Posted by Kanika Sachdeva, Product Manager, Google Play
At Google Play, we’re committed to providing a positive, safe environment for children and families. Over the last few years, we’ve helped parents find family-friendly content through the Designed for Families program and empowered them to set digital ground rules for their families with Family Link parental controls.
After taking input from users and developers we are evolving our Google Play policies to provide additional protections for children and families. These policy changes build on our existing efforts to ensure that apps for children have appropriate content, show suitable ads, and handle personally identifiable information correctly; they also reduce the chance that apps not intended for children could unintentionally attract them.
Over the next few months, we will continue to roll out additional features that will help parents make informed choices before they install apps for their kids.
What’s changing for developers
We are asking every developer to thoughtfully consider whether children are part of your target audience.
If children are part of your target audience, you must meet policy requirements in your app concerning content and handling of personally identifiable information.
If children are not part of your target audience, you should make sure your app does not unintentionally appeal to them. We will double check your app marketing to confirm this and ask you to make adjustments where required.
Declaring a target audience
As part of the new policy, all developers must complete the new target audience and content section of the Google Play Console.
The new target audience and content section of the Google Play Console.
For most developers, the target audience does not include children and this section should be relatively quick to complete. If children are part of your target audience, we will ask you follow-up questions.
We will use the information you provide in the Google Play Console, along with our own review of your app marketing assets, to categorize your app and apply policies according to the following target audience groups: children, children and older users, older users.*
These changes affect every developer on Play, so if your app is already live on the Google Play store, we want to give you time to make any necessary updates. Below are the key dates to keep in mind:
Today: Target audience and content section available in the Google Play Console. All new apps must comply with the updated policies.
September 1st, 2019: All existing apps must have filled out the new target audience and content section and complied with the updated policies.
Our commitment to you
We’re committed to providing the resources you need to understand and implement these changes. You can view more information on the Android developers website and access training on our new policies on Google Play's Academy for App Success. We have also increased our staffing and improved our communications for app review and appeals processes to help you get timely decisions and understand any changes that are needed.
Thanks in advance for the work you are putting in. We will continue to listen to your feedback and use it to improve the way we roll out these updates and communicate with the developer community.
*Note: The word “children” can mean different things in different locales and in different contexts. It is important that you determine what obligations and/or age-based restrictions may apply for the countries where you target your app.
Over the last 10 years, we’ve worked together to build an incredible ecosystem with more than 2.5 billion active users in over 190 countries. This would not be possible without you and all the fantastic apps and games you’ve built that entertain, help, and educate people around the world.
Every month, you upload more than 750,000 APKs and app bundles to the Play Console. We’ve been amazed by your enthusiasm, and it’s been our privilege to help you grow your business. This year, we want to help you go even further. So today at Google I/O, we're announcing new tools and features to help you develop, release, and grow your apps and games — many of them based on your feedback and suggestions.
Efficient, modular apps and customizable feature delivery
Last year we introduced Android's new publishing format, the Android App Bundle, and an entirely new dynamic delivery framework on Google Play. There are now over 80,000 apps and games using app bundles in production, with an average size savings of 20%. As a result of those savings, apps have seen up to 11% install uplift. As the future of app delivery, we’re excited to share these latest enhancements to the Android App Bundle.
Dynamic features are out of beta and available to all developers, including these new delivery options:
On-demand delivery — install features when they’re needed or in the background, instead of delivering them at install time, and reduce the size of your app.
Conditional delivery — control which parts of your app to deliver at the time of install based on the user’s country, device features, or minimum SDK version.
Instant experiences — now fully supported, so you only need to upload one artifact for your installed app and Google Play Instant experiences.
During our beta program, many developers implemented interesting use cases with dynamic features. Netflix, for example, now delivers their customer support functionality as a dynamic feature to users who visit the support center. By making functionality available only to users who need it, Netflix reported a 33% reduction in app size. You can learn more in the video below.
Seamless internal testing and increased security
We heard you loud and clear: testing bundles is hard. But with the new internal app sharing, you can now share test builds in a matter of seconds. Just upload your app bundle to Google Play and get a download URL to share with your testers. You don’t need to worry about version codes, signing keys, or most other validations that your production releases need to conform to.
In addition to efficiency and modularity, the Android App Bundle also now offers increased security with the launch of app signing key upgrade for new installs. With this feature, you can upgrade the cryptographic strength of your signing key for new installs and their updates on Google Play. Many developers sign their apps with keys generated a long time ago, and this new feature is the only backwards-compatible way to increase their strength.
Easier for users to update
Although auto-updates reach many users, you told us it was still challenging to get some users to update your apps. Now that our newin-app updates API is in general availability, users will be able to update without ever leaving your app. During our early access program, many developers used our API to create a polished upgrade flow, resulting in a median acceptance rate of about 50%.
