Tag Archives: Google Play

More 4K, more fun with Google Play Movies & TV

Movie nights just got better! Now you can enjoy your favorite movies in the highest quality possible on Google Play Movies & TV—without ever leaving your couch. 


Check out the full scoop on what’s new in the U.S. and Canada:

Movies you own will automatically be upgraded to 4K, on us:When 4K titles are available from participating Hollywood studios, we’ll upgrade your past movie purchases so you can stream in 4K, even if you originally bought the movie in SD or HD. It’s all on us, just open the Play Movies & TV app and we’ll let you know which titles have been upgraded.

Pay less for 4K movies:Starting today, most 4K movies on Google Play will cost you less, so you have more options to enjoy upgraded movies. Get started by browsing our top 4K titles.

Bring 4K to your TV: You shouldn’t need to buy an additional device to watch your 4K movies on the 4K TV you already own. In addition to 4K Sony Bravia TVs, you can now watch in 4K using the Play Movies & TV app on most 4K Samsung Smart TVs, and we’re working on adding support for LG as well.

Enjoy updated designs to our smart TV app:We’ve updated our app for Samsung, LG and Vizio TVs with a modern look and feel to provide a better experience.

We think watching in 4K should be a no brainer, so we’re continuously working to make that a reality. With Google Play, it’s now easier than ever for you to watch movies in the best quality possible, no matter which device you're using. And it doesn't stop here, we'll continue to make improvements so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your favorite movies, whenever and wherever.


Google Play offline peer to peer installs beta

Posted by James Bender, Product Manager, Google Play

In June we started adding security metadata to all apps and app updates to help verify product authenticity from Google Play. We're doing this is to help developers reach a wider audience, particularly in countries where peer-to-peer app sharing is common because of costly data plans and limited connectivity.

Now, when a user shares an app via Play-approved partner peer-to-peer apps, Play will be able to determine shared app authenticity while a device is offline, add those shared apps to a user's Play Library, and manage app updates when the device comes back online. This will give users more confidence when using Play-approved peer-to-peer app beta partners, starting today with SHAREIt. Additional integrations from Files Go by Google and Xender are planned in the coming weeks. Please visit the Play Store to make sure you have the latest versions of these apps.

This also benefits you as a developer as it provides a Play-authorized offline distribution channel and, since the peer-to-peer shared app is added to your user's Play library, your app will now be eligible for app updates from Play.

No action is needed by developers or your users. This is an important step that improves the integrity of Google Play's mobile app ecosystem. Offline Play peer-to-peer sharing presents a new distribution opportunity for developers while helping more people keep their apps up to date.

How useful did you find this blog post?

Playtime 2018: Helping you build better apps in a smaller bundle

Posted by Matt Henderson, Product Manager, Google Play

Today we are kicking off Playtime, our annual global event series, hosting over 800 attendees in Berlin and San Francisco to share insights from experts around the world and the latest updates on our products. This will be followed by events in Sao Paulo, Singapore, Taipei, Seoul, and Tokyo.

At Google Play, we continue to invest in tools that make it easier for you to develop and distribute your apps to a global audience. Below are some of the exciting updates we are announcing today:

Building smaller apps

The Android App Bundle is Android's new publishing format, with which you can more easily deliver a great experience in a smaller app size. Smaller apps have higher conversion rates and our user research shows that app size is a leading motivator in driving uninstalls. With the Android App Bundle's modularization, you can also deliver features on demand, instead of at install time, further reducing the size of your app.

Thousands of app bundles are already in production, with an average size reduction of 35%. Today, we are announcing updates that offer additional reasons for you to switch to the bundle.

  • More size savings: app bundles will now be on average 8% smaller on download and 16% smaller on device on M+ devices with no additional developer work. These new savings come from supporting uncompressed native libraries, which eliminates the need to store multiple copies on the device.
  • Easier to switch: you can now build app bundles in the Android Studio 3.2 stable release and in Unity 2018.3 beta.
  • Improved support for large apps: you can now upload large app bundles with installed APK sizes of up to 500MB without needing to use expansion files. This feature is in early access and we will roll it out to all developers in the future.

