Tag Archives: Google Play

Find great apps and games on Google Play with the Editors’ Choice update

Summer road trips are always a great way to unplug and enjoy time with friends and family. But how do you go about choosing the best app to navigate unfamiliar roads, edit your vacation photos and videos to post online, or find a fun game to pass time during the long drive?

play

The Editors’ Choice section on Google Play has long been a fan favorite, but we’re kicking it up a notch by adding better curation to help you find high quality apps and games that you’ll love. With the introduction of new editorial pages in our revamped Editors’ Choice section, our Google Play editors hand-select apps and games with the best experiences on Android and compile them around popular themes, while offering context on why they love each individual app or game.

Editors’ Choice helps you explore different game genres and app categories with reviews on each theme, such as fitness, selling & buying goods, epic role-playing games (RPGs) and top racing games.

Here are some editorial pages we recently put together:

Available on mobile and desktop in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Japan, South Korea, and the U.S., With expansion to more countries soon, our new editorial pages take out the guesswork so that you can quickly decide what apps and games fit best for your travel plans.

Calling all indie developers in the US & Canada: sign up for the Google Play Indie Games Festival in San Francisco

Posted by Jamil Moledina, Games Strategic Lead, Google Play

Calling all indie developers with fun and creative mobile games: we want to see your latest work! We'll be back with the second Google Play Indie Games Festival taking place in San Francisco on September 23rd.

If you're an indie developer based in the US or Canada and want to submit your game, visit the submission form and enter now through August 6th at 11:59PM PST.

If chosen as one of the 20 Finalists, you could have a chance to demo your game at the event and compete for prizes and bragging rights, to go home as one of the three festival winners!

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Android vitals: Increase engagement and installs through improved app performance

Posted by Fergus Hurley, Product Manager, Google Play

Poor app performance is something that many users have experienced. Think about that last time you experienced an app crashing, failing to respond, or rendering slowly. Consider your reaction when checking the battery usage on your own device, and seeing an app using excessive battery. When an app performs badly, users notice. In fact, in an internal analysis of app reviews on Google Play, we noticed that half of the 1-star reviews mentioned app stability.

Conversely, people consistently reward the best performing apps with better ratings and reviews. This leads to better rankings on Google Play, which helps increase installs. Not only that, but users stay more engaged, and are willing to spend more time and money.

At Google I/O 2017, we announced the new Android vitals dashboard in the Google Play Console. Android vitals is designed to help you understand and analyze bad app behaviors, so you can improve your app's performance and reap the benefits of better performance.

Android vitals in the Google Play Console

Android vitals helps identify opportunities to improve your app's performance. The dashboards are useful for engineers and business owners alike, offering quick reference performance metrics to monitor your app so you can analyze the data and dedicate the right resources to make improvements.

You'll see the following data collected from Android devices whose users have opted in to automatically share usage and diagnostics data:

  • Stability: ANR rate & crash rate
  • Render time: slow rendering (16ms) and frozen UI frames (700ms)
  • Battery usage: stuck wake locks and excessive wakeups

See how Busuu increased their rating from 4.1☆ to 4.5☆ by focusing on app performance

Busuu is one of the world's largest language learning apps. Hear from Antoine Sakho, Head of Product about how Busuu increased user ratings.

Learn more about engineering for high performance with tools from Android and Google Play

Read our best practice article on Android vitals to understand the data shown in the dashboards, and how you can improve your app's performance and stability. Watch the I/O session to learn about more tools from Android and Google Play that you can use to identify and fix bad behaviors:

Learn more about other Play Console features, and stay up to date with news and tips to succeed on Google Play, with the Playbook app. Join the beta and install it today.

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Sale into summer with new deals on Google Play

‘Tis the season for BBQs, family road trips, and days by the beach or pool. No matter how you spend your summer days, Google Play can be a part of it.

Starting today, you’ll be able to find your favorite movies, apps, games, music, TV and books at big savings. The sale runs until July 6 for apps, games, books and music, and until July 13 for movies and TV in select markets.

Take a break from the heat with a movie or TV show

Rent a movie from our catalogue for only $0.99—it’s cheaper than cooling down with an ice cream cone—or watch your favorite TV show at half price. Some of the biggest hits of the summer are Saban's Power Rangers, CHiPs, Get Out and The LEGO® Batman Movie.


