Over on its Android Developers blog, Google detailed how it wants to draw more attention to apps and games that put in the work to make the user experience top-notch. Over the next few months, the Google Play Store intends to roll out improvements to how it does this by giving developers more tools to embed key events, app content, and offers across the entire Play experience.
First and foremost, the company will change app discovery to draw the user’s eye to aspects of the experience that benefit them. Things like in-app deals, limited-time events, and more may have larger banners and better placement across the Store. In recent memory, I think Google has done a much better job at this, but it’s great to see them dedicated to continuing this process.
What’s most interesting about this blog post is that Google hopes to not only highlight better apps, but de-emphasize bad apps and experiences. By keeping attention off of objectively crappy apps, the end user installs less that wastes their time, and in the end, that’s better for everyone. By ‘objectively crappy’, I mean apps that crash too much and have a high “ANR” rate.
That stands for ‘App not responding’, by the way, and any developers who don’t take the time and energy to optimize what they’re offering to work really well on your phone, Chromebook, tablet, or TV among other places, really doesn’t deserve to have the spotlight, in my not-so-humble opinion.
Other factors for determining the quality of apps it will put emphasis on include the overall polish, engagement opportunity of the experience once installed, navigation and controls, and more. This means that by following Android’s quality app guidelines, a developer can ensure that their offering is both worth a user’s time and reduces frustration. More importantly, this will translate to increased installs and ultimately, more money in either ad revenue or in-app purchases for that dev.
Aside from some other DevOp tools that I won’t cover here (you can read about them on the Android blog, if you’d like), Google states it’s working on methods for reducing coordinated review bombing on apps and games. Any fake or unfair, low-quality reviews en masse will likely be reviewed and fixed. There’s no real information on this process at this time, but I imagine it will probably include a human review process to determine whether or not an app is being unfairly targeted.