To learn more about the Android App Bundle, dynamic features, and all the benefits you receive from building a smaller, modular app, read our Medium post.

Building a unified instant experience

We've been listening to your feedback to make it easier to build instant apps, and we recently increased the size limit to 10MB to enable TRY NOW on the Play Store and removed the URL requirement. For game developers, we've partnered with Unity on a Google Play Instant plug-in and have built instant directly into the new Cocos Creator.

We’re now using the Android App Bundle to solve one of the primary pain points of building instant apps. Previously, you needed to publish both an instant app and an installable app. With Android Studio 3.2, you could publish instant-enabled bundles but you were still required to publish a primary app bundle.

Now, you don't have to maintain separate code. With the Android Studio 3.3 beta release, a developer can publish a single app bundle and classify it or a particular module to be instant enabled. The unified app bundle is the future of instant app experiences and we hope you will try it out.

Extending instant trials

Google Play Instant is now available for premium titles and pre-registration campaigns, so people can try your game before it launches and generate additional buzz. New apps and games join Google Play Instant every day, and we're excited to welcome Umiro, by Devolver Digital, and Looney Tunes World of Mayhem, by Scopely, as some of the first to take advantage of these new features.

Reducing crash rates and improving quality

The Play Console offers two tools to help you monitor performance and improve the quality of your apps. The pre-launch report runs your apps on real devices situated in the Firebase Test Lab and generates useful metadata to help you identify and fix issues before pushing your apps to production. Android vitals helps you track the performance and quality of your app on users' devices in the real world.

Now, we're linking them together to provide more actionable insights. Whenever a real-world crash in Android vitals is also seen during a pre-launch report execution, you'll get all the extra metadata from the pre-launch report available to you in the Android vitals dashboard so you can debug more effectively. This is also linked in both directions, so that if a crash occurs in pre-launch reports that is already happening in the real world, you'll be able to see the current impact in Android vitals which will help you better prioritize the issues highlighted by pre-launch reports.

Optimizing your app and business

We've made several updates to make it easier to manage your app and business with Play.

  • Tools for retaining subscribers: at I/O we introduced the cancellation survey, where you can get insights into why your subscribers are canceling. Now we're testing the ability for users to temporarily pause their subscriptions instead of outright canceling, and giving you the ability to deliver promotions to win back canceled subscribers.
  • More flexible subscription pricing: you can now change the price of an existing subscription without needing to create a new SKU in Play Billing Library version 1.2. You can also offer a plan change and make the change effective at the existing renewal date.
  • More powerful metrics: we've added new tools in the Play Console to help you evaluate your core metrics. Additions include cumulative data, 30-day rolling average metrics, and roll-ups for different time periods to better match the cadence of your business. You can also download any configured reports as a CSV file.
  • Easier app updates: you can now prompt users to update without leaving your app with a new API called In-App Updates. Developers can either show a full screen experience that takes the user from download to restart, or help the user download and install in the background with graceful state monitoring. This program is currently in early access and will roll out in the next few months.

A new way to learn about Play

We're equally excited to launch the Academy for App Success with new interactive courses to help developers get the most out of the Play Console, understand Play policies, and utilize best practices to improve quality and increase business performance. This free new program allows you to track your learning progress with quizzes and achievements to demonstrate your expertise. Available in English today, new content and translated courses will be added soon.

We continue to be inspired by what you build and the impact you have on people around the world. Check our #IMakeApps collection which celebrate some amazing people who create apps and games and share your #IMakeApps story.

How useful did you find this blog post?

#IMakeApps: Using robotics to make apps for people with hearing difficulties

Editor’s note: To celebrate the hard work, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of app makers around the world, we’re featuring founders, product managers, designers and developers from around the world. We’ll showcase their passions and also hear about what they do when they step away from their computers. Meet our next app maker, Mateo Salvatto, an Argentinian robotics champion and founder of ¡Háblalo!, an app that helps people with hearing difficulties to communicate verbally and handle daily life with greater ease. Check out more #IMakeApps stories on g.co/play/imakeapps.

Mateo Salvatto is an Argentinian robotics champion and Founder of ¡Háblalo!, an app for people with hearing difficulties

How did you get into robotics?

