Tag Archives: Play Store

Looking forward with Google Play

Posted by Purnima Kochikar, Director, Google Play, Apps & Games

On Monday we released Android 9 Pie. As we continue to push the Android platform forward, we're always looking to provide new ways to distribute your apps efficiently, help people discover and engage with your work, and improve the overall security of our ecosystem. Google Play has had a busy year so far with some big milestones around helping you reach more users, including:

  • Shrinking download size: Android App Bundle & Dynamic Delivery has helped reduce app sizes by up to 65%, leading to increased downloads and fewer uninstalls.
  • Helpling improve quality: New tools in the Play Console have helped you reduce crash rates by up to 70%.
  • Improving discovery: Improvements to the discovery experience has increased Google Play Store visits by 30% over the last 12 months.
  • Keeping users safe: Google Play Protect scans more than 50 billion apps a day and Android API level 26 adoption requirements improve app security and performance.

Google Play is dedicated to helping you build and grow quality app businesses, reach the more than 2 billion Android devices globally and provide your users with better experiences. Here are some of the important areas we're prioritizing this year:

Innovative Distribution

We've added more testing tools to the popular Play Console to help developers de-risk app launches with internal and external test tracks and staged rollouts to get valuable early feedback. This year we've expanded the Start on Android program globally that provides developers new to Android additional guidance to optimize their apps before launch. Google Play Instant remains a huge bet to transform app discovery and improve conversions by letting users engage without the friction of installing. We're seeing great results from early adopters and are working on new places to surface instant experience, including ads, and making them easier to build throughout the year.

Improving App Quality

Google Play plays an important role helping developers understand and fix quality and performance issues. At I/O, we showcased how we expanded the battery, stability and rendering of Android vitals reporting to include app start time & permission denials, enabling developers to cut application not responding errors by up to 95%. We also expanded the functionality of automated device testing with the pre-launch report to enable games testing. Recently, we increased the importance of app quality in our search and discovery recommendations that has resulted in higher engagement and satisfaction with downloaded games.

Richer Discovery

Over the last year we've rolled out more editorial content and improved our machine learning to deliver personalized recommendations for apps and games that engage users. Since most game downloads come from browsing (as opposed to searching or deep linking into) the store, we've put particular focus on games discovery, with a new games home page, special sections for premium and new games, immersive video trailers and screenshots, and the ability to try games instantly. We've also introduced new programs to help drive app downloads through richer discovery. For example, since launching our app pre-registration program in 2016, we've seen nearly 250 million app pre-registrations. Going forward, we'll be expanding on these programs and others like LiveOps cards to help developers engage more deeply with their audience.

Expanding Commerce Platform

Google Play now collects payments in 150 markets via credit card, direct carrier billing (DCB), Paypal, and gift cards. Direct carrier billing is now enabled across 167 carriers in 64 markets. In 2018, we have focused on expanding our footprint in Africa and Latam with launches in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Peru & Colombia. And users can now buy Google Play credit via gift cards or other means in more 800,000 retail locations around the world. This year, we also launched seller support in 18 new markets bringing the total markets with seller support to 98. Our subscription offering continues to improve with ML-powered fraud detection and even more control for subscribers and developers. Google Play's risk modeling automatically helps detect fraudulent transactions and purchase APIs help you better analyze your refund data to identify suspicious activity.

Maintaining a Safe & Secure Ecosystem

Google Play Protect and our other systems scan and analyze more than 50 billion apps a day to keep our ecosystem safe for users and developers. In fact, people who only download apps from Google Play are nine times less likely to download a potentially harmful app than those who download from other sources. We've made significant improvements in our ability to detect abuse—such as impersonation, inappropriate content, fraud, or malware—through new machine learning models and techniques. The result is that 99% of apps with abusive content are identified and rejected before anyone can install them. We're also continuing to run the Google Play Security Rewards Program through a collaboration with Hacker One to discover other vulnerabilities.

We are continually inspired by what developers build—check out #IMakeApps for incredible examples—and want every developer to have the tools needed to succeed. We can't wait to see what you do next!

“Ok Google, read my book”… Introducing audiobooks on Google Play

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“Read more.” Every year it’s one of the more popular New Year’s resolutions. But with all the time spent battling traffic, working out, or picking up groceries, there often doesn’t seem to be a minute to simply sit down with a book.

