Tag Archives: android developers

Android Developer Relations is hiring

Posted by Maru Ahues Bouza, Director, Android Developer Relations

Illustration of a woman laying ont he floor looking at a laptop

Apps are essential to making Android a platform people love - whether it’s on their phones, cars, TVs, or watches. As a popular mobile platform, Android is thriving with 1 in 4 developers - worldwide - building for Android according to Stack Overflow’s 2020 developer survey.

In Android Developer Relations (or Android DevRel for short), our mission is to help developers be successful on Android by helping them build great apps with the latest Android and Play features, empower anyone to get a great career as an Android developer, and advocate for developers as Android and Play evolve. It’s truly rewarding because we get to see the future of apps - every day - and help our fellow developers achieve great things. With such a big mission, we’re hiring engineers, technical writers, and program managers - and if this gets you inspired, we’d love to talk! Check out the links at the end of this blog and apply to join our team.

But first, what does Android DevRel actually do? Our team works with external developers, writes code, creates content, launches careers, grows communities, runs conferences - and more. Read on to learn more!


Building better products with developers

We work with product and engineering teams in Android and Play to define go-to-market strategies for new developer products and run Early Access Programs (EAPs) with the goal of building better products for all developers. Through these EAPs, we do deep technical engineering work with the most influential developers to help them integrate and deliver feedback to validate that the products we’re building are ready to work at scale.

We work with these developers to build high quality apps across multiple screens, to ensure better user experiences on Android and we share their success stories to show how integrating with these products will help developers be more successful in the Android ecosystem, and to help inspire other developers to adopt.


Code

A big part of how we help developers is through code — be it tutorials, videos, blogs, or entire multi-unit educational courses. We produce everything from simple code snippets that explain how to perform a specific function, to sample apps like Jet* or the Google I/O app that demonstrates how everything comes together. In the process of creating sample code, you may be the first developer to ever build something with a new API! We call this being the “zeroth customer” and it’s an important role where you can directly influence the direction of a product through feedback (and yes, some trial and error!)

Create code samples that inspire and help people to learn

Content

In helping developers, we end up learning best practices and producing a ton of content - documentation, tutorials, screencasts, talks, blog posts, podcasts, and more. There is an art to breaking down complex subjects into a learning path - to help both beginner and advanced developers alike - and it is something we do every day. From introducing new concepts, to distilling best practices, to thoroughly documenting the functionality of a new API - our role is to help developers understand and thrive on Android. While our output is the content itself, it’s important to note that engineering is at the heart of this. In order to teach developers how to use these technologies, we first have to understand them deeply ourselves.

Screenshot of webpage that reads Add a Room Database

Teach millions of developers through learning materials


Community

Many of us were Android developers before we joined DevRel, and one of the most gratifying aspects of our role is meeting and connecting with developers around the world. We engage with Google Developer Experts for Android (GDEs), Google Developer Groups, and of course individual community members on a regular basis through events, social media, and Slack. We love to hear what people are working on, lend a hand where we can, and create connections across the community so people can learn from each other.


Conferences

One of the places the community comes together is at conferences - and Android has a lot of them! While you can pick up a skill or learn about the latest software design pattern, people always say the most valuable thing they get from conferences is connecting with fellow developers. Meeting people in person (side note: can’t wait until we can do that again!) is such an important part of building a network of people you can count on for help - whether you get stuck in your next project, or are looking for career advice. While many of these conferences are run by the community themselves, we participate in these events around the world and look forward to engaging with this community wherever they are. We also organize the Android Developer Summit and the Android track at Google I/O.


Careers

Apps connect you to the people in your life, help you do things more easily, or even help you learn new skills. In the past year many of us have had to find new ways of doing things, and this has seen us reach for apps more often than ever before, while growing the demand for app developers. In fact, developer jobs are growing 5.5x faster than other professions (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In Android DevRel, it is our privilege to build curriculum and work with universities and student groups around the world to skill-up the next generation of developers.

Screenshot of a tweet showing four women standing together

Training the next generation of Android developers


Come join us

Want to join Android DevRel? Take a look at some of the roles below. Google often uses a single listing to make it easier for people to apply - so if it doesn’t say Android DevRel in the title of the role just tell them you’re interested in joining our team in your cover letter.

Android DevRel works with developers everywhere in the world, we want our team to represent all the developers we work with and we believe that diverse teams build better products that work for everyone. If you’re from an underrepresented group in tech, please apply even if you don’t think you match all the requirements and read what we’re doing to build a more diverse and inclusive Google.