When I was 15, I first started my specialization in Electronics at ORT Argentina. I started attending the Robotics club meetings and fell in love with it. I knew I wanted to become a member of the club as soon as I saw it, so I started learning from the older students and built my first robot. My favorite part of building robots is when they make their first turn. There is no other feeling like building something for six months and watching it move as you told it to!

When and why did you decide to start teaching robotics to others?

Everything I have achieved was because of Yoda, my first robot. I’m certain it’s very important to learn robotics because of everything it teaches you. It’s not only coding and electronics but also a way of thinking through problems and understanding of the importance of working with others.

Why did you create ¡Háblalo!?

My mother is a teacher for deaf people. When I finished high school I realized I could use what I had learnt to develop something for them. The passion I put into robotics helped me develop ¡Háblalo!. When I won the international robotics championship at 17, I realized I could use everything I had learned to make great things and that’s when I decided to develop something to help people with disabilities. That’s how ¡Háblalo! was born.

What has been your experience with Android & Google Play?

¡Háblalo! wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the Android community and the ease and speed to publish and update your developments in the Play Store. I learned to code apps thanks to the forums of the community and our presence in the Play Store has gotten us to where we are! The possibility of publishing our own product out there for everyone is huge. I love working with apps for Android because of that. I originally published ¡Háblalo! for my friends to use but then people in India, US, Morocco and more started using it. That is the great power and reach of the Android community.

Providing a safe and secure experience for our users

Posted by Paul Bankhead, Director, Product Management, Google Play

We focus relentlessly on security and privacy on the Google Play Store to ensure Android users have a positive experience discovering and installing apps and games they love. We regularly update our Google Play Developer policies and today have introduced stronger controls and new policies to keep user data safe. Here are a few updates:

Upgrading for security and performance

As previously announced, as of November 1, 2018, Google Play will require updates to existing apps to target API level 26 (Android 8.0) or higher (this is already required for all new apps). Our goal is to ensure all apps on Google Play are built using the latest APIs that are optimized for security and performance.

Protecting Users

Our Google Play Developer policies are designed to provide a safe and secure experience for our users while also giving developers the tools they need to succeed. For example, we have always required developers to limit permission requests to only what is needed for their app to function and to be clear with users about what data they access.

As part of today's Google Play Developer Policy update, we're announcing changes related to SMS and Call Log permissions. Some Android apps ask for permission to access a user's phone (including call logs) and SMS data. Going forward, Google Play will limit which apps are allowed to ask for these permissions. Only an app that has been selected as a user's default app for making calls or text messages will be able to access call logs and SMS, respectively.

Please visit our Google Play Developer Policy Center and this Help Center article for detailed information on product alternatives to SMS and call logs permissions. For example, the SMS Retriever API enables you to perform SMS-based user verification and SMS Intent enables you to initiate an SMS or MMS text message to share content or invitations. We'll be working with our developer partners to give them appropriate time to adjust and update their apps, and will begin enforcement 90 days from this policy update.

In the coming months, we'll be rolling out additional controls and policies across our various products and platforms, and will continue to work with you, our developers, to help with the transition.

The trust of our users is critical and together we'll continue to build a safe and secure Android ecosystem.

Making a difference with Android and Google Play

As mobile platforms with global scale and billions of users, a core tenet of Google Play and Android is to have a positive effect on and change the communities in which we operate. Over the years, we’ve facilitated innumerable connections between people, developers, and nonprofits, and in the video below, we share the stories of four incredible apps that create social impact around the world.

My Earthquake Alerts sends free, real time push notifications to alert users of severe earthquakes close to their location. This warning system can mean the difference between lives saved and lives lost when disaster strikes.

In situations where access to high-quality education is limited or costly, an app can help ease the strain. One example is Prepup, an effective mobile tool for students to prepare for common exams written in Nigeria and other African countries.

Positive impact surrounding Android apps is often created both on- and off- mobile. The founders of Forest: Stay focused are building an effective tool to help people disconnect from their smartphones for short periods of time and are also contributing to real world reforestation efforts by allowing in-app actions to become real trees being planted where they are needed most.