With audiobooks on Google Play, rolling out today in 45 countries and nine languages, you can turn your time stuck in traffic, on the treadmill, or waiting in line into reading time. Find your next great read at an affordable price, and enjoy it across Android, iOS and the web with Google Play Books, as well as on devices that include the Google Assistant, like Google Home and many others (where available regionally.) Here’s what you need to know:

  • Listen without a subscription. On Google Play, you can buy a single audiobook at an affordable price, with no commitments. You can also get a free preview of the book to make sure you’re hooked by the story and enjoy listening to the narrator’s voice.
  • Enjoy your audiobook with your Google Assistant. Just say “Ok Google, read my book” to listen to your favorite audiobook hands free with the Google Assistant on your phone or speaker, like Google Home. Try “Ok Google, who is the author?” if you need a refresher, or “Ok Google, stop playing in 20 minutes” to set a timer for bedtime reading. For now, the Google Assistant integration with audiobooks is available on Android phones and smart speakers globally in English.



  • Weave reading into your day across multiple devices. Start your morning by listening to “Ready Player One” with the Assistant on supported Android phones, and continue listening on your laptop when you have a few moments of downtime during the day. You can pick up where you left off no matter what device you're using, with the Assistant or the Google Play Books app—on Android, iOS, Chromecast, Android Wear, Android Auto or even your laptop.


Now whether you want to dig into a continent-spanning tale with Jhumpa Lahiri’s “Unaccustomed Earth,” learn “Astrophysics For People In A Hurry” from Neil Degrasse Tyson, or kick back with a comedy like Chetan Bhagat’s “One Night At The Call Center,” all you have to do is select and settle into the sounds of your new favorite book.
Posted by Greg Hartrell, Head of Product Management, Google Play Books

Announcing Google Play’s “Best of 2017”

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As the year draws to a close, Google today announced Google Play’s most globally popular apps, games, music, movies, TV shows and books in 2017. And specifically in India, we bring you the list of top apps, games, movies, books and music.
No one knows how far she can go better than “Moana,” as she landed the most popular movie of the year on Google Play. Strong female characters dominated this year’s movies chart with “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “Wonder Woman” rounding out the top three. “Game of Thrones” kept “Rick and Morty” and “The Walking Dead” at bay to claim the Iron Throne for the second year in a row as the most popular TV show. Elsewhere, Kendrick Lamar may no longer be so “HUMBLE.” after beating out Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You,” as Google Play’s most streamed song of 2017. Kendrick’s “DNA” also holds the number three spot on this list. Nintendo’s “Super Mario Run” was the most downloaded new game of the year, but not all bubbles were burst, as “Bubble Witch 3 Saga” was closely behind at number two. "Photo Editor - Beauty Camera & Photo Filters” was the most downloaded new app with fans touching up their favorite photos for social media.
On the home front, ‘Photo Editor - Beauty Camera & Photo Filters’ and ‘Messenger Lite’ were top trending apps, proving India’s continued love for selfies, pouts and messaging. But epic gameplay ruled the roost in the genre, with the locally-developed ‘Baahubali: The Game’ taking the title of the most popular game of the year, even trumping international tiles like WWE Champions, Super Mario Run, and Pokémon Duel. Indian authors swept the top 5 list of books with memoirs from Karan Johar, Rishi Kapoor, and Raghuram G. Rajan dominating the majority of the slots. And with Music being added this year, the drum-laden ‘Saahore Baahubali’ by M.M. Keeravaani was the most streamed song followed by the immensely hummable ‘Ik Vaari Aa’ from Arijit Singh.


We also have curated lists this year from our editors to help you find the best apps and games of 2017, such as “Socratic - Math Answers & Homework Help” and “CATS: Crash Area Turbo Stars,” respectively.
Check out Google Play’s top lists for the most popular content in 2017 below. For complete local lists, visit Google Play. You can also discover the most popular lists around the world and all our editors’ choices on the Best of 2017 section of the Play Store.