Read on to see the roles that are available today:

Google Play updates from #AndroidDevSummit

Posted by Alex Musil, Director of Product, Google Play

illustrated graphic of orange hands holding a phone with the Google Play logo. There are other icons in the image like a coin and charts

At this year’s Android Developer Summit, we shared new features we’ve been building to help power your growth on our platform, including enhancements to trust and safety, tools to boost your app quality and improve monetization, some updates for games, and an exciting new app marketing certificate.

Watch the whole session below, or keep reading for the highlights.


Evolving our business model to address developer needs

We've made important changes to ensure all types of businesses can be successful on Google Play. We now have multiple programs designed to support our app ecosystem with 99% of developers qualifying for a service fee of 15% or less.

Recently, we announced that starting January 1, 2022, we’re decreasing the service fee for all subscriptions on Google Play from 30% to 15%. Additionally, we're making changes to the Play Media Experience program, where ebooks and on-demand music streaming services will now be eligible for service fees as low as 10%.

For more information about our service fees, please see our FAQs.


Improvements to trust and safety

Earlier this year, we shared details about the upcoming Data safety section in the Play Store, which will let users know what type of data your app collects and shares and how that data is used. By giving you a way to showcase your approach to privacy and security, we’re not only building trust, we’re helping users make informed decisions about the apps they install and use.

Users will see the new Data safety section in the Play Store starting in February 2022. You have until April 2022 before your apps must have this section completed and approved, but we encourage you to fill out the required Data Safety form in Play Console now. For more information, including guidance on how to fill out the form, watch our “Get prepared for the Data safety section” session.

We regularly update our policies to make Google Play a safe and trustworthy experience. Check out our Policy Center or this PolicyBytes video for new announcements from this week. You can also join our policy webinars and send in your questions, available for multiple regions (Global, India, Japan, or Korea).

Another way that we’re protecting both you and our users is by investing in new developer tools that help you protect your apps and games from abuse and attack, so you can ensure your users have the experience you intend. The new Play Integrity API will let you determine if you’re interacting with your genuine app binary, installed by Google Play, and running on a genuine Android device that’s powered by Google Play services. If not, you can decide how best to introduce additional friction and reduce the risk to your app.

The Play Integrity API will be rolling out to all developers over the next few months. To learn more, watch our “Play Integrity API” session and express interest in early access.


More ways to improve app quality

We've released several updates to help you improve the performance of your app.

First, we’re making it easier for you to be alerted to and fix new issues with improvements to Android vitals. Your most recent data is now more visible to help you see issues right away, and we’ve added trends, filters, and app version information to help you identify the source of the issue quickly.

We also recently launched a new tool in Play Console called Reach and devices to help you understand which features or fixes would help you reach the most users on Google Play. By understanding your user and issue distribution, you can make better decisions about which specs to build for, where to launch, and what to test to make the biggest impact.

We’re making changes to the way users evaluate your app quality, too. One of the most important ways that users assess your app is by checking your ratings and reviews. That’s why starting in November, users on phones will start to see ratings specific to their registered country. Then, in early 2022, users will see ratings specific to the device that they’re on, including form factors such as tablets, Chromebooks, and wearables. You can preview your location-specific and device-specific ratings in Play Console now, and we encourage you to check them out so you have time to make any app quality improvements you need before the new ratings go into effect in the Play Store.


Updates to help you monetize your app

To help you better monetize your apps and games, we continue to invest in modernizing our platform, including updates to the Billing Library. Billing Library version 3, which was announced June 2020, includes new ways for users to pay, subscription promotion capabilities, purchase attribution for games, and improvements to purchase reliability and security. As a reminder, all updates to existing apps must use Billing Library version 3 or newer by November 1, 2021. Learn more about updating to Billing Library version 3 or newer — which requires few updates to your code — in the release notes.

We’re also excited to announce a new feature in the Billing Library: in-app messaging. Today, subscription users who go into payment decline often aren’t aware of it, or experience too much friction to fix their payment. That’s why we’ve launched a new API that can detect whether a user is in payment decline and show a helpful message right in your app, so the user can immediately fix the payment without leaving the app to go to the Play Store. Best of all, the integration is super easy — just a single line of code. On average, our early-access partners saw a 99% improvement in subscription recovery and spend for users who saw the message. In-app messaging will be available in the next Billing Library release, so stay tuned for more information.


Seamless gaming experiences

The updated sign-in API for Play Games Services, which drastically simplifies the sign-in implementation, is now in early access. The new SDK makes for a one-line implementation.

We’ve also simplified the setup for users, combining the Google Play Games install and profile creation in one step. This allows users to get back to their game more quickly, even when they don’t have Play Games installed. We’re also streamlining the process of opting in to auto-sign-in for an even smoother experience for returning users.