Stay entertained with games on your family road trip

“I Spy” won’t last the whole car ride, so check out our discounts of up to 80 percent for premium games. A few of our favorites are FINAL FANTASY TACTICS, Star Wars: KOTOR, Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies, Reigns, Hitman Sniper and Lara Croft GO.


Find your beach, and pick up a book

Grab a beach chair and read some of the best-selling books of the year, from 50-80 percent off. There’s a wide variety of books to choose from, like thriller “The Freedom Broker,” romance novel “My Perfect Mistake” or sci-fi fantasy “Hellfire.”


Google Play Music can co-host your summer parties

While you’re taking care of the guests, Google Play Music will play all the right songs at the right time. This summer, you can get a Google Play Music subscription free for four months.


Try something new with lots of apps

If you’re six months late on your New Year’s resolution, take advantage of your time off this summer. Put your brain to use, learn a new language, start running, read the news every day! And do it on the cheap with a 50 percent discount for a new, one-year subscription for the services mentioned above and more.

As you take the time to relax, go vacation, and get outside, visit Google Play to find and share more fun entertaining moments with your friends and family.


Ending support for Android Market on Android 2.1 and lower

Posted by Maximilian Ruppaner, Software Engineer on Google Play

On June 30, 2017, Google will be ending support for the Android Market app on Android 2.1 Eclair and older devices. When this change happens, users on these devices will no longer be able to access, or install other apps from, the Android Market. The change will happen without a notification on the device, due to technical restrictions in the original Android Market app.

It has been 7 years since Android 2.1 Eclair launched. Most app developers are no longer supporting these Android versions in their apps given these devices now account for only a small number of installs.

We will still be supporting later versions of Android Market for as long as feasible. Google Play, the replacement for Android Market, is available on Android 2.2 and above.

Recognizing Android Excellence on Google Play

Posted by Kacey Fahey, Developer Marketing, Google Play

Every day developers around the world are hard at work creating high quality apps and games on Android. Striving to deliver amazing experiences for an ever growing diverse user base, we've seen a significant increase in the level of polish and quality of apps and games on Google Play.

As part of our efforts to recognize this content on the Play Store, today we're launching Android Excellence. The new collections will showcase apps and games that deliver incredible user experiences on Android, use many of our best practices, and have great design, technical performance, localization, and device optimization.

Android Excellence collections will refresh quarterly and can be found within the revamped Editors' Choice section of the Play Store – which includes app and game reviews curated by our editorial team.

Congrats to our first group of Android Excellence apps and games!

Android Excellence Apps Android Excellence Games
AliExpress by Alibaba Mobile

B&H Photo Video by B&H Photo Video

Citymapper by Citymapper Limited

Drivvo by Drivvo

drupe by drupe

Evernote by Evernote Corporation

HotelTonight by HotelTonight

Kitchen Stories by Kitchen Stories

Komoot by komoot GmbH

Lifesum by Lifesum

Memrise by Memrise

Pocket by Read It Later

Runtastic Running & Fitness by Runtastic

Skyscanner by Skyscanner Ltd

Sleep as Android by Urbandroid Team

Vivino by Vivino

After the End Forsaken Destiny by NEXON M Inc.

CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars by ZeptoLab

Golf Clash by Playdemic

Hitman GO Square Enix Ltd

Horizon Chase by Aquiris Game Studio S.A

Kill Shot Bravo by Hothead Games

Lineage Red Knights by NCSOFT Corporation

Nonstop Knight by flaregames

PAC-MAN 256 - Endless Maze by Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe

Pictionary™ by Etermax

Reigns by DevolverDigital

Riptide GP: Renegade by Vector Unit

Star Wars™: Galaxy of Heroes by Electronic Arts

Titan Brawl by Omnidrone

Toca Blocks by Toca Boca

Transformers: Forged to Fight by Kabam

Stay up-to-date on best practices to succeed on Play and get the latest news and videos with the new beta version of our Playbook app for developers.