GOOGLE PLAY’S GLOBAL BEST OF 2017 LISTS
Best app of 2017
Best game of 2017


MOST POPULAR NEW APPS OF 2017


MOST POPULAR NEW GAMES OF 2017


TOP FIVE STREAMED SONGS OF 2017


TOP FIVE MOVIES OF 2017


TOP FIVE TV SHOWS OF 2017         


TOP 5 BOOKS of 2017


GOOGLE PLAY’S INDIA BEST OF 2017 LISTS
MOST POPULAR APPS OF 2017


MOST POPULAR GAMES OF 2017


TOP BOOKS OF 2017
  1. An Unsuitable Boy, by Karan Johar
  2. India 2017, by New Media Wing
  3. I Do What I Do, by Raghuram G. Rajan


TOP MOVIES OF 2017


MOST STREAMED SONGS OF 2017
  1. Saahore Baahubali, by M.M. Keeravaani
  2. Ik Vaari Aa, by  Arijit Singh
  3. Mercy, by Badshah
  4. Main Tera Boyfriend, by Arijit Singh
  5. Cheez Badi, by Neha Kakkar

Posted by Kara Bailey, Global Merchandising Director, Google Play

Playtime 2017: Find success on Google Play and grow your business with new Play Console features


Posted by Vineet Buch, Director of Product Management, Google Play Apps & Games
Today we kicked off our annual global Playtime series with back-to-back events in Berlin and San Francisco. Over the next month, we’ll be hearing from many app and game developers in cities around the world. It has been an amazing 2017 for developers on Google Play, there are now more than 8 billion new installs per month globally.

To help you continue to take advantage of this opportunity, we're announcing innovations on Google Play and new features in the Play Console. Follow us on Medium where presenters will be posting their strategies, best practices, and examples to help you achieve your business objectives. As Google Play continues to grow rapidly, we want to help people understand our business. That's why we're also publishing the State of Play 2017 report that will be updated annually to help you stay informed about our progress and how we’re helping developers succeed.

Apps and games on Google Play bring your devices to life, whether they're phones and tablets, Wear devices, TVs, Daydream, or Chromebooks like the new Google Pixelbook. We're making it even easier for people to discover and re-engage with great content on the Play Store.



Recognizing the best

We're investing in curation and editorial to showcase the highest quality apps and games we love. The revamped Editors' Choice is now live in 17 countries and Android Excellence recently welcomed new apps and games. We also continue to celebrate and support indie games, recently announcing winners of the Indie Games Festival in San Francisco and opening the second Indie Games Contest in Europe for nominations.



Discovering great games

We've launched an improved home for games with trailers and screenshots of gameplay and two new browse destinations are coming soon, 'New' (for upcoming and trending games) and 'Premium' (for paid games).



Going beyond installs

We’re showing reminders to try games you’ve recently installed and we’re expanding our successful ‘live operations’ banners on the Play Store, telling you about major in-game events in popular games you’ve got on your device. We're also excited to integrate Android Instant Apps with a 'Try it Now' button on store listings. With a single tap, people can jump right into the app experience without installing.

The new games experience on Google Play

The Google Play Console offers tools which help you and your team members at every step of an app’s lifecycle. Use the Play Console to improve app quality, manage releases with confidence, and increase business performance.



Focus on quality

Android vitals were introduced at I/O 2017 and already 65% of top developers are using the dashboard to understand their app's performance. We're adding five new Android vitals and increasing device coverage to help you address issues relating to battery consumption, crashes, and render time. Better performing apps are favored by Google Play's search and discovery algorithms.
We're improving pre-launch reports and enabling them for all developers with no need to opt-in. When you upload an alpha or beta APK, we'll automatically install and test your app on physical, popular devices powered by Firebase Test Lab. The report will tell you about crashes, display issues, security vulnerabilities, and now, performance issues encountered.
When you install a new app, you expect it to open and perform normally. To ensure people installing apps and games from Google Play have a positive experience and developers benefit from being part of a trusted ecosystem, we are introducing a policy to disallow apps which consistently exhibit broken experiences on the majority of devices such as​ crashing,​ closing,​ ​freezing,​ ​or​ ​otherwise​ ​functioning​ ​abnormally. Learn more in the policy center.