But that’s not all. Because needing to have the Google Play Games app installed is creating friction for some users, starting in 2022, Play Games Services will no longer require this installation. This change will allow 2 billion users to sign in to your Play Games Services-enabled games with a zero-touch experience. More details are coming soon. You can express your interest in the early access program on our developer site.


Industry-recognized app marketing certificate

Last but not least, we also announced the launch of the Google Play Store Listing Certificate. This new program is designed to help app marketers demonstrate their proficiency and skills in Play Store listing best practices.

To get certified, app marketers can take online training that will help you best tell your app or game’s story on Google Play. You’ll learn key skills that will help you drive growth through high-quality and policy-compliant store listings. After the training, take the exam to get an industry-recognized certificate.

We hope you take advantage of all these new features and programs to grow your businesses on Google Play. Please continue sharing your feedback so we can build the tools you need to power your growth. Thank you for being part of the Google Play community.



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Launching Data safety in Play Console: Elevating Privacy and Security for your users

Posted by Krish Vitaldevara, Director, Product Management

Illustration of a phone with a security symbol

We know that a big part of feeling safe online is having control over your data. That’s why every day we’re committed to empowering users with advanced security and privacy controls and increased agency with respect to data practices. With the new Data safety section, developers will now have a transparent way to show users if and how they collect, share, and protect user data, before users install an app.

Starting today, we’re rolling out the Data safety form in Google Play Console. We’ve also listened to your feedback, so to provide developers with additional guidance, we’re sharing helpful information in our Help Center, developer guide, Play Academy course, and more. Following our common protocols, we'll begin gradual rollout today and expect to expand access to everyone within a couple of weeks.


How to submit your app information in Play Console

Starting today, you can go to App content in your Play Console and look for a new section called “Data safety.” We recommend that you review the guidance and submit your form early so you can get review feedback and make changes before rejected forms prevent you from publishing new app updates. Developers have told us that early feedback would help them fill out the form correctly before users see the Data safety section in February 2022. The enforcement on apps without approved forms starts April 2022.

We understand that completing the form may require a meaningful amount of work, so we built the product and timeline based on developer feedback to make this process as streamlined as possible. Also, developers have asked for a way to more easily import information when they have multiple apps. Therefore, we’ve added an option for developers to import a pre-populated file.


How to get prepared


What your users will see in your app's store listing starting February

Image of app store data privacy and security section. Text reads Developers can showcase key privacy and security practices at a glance

Users will first see the Data safety summary in your store listing. Your app profile will show what data an app collects or shares and highlight safety details, such as whether:

  • The app has security practices, like data encryption in transit
  • The app has committed to follow our Families policy
  • The app has been independently reviewed for conformance with a global security standard
Image of phone data privacy and security. Text reads Developers can share what their app collects and why, so users can download with confidence
GIF of location settings. text reads developers can explain how the data is used

Users can tap the summary to see more details like:

  • What type of data is collected and shared, such as location, contacts, personal information (e.g., name, email address), financial information, and more
  • How the data is used, such as for app functionality, personalization, and more
  • Whether data collection is optional or required in order to use an app

Users have shared that seeing this information helps them understand how some apps may handle their information and feel more trusting about certain apps.


What to expect

Image shows timeline. May '21 pre anouncement. July '21 policy is available. October '21 developers can start declaring information in Google Play Console. Febryary '22 users can start seeing the section on Google Play. April '22 deadline for developers to declare information

Timeline dates subject to change.


You can submit your Data safety form in the Play Console now for early review feedback. You are not required to submit an app update in order to submit your safety profile.

In February 2022, we will launch this feature in the Play store. If your information is approved, your store listing will automatically update with your data safety information. If your information has not been submitted or has been rejected, your users will see “No information available.”

image of data privacy and security settings

By April 2022, all your apps must have their Data safety section approved. While we want as many apps as possible to be ready for the February 2022 consumer experience, we know that some developers will need more time to assess their apps and coordinate with multiple teams.

Also by April, all apps must also provide a privacy policy. Previously, only apps that collected personal and sensitive user data needed to share a privacy policy. Without an approved section or privacy policy, your new app submissions or app updates may be rejected. Non-compliant apps may face additional enforcement actions in the future.

Thank you for your continued partnership in building this feature alongside us and in making Google Play a safe and trustworthy platform for everyone.

Improved Google Play Console user management: access requests, permission groups, and more

Posted by Mike Yerou, Software Engineer, Google Play

PlayConsole revamped user management header

User management is an important responsibility for businesses of all sizes. The challenge is to make sure that every team member has the right set of permissions to fulfill their responsibilities, but without overexposing unrelated business data.