Some apps can also help improve the financial outcomes for their users. For example, Fresh EBT enables US users to easily view their food stamps balance, track their spending habits, and find nearby shops that accept EBT. The app can also help people save money with coupons. We believe that financial health represents a sizable social impact opportunity for fintech entrepreneurs on Google Play and Android.

If you are a developer, then head over to this post on Medium to learn about the massive opportunity to drive positive social impact with Android and how to bring your social impact idea to mobile and achieve sustainable growth.


Tips from the people behind your favorite Google products

I’m one of those people who always cuts it close at the airport—it’s a race through security, with just enough time to grab the airline essentials: water bottle, magazine, a soft pretzel if I’m lucky. But I just learned that I can whip out Google Maps to find my way around the airport (by searching the airport name and terminal number), so I no longer waste time running around looking for my snack of choice.

For two decades, Google has built products that make my life more useful. Eight of these products now have a billion users, and with all that extra time at the airport, I got to thinking—how many other unknown tips and tricks are out there? Since Google is celebrating its 20th birthday this month, I present a party favor: tips on Google’s most-used products, straight from the people who helped build them.

Search

  • For lovers of covers:Try searching for a song and then tapping “other recordings” for different renditions.
  • Don’t burn daylight: Make the most of your daylight hours by knowing when the sun will go down. Search [sunset] to get the time the sun will set today.
  • For content connoisseurs:If you’re a fan of bingeable TV shows or a movie buff, you can see all the places to stream any show or film by searching [watch] followed by the title. (Head’s up: this is available in the U.S., Great Britain, Australia, Germany and India). 
Emily Moxley, Director of Product Management


Maps

  • Beat the crowds:Use Google Maps to find out the estimated wait times and popular times to visit your favorite restaurants and businesses. 
  • Don’t get lost in the parking lot:If you’ve ever spent way too long searching for your parked car, this tip’s for you. After navigating to your destination, tap on the blue dot and then “Set as parking location” so you can always find your way back to your parking spot.
  • Quickest route to the airport snacks:If you’re flying to a new place, you can use Google Maps to help you find your way around an airport. A quick search for an airport terminal name, say “SFO Terminal 1,” will show you the lay of the land, including nearby gates, lounges, restaurants and stores.
Dane Glasgow, VP of Product


YouTube

  • Just add popcorn:Developed to cut down on glare and give you that movie theater experience, Dark Theme turns your background dark while you’re watching YouTube. It’s available on desktop, iOS and now rolling out to Android. 
  • Pick your pace:Speed up or slow down the playback of a video by tapping on the three dots at the bottom right of any video. 
  • Take a shortcut:While watching a YouTube video, use the numbered keys to seek in a video. For example, hitting “2” will take you 20 percent into the video, “6” will take you to 60 percent into the video, “0” will restart the video. 
Brian Marquardt, Director of Product Management


Gmail

  • The ultimate to-do list: Open Tasks in your side panel within Gmail, then drag and drop emails to turn your messages into action items. 
  • Shhhh:Declutter your inbox with Gmail’s mute feature, which pushes the entire conversation to your archive and any future conversations on the thread bypass your inbox to be automatically archived as well. 
  • Take it back:Don’t fret over embarrassing typos, unintentional reply-alls, or other email taboos. In your Gmail settings, just implement a 5-30 second cancellation period on your sent emails and once you’ve fired one off, you’ll receive a prompt to “Undo.”

Kevin Smilak, Engineering Director


Google Drive

  • Give your docs a gold star:Find your favorite Drive items by starring your most important docs within the Drive main menu, and then bookmarking your Starred page. 
  • File_name_V2:Freeze moments in time by naming different versions of the docs you edit frequently. In a Doc, Sheet, or Slides go to File > Version History > Name current version. Name any version then access it easily from "Version history" by name. 
  • Your search is our command:Google Drive makes the text within all of the images and PDFs you upload searchable. Try searching for a phrase that you know is inside a picture or PDF, which is especially helpful when you can’t remember your filename. 
Alexander Vogenthaler, Director of Product Management