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Google Play’s policy on incentivized ratings, reviews, and installs

Posted by Kazushi Nagayama, Ninja Spamologist and Bryan Woodward, Policy Specialist

Ensuring Google Play remains trusted and secure is one of our top priorities. We've recently announced improvements in fighting spam installs as well as fake ratings & reviews. In order to underscore these announcements and provide more clarity, we have now updated our Developer Program Policies on incentivized ratings, reviews, and installs:


Developers must not attempt to manipulate the placement of any apps in the Store. This includes, but is not limited to, inflating product ratings, reviews, or install counts by illegitimate means, such as fraudulent or incentivized installs, reviews and ratings.


Defining an incentivized action

We deem an action to be incentivized if a user is offered money, goods, or the equivalent in exchange for the action – be it a rating, review or install. Incentivized ratings and reviews have always been against our policies and we will continue to take action against them in order to protect the integrity of our store. Installs done with the intent to manipulate the placement of an app in Google Play will be detected and filtered.

Incentivized installs as user acquisition

We've observed instances where incentivized installs are utilized solely to manipulate the placement of apps in Google Play; these instances are a policy violation. However, we also recognize that incentivized installs can be a legitimate user acquisition channel for some developers. In order to recognize these two distinct use cases, we are taking the following approach:

  • Whilst we won't automatically remove apps from the store just because they utilize incentivized installs as one of their user acquisition channels, we will monitor for, and take action against behaviour that compromises the integrity of the store.
  • To address those whose intent we perceive is to manipulate the placements of their apps, we will monitor and filter incentivized installs in our systems, including removal from the top charts. If warranted, identified apps also may be removed from the Store.

Through this approach, we hope to further ensure that the top charts and other discovery mechanisms on Google Play reflect the reality of the popularity of an app.

As a general rule, we advise against utilizing incentivized actions. Incentivized users are a very different user base than users found through other acquisition channels. In an internal analysis, the Google Research team found that incentivized users generally have lower retention rates and make fewer in-app purchases than users found through paid or organic acquisition channels.

For more information on the Google Play policies, please visit the developer policy center. For tips and best practices to find success on Google Play, visit the Android Developers website.

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Google Play and Made With Code team up to inspire teen girls with Wonder Woman

Nearly 75 years after first appearing in All Star Comics #8, Wonder Woman continues to be a symbol of female empowerment, breaking through stereotypes pervasive in comic books, gaming and pop culture.    

Wonder Woman

Now, Wonder Woman’s Super Hero story is coming to the big screen in her first-ever movie, which opens in theaters tomorrow. Throughout the film, we see Princess Diana's strength through her leadership, perseverance, courage and camaraderie.

Wonder Woman is also one of the strongest characters on the small screen in the game DC Legends, which just released an update tied to the movie on Google Play. The update brings exclusive movie content, two major new game modes and special in-game events inspired by the film. Only a small percentage of video game characters are female, but in the DC Legends game, girls can select Wonder Woman and channel her strength while they play.

Wonder Woman’s strength is more relevant today than ever, especially in the technology space, since girls are less likely than boys to be encouraged to pursue computer science and only 22 percent of gaming developers are women. Made with Code, Google’s initiative to champion the next generation of female leaders and inspire them to see coding as a way to pursue their dreams, is releasing a new interactive coding project for wonder women everywhere to add coding to their superpower toolkit. With the project, teen girls can code three unique scenes from the film, using introductory coding principles to help Wonder Woman navigate obstacles and reach her goal.

Made with Code Wonder Woman Google Play

As part of this collaboration, Google Play and Made with Code are teaming up with Warner Bros to bring together more than 100 teen girls from Los Angeles to advance screen the Wonder Woman movie, play the updated DC Legends game and complete the coding project. We hope Wonder Woman’s message of empowerment inspires teen girls, and women, to build confidence in pursuing careers in computer science, engineering, gaming—or whatever their dreams may be.

Google Play and Made With Code team up to inspire teen girls with Wonder Woman

Nearly 75 years after first appearing in All Star Comics #8, Wonder Woman continues to be a symbol of female empowerment, breaking through stereotypes pervasive in comic books, gaming and pop culture.    

Wonder Woman

Now, Wonder Woman’s Super Hero story is coming to the big screen in her first-ever movie, which opens in theaters tomorrow. Throughout the film, we see Princess Diana's strength through her leadership, perseverance, courage and camaraderie.