Over the years, you’ve asked us for better user and permission management tools in Play Console to help you handle growth efficiently and with confidence. And with the redesigned Google Play Console, we did just that. We decluttered the interface to make it easier to find what you want, and added new features to help you manage your teams easier.


Users and Permissions screen

The users and permissions page has been redesigned to make it easier for admins to manage their teams.


Permission names and descriptions were rewritten to make it easier to understand what you are — and aren’t — allowing users to do. You’ll also see clearer differentiation between account and app-level permissions.

New search, filtering, and batch-editing capabilities allowed you to quickly view and act on a subset of users.

And finally, to make auditing easier, we added a CSV export functionality for users of a developer account.


New access requests

While admins generally set permissions for users, you told us it would be helpful to allow users to request permissions as they figure out what’s required for their workflow. Well, now they can. Admins will still need to approve the request, but empowering users to ask for the exact permissions they need is a significant time-saver for admins.

In Play Console, users will now see a “Request access” button next to each action that is supported but not enabled due to missing permissions. To request the permission, users need to include an explanation of their need to the admin. Admins will be notified via their Inbox and can grant the permission for the specific user and app, reject it once, or reject it permanently to prevent users misusing the feature. Currently, this function is only supported for app permissions.


Request access GIF

Team members can now request access for specific permissions.


New permission groups

When companies reach a certain size, it’s not uncommon for more than one person to have the same role, such as project managers or designers. When that happens, admins may find themselves assigning the same set of permissions over and over again.

To save you time, we recently introduced permission groups. Admins can now create a group with a set of permissions, and when a user is added to that group, they will inherit those permissions automatically. You can even choose to have the permissions in that group expire after a certain date. Users can be in multiple groups, and these groups can have overlapping permissions. We hope you’ll be able to use permission groups to improve your own working practices and encourage greater delegation and ease of user management.

We hope these new changes help you improve admin productivity and help your team get the most out of Play Console. To learn more about managing permissions, check out our Help Center.


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Celebrating some of the best indie games

Posted by Patricia Correa, Director, Global Developer Marketing

Indie Games Accelerator - Meet the Class of 2021, Indie Games Festival - Meet the winners

In June this year we opened applications for our Indie Games Accelerator, a mentorship program to help top mobile game startups achieve their full potential, as well as for our Indie Games Festival, a competition open to small game studios who get the opportunity to win promotions and be featured on Google Play. These annual programs are part of our commitment to helping all developers thrive in the Google ecosystem.

We received thousands of applications from developers across the world and we were truly amazed by the response. We’re impressed by the innovation and passion of the indie game community, and the unique and creative games they bring to players worldwide.

Last month we announced the Festival finalists and today we hosted the finals.

This year, for the first time, the events were virtual so everyone could attend. Players from around the world joined the adventure, met the finalists, played their games, and cheered on the Top 10 and the winners as they were announced on stage.

We also took the opportunity to announce the Indie Games Accelerator selected class of 2021.

screenshot of Europe stage

Our deepest thanks to our amazing hosts: YouTube creator Papfi, Japanese comedians Kajisak and Kikuchiusotsukanai, and Inho Chung, who all shared their unique expertise and love of games.

Without further ado, here are this year's Festival winners…

Indie Games Festival Winners

Europe

Indie Games Festival Winners | Europe

Bird Alone by George Batchelor, United Kingdom

Cats in Time by Pine Studio, Croatia

Gumslinger by Itatake, Sweden

Korea

Indie Games Festival Winners | South Korea

CATS & SOUP by HIDEA

Rush Hour Rally by Soen Games

The Way Home by CONCODE


Users' Choice

Animal Doll Shop by Funnyeve

Japan

Indie Games Festival Winners | Japan

Mousebusters by Odencat

Quantum Transport by ruccho

Survivor's guilt by aso


Student Category Award

Japanese Train Drive Simulator 2 "OneMan2" by HAKOT


Check out the top 10 finalists in Europe, South Korea and Japan.

Indie Games Accelerator Class of 2021

The selected studios will receive exclusive education and mentorship over the 12 week program, to help them build and grow successful businesses.