Android

  • Lost and found:If you’ve misplaced your Android phone, Find My Device lets you locate it by signing into your Google account. Or you can call it directly from a browser by typing “find my device” on Google. Lock your phone remotely or display a message on the lock screen, so if someone finds it they know who to contact. If you’re convinced it’s lost for good, you can erase all your data.
  • Always reachable:Don’t miss any urgent phone calls and messages from important contacts like close family members or your child’s school, even when you have Do Not Disturb turned on. Just add a star to people that matter to you, and then allow calls and messages from “starred contacts only” in Do Not Disturb settings. 
  • Use your voice:You can ask your Google Assistant to handle tasks on your Android phone (running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or later). Start by saying “OK Google,” then try “take a screenshot,” “turn on flashlight,” or “open WiFi setting.” You can even ask to “take a selfie”—this will open the camera app and start a countdown. Cheeeeeeeese. 
Sagar Kamdar, Director of Product Management


Google Play

  • When you’re good with faces, but not names:Just hit pause on your movie, tap the circle around the actor or actress's face, and learn more about them and what other movies they’ve been in.
  • Read like a superhero: When you’re reading a comic on your phone, tap on a voice bubble and use your volume buttons to zoom in on the dialogue between two characters.
  • What you wish for:You can create a wishlist to keep track of items you want to install or purchase on Google Play.
Kara Bailey, Global Merchandising Director


Chrome

  • Access history across devices:Open Chrome and click on “History.” From the drop down menu, click “Full History” and “Tabs From Other Devices.” If you’re signed into the same Google account on both your phone and your computer, you’ll see the article you were just about to finish on your way into work.
  • Keeping tabs on your tabs:You can save eight days of time per year using keyboard shortcuts. Try this one in Chrome: jump between tabs at light speed by pressing Ctrl and the tab number you want to go to (i.e., Ctrl+1, Ctrl+2, Ctrl+3).
  • 👀☝😀 = 🎉. Right-click in any text field for a shortcut to access emoji on any platform Chrome can be found.
Ellie Powers, Group Product Manager, and Chris Beckmann, Product Management Director 

So many tips, so much saved time.

Source: Gmail Blog


Staged releases allow you to bring new features to your users quickly, safely and regularly.

Posted by Peter Armitage, Software Engineer, Google Play

Releasing a new version of your app is an exciting moment when your team's hard work finally gets into the hands of your users. However, releasing can also be challenging - you want to keep your existing users happy without introducing performance regressions or bugs. At Google I/O this year, we talked about staged releases as an essential part of how Google does app releases, allowing you to manage the inherent risks of a new release by making a new version of your app available to just a fraction of your users. You can then increase this fraction as you gain confidence that your new version works as expected. We are excited that starting today staged releases will be possible on testing tracks, as well as the production track.

We will take a closer look at how staged releases work, and how you can use them as part of your release process.

Advantages of a staged release

The first benefit of a staged release is that it only exposes a fraction of your users to the new version. If the new version contains a bug, only a small number of people will be inconvenienced by it. This is much safer than releasing a new version to all of your users at once.

Another benefit is that if you discover a bug, you can halt the rollout, preventing any new users from downloading that version. Instead, they will receive the previous version.

These capabilities should relieve a lot of the uncertainty of rolling out a new version. And that will allow you to do it more often. We encourage releasing versions of a server more often because it reduces the number of changes between each release, allowing you to more easily test and troubleshoot. The same principle applies to apps, though there will be a delay before most of your users upgrade to the latest version.

Staged releases as part of your normal release process

Let's look at a typical release process for an app with 100,000 users.

  1. Every Monday the developer builds a new version of the app from the latest version of the code that passes the automatic tests. They push the new release to Google Play's internal test track, and their QA team immediately starts testing it manually. Any bugs they find can be fixed and a new version can be built and pushed for them to re-check.
  2. On Tuesday, if the QA team have approved the latest release, it can be promoted to the app's alpha track. All the employees at the company have opted in to testing. Once the new release is pushed to the alpha track, the employees can download the new version. They can do this manually, or they may have auto-updates enabled, in which case they will probably update within a few hours.
  3. On Wednesday, if there are no reported issues with the release, they can promote the release to the production track and start a rollout at 10%. This means 10,000 users will have the opportunity to upgrade. Some will upgrade immediately, others will wait. The 10% of users that receive the app first are randomly selected, and the users will be randomly chosen each week.
  4. On Thursday, the developer checks the Play Console to see their crash reports, Android vitals, and feedback. If these all look good they can increase the rollout to 100%. All users will be able to upgrade to the new version.
  5. On Friday, the developer doesn't change anything, to ensure a stress-free weekend!

