Spotted by Android Police, The Google Play Store is running a limited experiment that shows comparisons of similar apps near the bottom of a listing. In the gif below, they discovered that VLC Player has comparisons for several other video players and shows whether they have offline functionality, streaming, and casting capabilities, shows their visual quality and ease of use too. With so many apps in the store, this could benefit those looking to cut through an app’s makeup and marketing and get to the hard facts about what it’s offering so that they can make a faster, more informed decision.
This feature only shows up for some and was found by user Himanshu in version 22.4.28. Should it roll out to everyone, it could also be useful for Chromebook users who want to get the most out of their device. I’ve found that, especially with video editors, people are looking to see which Google Play apps work offline and provide other benefits that are tailor-made for the laptop or larger screen experience.
It would be awesome to see Google add comparisons for games. Being able to see which titles have mouse and keyboard support, gamepad support and more would be incredibly useful, but at this time, this experiment seems to compare non-gaming apps. If Google wants to keep improving the Google Play Store on Chromebooks, something like this should be top of mind for them. They currently show you which apps you should consider adding to your device via their official Chromebook website, they feature specific Chromebook focused segments on the store for creativity tools and have handpicked games that are optimized for their laptop OS too, but I feel as though more could be done. This sort of feature seems like it could be the answer to the problem of Chromebook optimized app discoverability and I can see this becoming a requirement for all Play Store listings in the future.