Americas 


Aoca Game Lab, Brazil

Berimbau Game Studio, Brazil

Boomware Studio, Peru

Concrete Software, USA

Delotech Games, Brazil

DreamCraft Entertainment, Inc., USA

Ingames, Argentina

Ludare Games Group Inc., Canada

Whitethorn Games, USA

Asia Pacific


Banjiha Games, South Korea

CATS BY STUDIO, South Korea

dc1ab pte. Ltd., Singapore

Dreams & Co., Thailand

Gamestacy Entertinment, India

izzle Inc., South  Korea

Limin Development and Investment Joint Stock Company, Vietnam 

Mugshot Games Pty Ltd,  Australia

Odencat Inc., Japan

Playbae, India

Xigma Games, India

XOGAMES Inc., South Korea

YOMI Studio, Vietnam

Europe, Middle East & Africa


Cleverside Ltd, Belarus

Dali Games, Poland

Firegecko Ltd, United Kingdom

Hot Siberians, Russia

Infinity Games, Portugal

Itatake, Sweden

Jimjum Studios, Israel

LIVA Interactive, Tunisia 

Pale Blue Interactive, South Africa

Pine Studio, Croatia

Platonic Games, Spain

SMOKOKO LTD, Bulgaria

Spooky House Studios, Germany


If you missed the finals

If you missed the finals or would like to explore further, you can still sign in and wander around the space but only for a limited time. Explore now.

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Celebrating some of the best indie games

Posted by Patricia Correa, Director, Global Developer Marketing

Indie Games Accelerator - Meet the Class of 2021, Indie Games Festival - Meet the winners

In June this year we opened applications for our Indie Games Accelerator, a mentorship program to help top mobile game startups achieve their full potential, as well as for our Indie Games Festival, a competition open to small game studios who get the opportunity to win promotions and be featured on Google Play. These annual programs are part of our commitment to helping all developers thrive in the Google ecosystem.

We received thousands of applications from developers across the world and we were truly amazed by the response. We’re impressed by the innovation and passion of the indie game community, and the unique and creative games they bring to players worldwide.

Last month we announced the Festival finalists and today we hosted the finals.

This year, for the first time, the events were virtual so everyone could attend. Players from around the world joined the adventure, met the finalists, played their games, and cheered on the Top 10 and the winners as they were announced on stage.

We also took the opportunity to announce the Indie Games Accelerator selected class of 2021.

screenshot of Europe stage

Our deepest thanks to our amazing hosts: YouTube creator Papfi, Japanese comedians Kajisak and Kikuchiusotsukanai, and Inho Chung, who all shared their unique expertise and love of games.

Without further ado, here are this year's Festival winners…

Indie Games Festival Winners

Europe

Indie Games Festival Winners | Europe

Bird Alone by George Batchelor, United Kingdom

Cats in Time by Pine Studio, Croatia

Gumslinger by Itatake, Sweden

Korea

Indie Games Festival Winners | South Korea

CATS & SOUP by HIDEA

Rush Hour Rally by Soen Games

The Way Home by CONCODE


Users' Choice

Animal Doll Shop by Funnyeve

Japan

Indie Games Festival Winners | Japan

Mousebusters by Odencat

Quantum Transport by ruccho

Survivor's guilt by aso


Student Category Award

Japanese Train Drive Simulator 2 "OneMan2" by HAKOT


Check out the top 10 finalists in Europe, South Korea and Japan.

Indie Games Accelerator Class of 2021

The selected studios will receive exclusive education and mentorship over the 12 week program, to help them build and grow successful businesses.

Americas 


Aoca Game Lab, Brazil

Berimbau Game Studio, Brazil

Boomware Studio, Peru

Concrete Software, USA

Delotech Games, Brazil

DreamCraft Entertainment, Inc., USA

Ingames, Argentina

Ludare Games Group Inc., Canada

Whitethorn Games, USA

Asia Pacific


Banjiha Games, South Korea

CATS BY STUDIO, South Korea

dc1ab pte. Ltd., Singapore

Dreams & Co., Thailand

Gamestacy Entertinment, India

izzle Inc., South  Korea

Limin Development and Investment Joint Stock Company, Vietnam 

Mugshot Games Pty Ltd,  Australia

Odencat Inc., Japan

Playbae, India

Xigma Games, India

XOGAMES Inc., South Korea

YOMI Studio, Vietnam

Europe, Middle East & Africa


Cleverside Ltd, Belarus

Dali Games, Poland

Firegecko Ltd, United Kingdom

Hot Siberians, Russia

Infinity Games, Portugal

Itatake, Sweden

Jimjum Studios, Israel

LIVA Interactive, Tunisia 

Pale Blue Interactive, South Africa

Pine Studio, Croatia

Platonic Games, Spain

SMOKOKO LTD, Bulgaria

Spooky House Studios, Germany


If you missed the finals

If you missed the finals or would like to explore further, you can still sign in and wander around the space but only for a limited time. Explore now.