For big apps and small apps

Some apps are just starting out, and although there's no QA team, it's still worth testing the app on a few different devices before releasing it. Instead of having a track for employees, the developer has added their friends and family, who can contact them if they see an issue.

When an app gets larger and uses the open testing track, it may have 5,000 testers. These testers won't give public feedback on the Play store, but will be able to give feedback to the developer directly. If this app has 1 million users, they may first release to 1%, before going to 10%, then 100%.

Once an app becomes very popular, it could have over 100,000 testers. In that case the developer is now able to do a staged release on their testing track.

How to bounce back from issues

Bugs happen, and if you discover a problem with your new version you may want to halt the release. This will stop users from getting the new version, either by upgrading or installing for the first time. However, those who have already got the new version will not downgrade.

If the issue was not in the app itself, but on a server that the app communicates with, it may be best to fix the issue in the server, then resume the release. Resuming it allows some fraction of your users to access the new version again. This is the same set of users that were able to download the release before it was halted.

If the issue was in the app, you will have to fix it and release a new version. Or alternatively, you may choose to rebuild the previous version with a higher version code. Then you can start a staged release to the same set of users that the previous release went to.

API support

Staged releases are supported in v3 of the Play Console API on all tracks. Mark a release as "inProgress" and set a fraction of the population to target. For instance, to start a staged release to 5%:

{
  "releases": [{
      "versionCodes": ["99"],
      "userFraction": 0.05,
      "status": "inProgress"
  }]
}

Alternatively, if you release using the UI, it will suggest a fraction.

What next?

We hope you find these features useful and take advantage of them for successful updates with Google Play. If you're interested in some of the other great tools for distributing your apps, check out the I/O 2018 sessions, and learn more about test tracks and staged updates.

How useful did you find this blogpost?

Exclusive new organic acquisition insights on the Google Play Console

Posted by Tom Grinsted, Product Manager, Google Play

We've updated the Play Console acquisition reports to give new insights into what users do on the Play Store to discover your app. It's a great way to super-charge your App Store Optimization (ASO) and onboarding experience.

One of the things every developer wants to know is how people discover their app or game. User acquisition reports in the Google Play Console are a great way to understand this. For many apps and games, a stand-out source is Organic traffic — it's usually the largest or second largest source of store listing visits and installs.

Organic traffic is made up of people who come to your store listing while exporting or searching the Play Store. These visitors might find your app in a seasonal collection, from featuring, or while searching for a specific use case or term.

Until recently, this traffic has been bundled together with no breakdown of data into user behavior. With our latest updates we have changed this by introducing new and exclusive acquisition insights to the Google Play Console. These enable you to understand what people in the Play Store do to discover your app or game. They reveal how many people discover your app through exploring the store, and how many search to find your app, and even the search terms they use!

App Store Optimization (ASO) is vital to driving your organic traffic and this update enables you to do this with more data and better understanding.

A new data breakdown

When you visit the user acquisition report, the first change you'll notice is that organic traffic is broken down. This breakdown means you can see how people arrive at your store listing by searching or exploring (actions that aren't search like browsing the homepage, visiting a category list, or viewing related apps).

This change has been of immediate benefit to developers, enabling their growth teams to optimize acquisition strategies. For example, Scopely found that:

"Isolating [explore] from search and then a deeper dive into search gives the whole organic picture. It allows us to focus on acquisition areas that really matter." Dorothee Pinlet, VP Partnerships, Scopely


Click through for more insights

From the new search row, you can click-through to see the aggregate number of people using different search terms to find your store listing, and which of those lead to the most installs. This breakdown is a view into the Play Store that has not been available before.

Our pilot partners, who helped us refine the feature ahead of launch, were very happy with how this data has helped them make more informed decisions.

