make it easier for Android users to discover high-quality apps. With this update, Google Play Store will set a new “app quality bar” that will make higher-quality apps more visible and will remove the poor-quality titles from distinct positions. The tech giant has introduced a new system that will monitor the technical aspects of Android apps and will also set a benchmark for all apps that developers need to comply with. Apps that will fail to match the “app quality bar” will be removed from prominent places like recommendations. Moreover, starting from November 30, Google will also issue a warning about the below-par apps that might not work properly on some devices.

How will it work
Google says that it will replace the existing system that monitors the technical quality, stability and performance of Google Play Store apps with a new, more user-friendly system. The system is responsible for apps’ visibility on the Google Play store. Google has also explained that it wants to align the “definition of technical quality with user experience.”

The new app monitoring system will include two parameters: user-perceived crash rate and user-perceived “app not responsive” (ANR). The user-perceived crash rate parameter defines the percentage of daily active users who have experienced at least one crash while using a particular app. Meanwhile, user-perceived ANR measures the percentage of daily active users who have experienced at least one ANR error message on a specific app.

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These new parameters will help developers to improve app quality. The apps that have a user-perceived crash rate of above 1.09% and a user-perceived ANR rate of 0.47% will be considered to be of poor quality. Google has also advised developers to keep their apps within the mentioned threshold to increase their visibility on Play Store.

Google has also addressed the fact that apps don’t behave the same on every device. To make users aware of such app behaviours, Google will also introduce a new system that will evaluate the performance of the app on different smartphone models. These apps will start showing a highlighted message: “Recent data from similar devices show that this app may not work properly on your device”. The message will appear on the app listings just below the “Install” button starting November 30.

Apart from this, Google will also introduce a rating bar of 3.0 stars that apps will require to get into the top charts. The new rating bar will be implemented on Top Free charts worldwide and across all form factors in February 2023. The company also plans to bring this change to the top paid and grossing charts by later next year.

How will it affect users
This will lead to end users seeing new formats in the Play Store which will be visible across search, discovery, homepage and listings. These new formats can also be used by apps for promotion.

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Developers will also get a chance to convince Android users to download apps and games that they have already tried and uninstalled. This message from app developers will also appear across different platforms, including app ads on YouTube.

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