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Making Ratings and Reviews better for users and developers

Posted by Tom Grinsted, Scott Lin, and Tat Yang Koh, Product Managers at Google Play


Illustration of person holding phone looking at 4 star rating

Ratings and reviews are important. They provide valuable quantitative and qualitative feedback on your users’ reported experience of your app or game, and the broader service that you offer. That’s why they’re one of the signals people use when deciding what to download on Google Play.

We’ve heard from both Play Store users and developers that ratings and reviews could be more helpful. This is especially true when ratings from one area unfairly impact another — like when a bug that only impacted a single country negatively affects the app’s rating everywhere; or when positive improvements in a tablet experience are overlooked because of the number of users on phones. So we’re starting a multi-quarter program of improvements to make ratings more personalized and indicative of the experience each individual user can expect, and to make them easier to navigate and use for developers:

  • From November 2021, users on phones will start to see ratings specific to their registered country
  • Early in 2022 users on other form-factors such as tablets, Chromebooks, and wearables will start to see ratings specific to the device that they’re on

We understand that many developers closely monitor the ratings that their potential users see, so we’re making sure you have plenty of notice about these upcoming changes. We’ve also made enhancements to Play Console to help you understand your ratings and reviews - especially across form-factors.

Changes to Google Play Console

Device type insights

Expanding your support for different device types is one of the most important and impactful changes you can make to your user interfaces. Adding tablet-optimized layouts or better mouse and keyboard support for Chrome OS can result in a step-change in the quality of your users’ experience, which in turn influences their ratings and reviews.

New Device type ratings insights are available in Play Console 
ratings overview and breakdown pages

New Device type ratings insights are available in Play Console ratings overview and breakdown pages

To make it easier to spot opportunities across various device types and track the impact of enhanced experiences, we’ve added new Device Type dimensions to the ratings page. We’ve also added a Device Type filter to your reviews so you can easily see how your tablet users are rating you, or what your users on Chrome OS say in their reviews.

More flexible date and period selections

Many of you have told us that you want to access more granular data than our selectors allowed. So, we’ve broken down your segmentation options and made them easier to use. You can now independently select the time period you want to plot (from the last 28 days through to your app’s complete lifetime), and how you want your ratings data to be aggregated (daily, weekly, or every 28 days). This allows you to access more granular data over longer periods of time.

Select any time range and aggregation period independently 
to find the ratings data you want

Select any time range and aggregation period independently to find the ratings data you want

Download data easily

We’ve also enabled CSV downloads of your average data and rating distributions. Combined with the new data selection options, you can easily query and download much more of your data and perform offline analysis. For example, you could download your entire history of daily ratings distributions and correlate it in a spreadsheet with customer service contacts.

Access and download all your data including ratings breakdowns 
directly from the overview page

Access and download all your data including ratings breakdowns directly from the overview page

All of these changes are live in Play Console now. Visit Ratings analysis and Reviews to try them out.*

Upcoming changes to ratings in Google Play

Ratings help people decide which apps to download and they are taken into consideration for featuring and placement on Play Store. But because the app experience can vary depending on the user’s region and device type, aggregate ratings don’t always tell the whole story. That’s why, starting in November 2021, we’re going to change the ratings that individual users see based on where they’re registered, and later in the year what device they’re using.

From November, this means that users on phones will see specific ratings for the country or region they’re based in. So a user in Japan will see app ratings generated from those submitted by other Japanese users.

Early next year we’ll further update ratings to reflect the device type users are browsing Play on, whether it’s: tablets and foldables, Chrome OS, Wear, or Auto. This will give users a better impression of the experience that they can expect for the device they’re using. We recommend you take a look at your form-factor ratings today - especially for tablets where growth is very strong - to see if you should invest in optimising your users’ experiences.

We understand that as a developer you will want to make sure you understand and get ahead of any major shifts in your user-visible ratings. So at least 10 weeks before any change in Play Store, we’ll automatically analyze the change your app can expect to see and reach out to any developer that will see a change of more that 0.2 stars on any device type in a key market (one with >5% of your store listing visitors). This will give you time to plan if you want to make key changes to your app.

These changes in Google Play will start to roll out from November with country or region-specific ratings. Look out for messages about your ratings in your Play Console Inbox towards the end of this year, and don’t forget that you can get ahead by checking your ratings by country and device-type today.

*Please note you need a Play Console account to access these links.

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Meet some of the best indie game devs

Posted by Patricia Correa, Director, Global Developer Marketing

During the month of June we received thousands of submissions for two of our annual developer programs - the Indie Games Accelerator and the Indie Games Festival. These programs support the growth of small games studios on Google Play.

Every year we’re impressed with the art and creativity of the entries. This year was no exception. Many thanks to everyone who submitted their game.

Meet the Festival finalists

Today, we’re announcing the finalists of the Festivals in Europe, Japan, and South Koreadrumroll, please.