For example, at Fun games for free:

"We were impressed by the relevance of the long tail searches."
Guilherme Major, Head of Organic Distribution and Business Development, Fun Games for Free

While Evernote found that the breakdown:

"... offers surprising and actionable insights about the effectiveness of search terms in driving installs and retained users."
May Allen, Product Manager, Evernote

Some partners changed their in-app onboarding experience to highlight features that reflected the search terms that were driving installs, to better meet user expectations. While others evaluated if their influencer marketing was having an impact by looking for their advocates' names in the search results after adding them to descriptions.

Better coverage

The new organic data also includes information about when people visiting the Play Store saw previews of your listings, not just when they visited your full page. People see these previews when they make certain searches, such as searching directly for a brand or app name. As well as more generally in some markets. This new information gives you more visibility into where people see your assets. It helps you decide how to optimize these assets, for instance by ensuring that your screenshots are impactful. And when you come to do that, you've got Store Listing Experiments.

This change means that your total reported visits and installs are likely to increase as of July 30, 2018. This increase is because previews will be counted as listing views, previously they were included in the category "Installs without store listing visits".

Putting the data to work

The developers who had the opportunity to test Organic breakdowns have given feedback that they loved them. They've also been kind enough to share some insights into how they plan to use the data. Perhaps these thoughts on how to use the data will spark some ideas for your business.

Some developers will be using this new data to evaluate their acquisition strategies by looking at the breakdown between explore and search. They will use this breakdown to evaluate the impact of exploring behaviors, especially around times when the app has been featured on the Play Store.

Using the information about popular search terms, several developers plan to change their app or game's Google Play listing to reflect user interests better. This change involves adjusting the descriptions and screenshots to tie more directly into the top search terms.

Others plan to use the insight provided by search term information to optimize their in-app onboarding. Here they plan to make sure that the onboarding talks about the features related to the most popular searches people made when discovering their app or game, highlighting and reinforcing the benefits.

Final word

Our team is always thinking about the tools we can build to help you optimize the discovery and installation of your app or game from the Play Store. Organic breakdowns is just one of these tools, a new way to help drive your success. Ultimately, your success is what we work towards. Organic breakdowns give you a more comprehensive picture of how people discover you on the Play Store so you can optimize your store presence, turning more visits into installs, and more installs into engaged users.

How useful did you find this blog post?

Updating Wear OS Google Play Store policy to increase app quality

Posted by Hoi Lam, Lead Developer Advocate, Wear OS by Google

Today we are announcing a new initiative to improve Wear app quality and their presentation in the Google Play Store. The Wear app review process, which has been in place since the launch of Android Wear 2.0, is currently optional. It will become mandatory for apps to be listed on the Wear OS by Google version of the Google Play Store from the following dates:

  • New Wear apps: 1 October 2018
  • Existing Wear apps: 4 March 2019.

The review process for mobile apps remains unchanged, and is independent of the Wear app review. Mobile app updates will not be blocked if they fail the Wear app review.

We hope this lightweight app review process will improve the quality of Wear app experiences across the wide range of devices available to your users. In addition, since screenshots are required for the Wear app review, this will improve the discovery and presentation of your Wear apps in the Google Play Store.

See a comprehensive list of review criteria here. The following are common issues we see during Wear app reviews:

  • Support for different screen types - Wear OS by Google is available in both round and square screens, and some round devices also have a chin. Developers are advised to test on all screen types. If a physical device is unavailable, please use the Wear OS by Google emulator.
  • Wear OS by Google app screenshot - To pass the review, the app needs to have at least one Wear OS app screenshot. To keep pre-release Wear apps private, the Google Play Store will not show the Wear screenshots unless the Wear App is in production or open testing. Currently, the Google Play Store only supports uploading one set of screenshots across all production and test versions. For existing Wear apps, we recommend developers keeping their production Wear app screenshots unchanged when uploading new open test or closed test Wear apps.

Opting out of app review for early prototypes

We understand that some developers need to experiment with their Wear apps in the early stages of app development, and a Wear app review at this stage might not be appropriate. In this case, developers have two options:

Please note that the open test and closed test channels will be subject to Wear app review to help front-load the quality assurance process and to avoid leaving reviews to the last minute.

Thank you for your continuing support of Wear OS by Google.