Wonder Woman is also one of the strongest characters on the small screen in the game DC Legends, which just released an update tied to the movie on Google Play. The update brings exclusive movie content, two major new game modes and special in-game events inspired by the film. Only a small percentage of video game characters are female, but in the DC Legends game, girls can select Wonder Woman and channel her strength while they play.

Wonder Woman’s strength is more relevant today than ever, especially in the technology space, since girls are less likely than boys to be encouraged to pursue computer science and only 22 percent of gaming developers are women. Made with Code, Google’s initiative to champion the next generation of female leaders and inspire them to see coding as a way to pursue their dreams, is releasing a new interactive coding project for wonder women everywhere to add coding to their superpower toolkit. With the project, teen girls can code three unique scenes from the film, using introductory coding principles to help Wonder Woman navigate obstacles and reach her goal.

Made with Code Wonder Woman project

As part of this collaboration, Google Play and Made with Code are teaming up with Warner Bros to bring together more than 100 teen girls from Los Angeles to advance screen the Wonder Woman movie, play the updated DC Legends game and complete the coding project. We hope Wonder Woman’s message of empowerment inspires teen girls, and women, to build confidence in pursuing careers in computer science, engineering, gaming—or whatever their dreams may be.

Meet 5 Android developers working to improve lives around the world

Posted by Maxim Mai, Apps Partnerships, Google Play

Last Thursday at Google I/O 2017, we announced the winners of this year's Google Play Awards. Grab some popcorn and watch the award ceremony, we think it's just as fun as The Oscars. This year, we included a category to celebrate the achievements of developers who publish outstanding apps that have positive social impact.

In introducing this awards category, we were inspired by the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals. With the ability to reach over 1 billion active Android devices around the world, we think that app developers have a tremendous opportunity to impact Zero Hunger (SDG #2), Good Health and Wellbeing (SDG #3) and Quality Education (SDG #4), and many others. Read on to find out more about how this year's winner and finalists and impacting these goals.

Get in touch about your social impact app or game

Our work in supporting developer success in this area on Android and Google Play is just beginning. We would like to encourage Android developers with a focus on social impact to get in touch with us here at Google Play and to tell us about their app or game. It doesn't matter where you are based, what problems you are solving, or which countries you are targeting, we would like to hear your story and maybe we can help you grow faster and improve your app's quality.

Social impact winner & finalists in the 2017 Google Play Awards

🏆 ShareTheMeal by United Nations 🏆

The Google Play Award category winner, ShareTheMeal, generates large scale, global awareness for "Zero Hunger" and its users' donations pay for school meals, which are provided by the World Food Programme, in regions around the world experiencing food insecurity. Over 13 million meals have been donated via the app since launch!

Charity Miles by Charity Miles

This is a running, cycling and walking tracker app with a social impact twist. Charity Miles earns money for charity on your behalf for every mile you move, via its brand fitness exercise sponsors! Users have already donated $2 million to charity by recording over 40 million miles!

Peek Acuity by Peak Vision

Peek Acuity allows anyone with an Android phone to easily measure visual acuity, which is one of the components of vision. It is designed by eye care professionals to be used to help identify people who need further examination by, for example, an optometrist or ophthalmologist. In developing countries, over XM [confirm number with Peek Vision] struggle with vision impairment and many don't have easy access to an eye care professional.

Prodeaf Translator by ProDeaf Tecnologias Assistivas

This app lets anyone translate phrases and words from Portuguese for Brazilian Sign Language (Libras) or from English to American Sign Language (ASL). This significantly reduces barriers to communication between the millions of people who depend on Libras or ASL as their lingua franca and others who have not had the opportunity to learn this form of communication.

Sea Hero Quest by GLITCHERS

This is not just a game, it's a quest to help scientists fight dementia! It sounds too good to be true but this really is a game, where simply by having loads of fun chasing creatures around magical seas and swamps, you can help to fight a disease that currently affects 45 million people worldwide. In fact playing SEA HERO QUEST for just 2 minutes will generate the equivalent of 5 hours of lab-based research data.

If you're working on an app or game with a positive social impact, don't forget to get in touch via this form and tick the "Social Impact app" checkbox.

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