Indie Games

Europe

Beat Workers by NaturalPad Games, France

Bird Alone by George Batchelor, United Kingdom

Cats in Time by Pine Studio, Croatia

Figment by Bedtime Digital Games, Denmark

Froglike: The Frog Roguelike by Jimjum Studios, Israel

Garson by Anastasiya Shabunia, Belarus

Gumslinger by Itatake, Sweden

Lyxo by Emoak, Austria

Psychofunk by Tommy Søreide Kjær, Norway

Railways by Infinity Games, Portugal

Sticky Terms by kamibox, Germany

Sweet Sins Superstars by Platonic Games, Spain

Tiny Robots Recharged by Big Loop Studios, Bulgaria

Tofu Drifter by Roach Games, Russia

Towers by JOX Development, Ukraine

Unholy Adventure by Dali Games, Poland

Warplane Inc by Nuclear Games, Russia

Watch Me Stream My Mental Breakdown by Ultaan Games, Poland

Woof: The Good Boy Story by CHPV.GAMES, Russia

Zen Symmetry by 8tbl, Russia

Sign up to attend the European finals.

Indie Games

Japan

3D Chess: NOCCA NOCCA by Curiouspark, Inc.

5colors in Nate by NekodoraSoft

Amabie san by HARAPECORPORATION Inc.

Archer Battle Online by Takuya Fujieda

Cthulhu DreamStairs by Tenyu

ElectriarCode by ELECTRIAR LABO

Escape from the Closed Circle by Hanachiru

Heart of Sengoku by ZEN APP

Leaving Two Tiles Dojo by ScreenPocket

Living in the Ending World by illuCalab.

MAKOTO WAKAIDO’s Case Files “Executioner’s Wedge” by HafHaf-Oden(Sukashiuma-LAB)

Mini Mini Farm by CoffeeBreak

MonohakobiPro by CGO

Mousebusters by Odencat

Numpurr Card Wars by Nukenin

Parasite Days by Zxima

Quantum Transport by ruccho

Super Glitter Rush by tiny cactus studio

Survivor's guilt by aso

Wolf Chess by Baton

Sign up to attend the Japanese finals.

Indie Games

South Korea

Angel Saga by Alchemist Games Inc.

Animal Card Royale by Banjihagames

Animal Doll Shop by Funnyeve

BattleLive: Zombie&Human by PLOTRICK

Box It Up! Inc. by team TAPE

CATS & SOUP by HIDEA

Cats are Cute: Pop Time by kkiruk studio

Detective Mio by 1N1

Dicast: Rules of Chaos by BSS COMPANY

Forest Island by Nanali Studios

Frontier of Fortune by Dotomchi Games Inc.

FUNKYGUNNER by FUNKY5

Group Project Simulator! by Studio806

Gun Tactics by Gimle Games

Hybrid Warrior: Dungeon of the Overlord by Cat Lab

Metro Blossom by The Sane Studio

Portal Dungeon by Oblique Line

Rush Hour Rally by Soen Games

The Way Home by CONCODE

Titan Slayer by Touchholic

Sign up to attend the South Korean finals.

Join the adventure on September 4

This year the three Festivals are virtual, so everyone has the chance to explore the games, meet the developers who made them, cheer them on, and be the first to hear who the winners are.

Expect plenty of fun and some very special surprises. So, don’t miss out. Sign up now to virtually attend the events showcasing the finalists from Europe, Japan, and South Korea. The events are free to attend and will all take place in the same space, so sign up to one and you will be able to teleport to all events!

How about the Indie Games Accelerator?

If you’re interested in knowing which developers are joining the 2021 class of the Indie Games Accelerator, sign up to attend the European Festival, where we will also announce the selected developers.

Indie Games

Meet some of the best indie game devs

Posted by Patricia Correa, Director, Global Developer Marketing

During the month of June we received thousands of submissions for two of our annual developer programs - the Indie Games Accelerator and the Indie Games Festival. These programs support the growth of small games studios on Google Play.

Every year we’re impressed with the art and creativity of the entries. This year was no exception. Many thanks to everyone who submitted their game.

Meet the Festival finalists

Today, we’re announcing the finalists of the Festivals in Europe, Japan, and South Koreadrumroll, please.