Release with confidence

Beta testing lets trusted users try your app or game before it goes to production so you can iterate on your ideas and gather feedback. You can now target alpha and beta tests to specific countries. This allows you to, for example, beta test in a country you're about to launch in, while people in other countries receive your production app. We'll be bringing country-targeting to staged rollouts soon.
We've also made improvements to the device catalog. Over 66% of top developers are using the catalog to ensure they provide a great user experience on the widest range of devices. You can now save device searches and see why a specific device doesn't support your app. Navigate to the device catalog and review the terms of service to get started.



Grow your subscriptions business

At I/O 2017 we announced that both the number of subscribers on Play and the subscriptions business revenue doubled in the preceding year. We're making it easier to setup and manage your subscription service with the Play Billing Library and, soon, new test instruments to simplify testing your flows for successful and unsuccessful payments.
We're helping you acquire and retain more subscribers. You can offer shorter free trials, at a minimum of three days, and we will now enforce one free trial at the app level to reduce the potential for abuse. You can opt-in to receive notifications when someone cancels their subscription and we're making it easier for people to restore a canceled subscription. Account hold is now generally available, where you can block access to your service while we get a user to fix a renewal payment issue. Finally, from January 2018 we're also updating our transaction fee for subscribers who are retained for more than 12 months.



Announcing the Google Play Security Reward Program

At Google, we have long enjoyed a close relationship with the security research community. Today we're introducing the Google Play Security Reward Program to incentivize security research into popular Android apps, including Google's own apps. The program will help us find vulnerabilities and notify developers via security recommendations on how to fix them. We hope to bring the success we have with our other reward programs, and we invite developers and the research community to work together with us on proactively improving Google Play ecosystem's security.



Stay up to date with Google Play news and tips





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Create stickers for Gboard on Google Play

Posted by Alan Ni, Associate Product Manager, Gboard

Messaging is getting more and more expressive -- today you can say I love you with an emoji, a gif, or a sticker. Millions of users share expressive content every day on Android devices using Gboard as their default keyboard. We want to push expression even further by allowing developers to create their own stickers for Gboard. Some of our early partners include Bitmoji, Disney, and even our own Allo team. Once published, your stickers could be seen and shared by millions of users around the world.

Using the Firebase App Indexing API, you'll be able index any sticker assets you create, publish your app to the Play Store, and get featured in the Gboard Sticker collection. Once a user downloads your sticker pack from the Play store, they'll be able to send those stickers directly from their keyboard in any Android app that supports image insertion!

Getting Started with Stickers

To kick things off, you'll need to add the Firebase App Indexing library. Visit the Firebase Getting Started Guide for details. Once you've set up Firebase App Indexing, read through our sticker guide to learn how to index those stickers. Next, create your sticker assets!

You should build and index stickers on first run after update or install to minimize the lag between a user installing the app and seeing the stickers in Gboard. Our sample app should give an idea of the end-to-end flow.

Making your Stickers Searchable

Users often look for stickers via searching on keywords. That means you'll want to add appropriate keywords to allow users to find your stickers and you can use the put method to add keywords. In the code snippet below, you'll see that a Snoopy sticker is tagged with the keywords: "bye", "snoopy", "see ya", and "good bye".

new Indexable.Builder("Sticker")
   .setName("Bye")
   // add url for sticker asset 
   .setImage("http://www.snoopysticker.com?id=1234")
   // see: Support links to your app content section
   .setUrl("http://sticker/canonical/image/bye")
   // Set the accessibility label for the sticker.
   .setDescription("A sticker for Bye")
   // Add search keywords.
   .put("keywords", "bye", "snoopy", "see ya", "good bye")
   .put("isPartOf",
        new Indexable.Builder("StickerPack")
          .setName("Snoopy Pack")
          .build())
   .build())};

For larger sticker packs, you'll want to make sure you've tagged stickers with keywords so that they're easier for users to find. We've come up with a list of common English phrases/keywords you can use to tag your stickers. But don't forget to internationalize your stickers -- to do this you'll want to first detect the device language and then index keywords that correspond to that language.

Get Featured in the Sticker Collection

Finally, share your stickers with the world! To be featured in our Sticker Collection on the Play Store, fill out this form. But first, make sure to thoroughly test the sticker pack using the latest build of Gboard, If your app has high-quality stickers and is working well with Gboard, we'll add it to our sticker collection; this is the best way to get it seen by millions of Gboard users!

We're really excited to see what sticker packs you're able to build.