The API currently supports two flows:
The “immediate” flow is a full-screen user experience that guides the user from download to update before they can use your app.
The “flexible flow” allows users to download the update while continuing to use your app.
Stronger decision-making with new Google Play Console data
The right data can help you improve your app performance and grow your business. That’s why we’re excited to tell you about new metrics and insights that will help you better measure your app health and analyze your performance.
Core metrics refresh — better understand your acquisition and churn, including data on returning users, automatic change analysis, install method (such as pre-installs and peer-to-peer sharing), metric benchmarking, and the ability to aggregate and dedupe over periods from hours to quarters.
App size metrics and reports — gain insights about your app size in Android vitals, including download size, size on device (at install time), changes compared to peers over time, and tailored optimization recommendations.
Developer-selected peer benchmarks — create a custom set of 8-12 peers to compare your app to, then see the median value of the set and the difference between your app and its peers for Android vitals data as well as for public metrics like your rating.
Market insights with curated peersets — in the coming months, you’ll also be able to compare your growth against an automatically generated, curated peerset of around 100 apps similar to yours for business-sensitive metrics like conversion rate and uninstall rate.
Making it easier to respond to and improve user reviews
We’re also making big changes to another key source of performance data: your user reviews. Many of you told us that you want a rating that reflects a more current version of your app, not what it was years ago — and we agree. So instead of a lifetime cumulative value, your Google Play Store rating will be recalculated to give more weight to your most recent ratings. Users won’t see the updated rating in the Google Play Store until August, but you can preview your new rating in the Google Play Console today.
Every day, developers respond to more than 100,000 reviews in the Play Console, and when they do, we’ve seen that users update their rating by +0.7 stars on average. So in addition to the ratings change, we're making it easier to respond to reviews with suggested replies. When you go to respond to a user, you’ll see three suggested replies which have been created automatically based on the content of the review. You can choose to send one as-suggested, customize a suggestion for more personalization, or create your own message from scratch. Suggested replies are available in English now with additional languages coming later.
Better Google Play Store listing targeting and customization
Your store listing is where users come to learn more about your app or game and decide whether to install. It’s important real estate, so we’re releasing new features that let you optimize your Google Play Store to address different moments in the user lifecycle.
Following the launch of custom listings by country at GDC, we’re announcing a new early access program that lets you create custom listings by install state. Increase acquisition, retention, and re-engagement by providing customized marketing messages for users who haven’t installed your app, users who have your app, and users who have uninstalled your app. If you’re interested in joining the program, sign up here.
Now that pre-registration is available to all developers, we’re launching two new features to help you make the most of it: custom listing pages for pre-registration and pre-registration rewards, which let you incentivize players for signing up for notifications before you launch.
Posted by Chris Yang, Program Manager, Translation Service
It is not uncommon for developers to have the following concerns and thoughts when considering whether to localize their apps: "I just don't have the time!" "Translation is too expensive." "High-quality translation is just hard to find.'' Does this sound familiar?
At Google, we consider translation a key component of making the world's information universally accessible and useful. This commitment extends not only to localizing our own products, but also to providing tools to help developers and translators more easily localize their apps.
Introducing the Google Play App Translation Service
Available in the Google Play Console, the Google Play App Translation Service simplifies localization of your app user interface strings, store listing, in-app product names, and universal apps campaign ads. Thousands of developers have already used this service to reach hundreds of millions of users worldwide.
Here is an overview of some of the ways it can help:
1. Quick and easy - Order in minutes and receive your translation in as little as two days.
Small translation orders can be completed in only two days. All orders are completed in eight days or less.
Apply translations directly in the Play Console or download to build with your app.
2. Professional and human - Get high-quality translations by real human translators.
All translations are carefully crafted by professional translators just for you.
Translation providers are selected by Google based on quality and speed.
3. Value for money - Translate your app for as little as $0.07 per word.
Pricing is upfront and simple. You only pay per word for each language you translate.
For example, translating 200 words into one language at $0.07 per word would cost only $14.
When you're ready to translate, just select the languages to use for translation, choose a vendor, and place your order.
Select languages to translate into.
Choose what type of content you want to translate.
Easily complete purchase of the service.
You can also expand your global footprint with translation recommendations that can help increase installs. The recommendations can be found in the Google Play Console.
The language recommendation feature is developed using machine learning and is based on your app's install history and market data.
Did you know that you can reach almost 80% of internet users worldwide with only 10 languages. In particular, the Google Play opportunity in Russia and the Middle East continues to grow. Let us know once you have localized for these markets so we can consider featuring your app or game in the Now in Russian and Now in Arabic collections on the Play Store.
Launching the translation
Once you download the translation, you'll be ready to publish your newly translated app update on Google Play.