Indie Games

Europe

Beat Workers by NaturalPad Games, France

Bird Alone by George Batchelor, United Kingdom

Cats in Time by Pine Studio, Croatia

Figment by Bedtime Digital Games, Denmark

Froglike: The Frog Roguelike by Jimjum Studios, Israel

Garson by Anastasiya Shabunia, Belarus

Gumslinger by Itatake, Sweden

Lyxo by Emoak, Austria

Psychofunk by Tommy Søreide Kjær, Norway

Railways by Infinity Games, Portugal

Sticky Terms by kamibox, Germany

Sweet Sins Superstars by Platonic Games, Spain

Tiny Robots Recharged by Big Loop Studios, Bulgaria

Tofu Drifter by Roach Games, Russia

Towers by JOX Development, Ukraine

Unholy Adventure by Dali Games, Poland

Warplane Inc by Nuclear Games, Russia

Watch Me Stream My Mental Breakdown by Ultaan Games, Poland

Woof: The Good Boy Story by CHPV.GAMES, Russia

Zen Symmetry by 8tbl, Russia

Sign up to attend the European finals.

Indie Games

Japan

3D Chess: NOCCA NOCCA by Curiouspark, Inc.

5colors in Nate by NekodoraSoft

Amabie san by HARAPECORPORATION Inc.

Archer Battle Online by Takuya Fujieda

Cthulhu DreamStairs by Tenyu

ElectriarCode by ELECTRIAR LABO

Escape from the Closed Circle by Hanachiru

Heart of Sengoku by ZEN APP

Leaving Two Tiles Dojo by ScreenPocket

Living in the Ending World by illuCalab.

MAKOTO WAKAIDO’s Case Files “Executioner’s Wedge” by HafHaf-Oden(Sukashiuma-LAB)

Mini Mini Farm by CoffeeBreak

MonohakobiPro by CGO

Mousebusters by Odencat

Numpurr Card Wars by Nukenin

Parasite Days by Zxima

Quantum Transport by ruccho

Super Glitter Rush by tiny cactus studio

Survivor's guilt by aso

Wolf Chess by Baton

Sign up to attend the Japanese finals.

Indie Games

South Korea

Angel Saga by Alchemist Games Inc.

Animal Card Royale by Banjihagames

Animal Doll Shop by Funnyeve

BattleLive: Zombie&Human by PLOTRICK

Box It Up! Inc. by team TAPE

CATS & SOUP by HIDEA

Cats are Cute: Pop Time by kkiruk studio

Detective Mio by 1N1

Dicast: Rules of Chaos by BSS COMPANY

Forest Island by Nanali Studios

Frontier of Fortune by Dotomchi Games Inc.

FUNKYGUNNER by FUNKY5

Group Project Simulator! by Studio806

Gun Tactics by Gimle Games

Hybrid Warrior: Dungeon of the Overlord by Cat Lab

Metro Blossom by The Sane Studio

Portal Dungeon by Oblique Line

Rush Hour Rally by Soen Games

The Way Home by CONCODE

Titan Slayer by Touchholic

Sign up to attend the South Korean finals.

Join the adventure on September 4

This year the three Festivals are virtual, so everyone has the chance to explore the games, meet the developers who made them, cheer them on, and be the first to hear who the winners are.

Expect plenty of fun and some very special surprises. So, don’t miss out. Sign up now to virtually attend the events showcasing the finalists from Europe, Japan, and South Korea. The events are free to attend and will all take place in the same space, so sign up to one and you will be able to teleport to all events!

How about the Indie Games Accelerator?

If you’re interested in knowing which developers are joining the 2021 class of the Indie Games Accelerator, sign up to attend the European Festival, where we will also announce the selected developers.

Indie Games

Preparing for Google Play’s new safety section

Posted by Suzanne Frey, VP, Product, Android Security and Privacy

Today, we’re announcing additional details for the upcoming safety section in Google Play. At Google, we know that feeling safe online comes from using products that are secure by default, private by design, and give users control over their data. This new safety section will provide developers a simple way to showcase their app’s overall safety. Developers will be able to give users deeper insight into their privacy and security practices, as well as explain the data the app may collect and why — all before users install the app.

Ultimately, all Google Play store apps will be required to share information in the safety section. We want to give developers plenty of time to adapt to these changes, so we’re sharing more information about the data type definitions, user journey, and policy requirements of this new feature.



What the new safety section may look like:

Images are directional and subject to change

Users will see the new summary in an app’s store listing page. It’ll share the developer’s explanation of what data an app collects or shares and highlight safety details, such as whether:

  • The app has security practices, like data encryption
  • The app follows our Families policy
  • The app has been independently validated against a global security standard

Images are directional and subject to change

Users can tap into the summary to see details like:

  • What type of data is collected and shared, such as location, contacts, personal information (e.g., name, email address), financial information and more
  • How the data is used, such as for app functionality, personalization, and more
  • Whether data collection is optional or required in order to use an app

Images are directional and subject to change

In designing our labels, we learned developers appreciate when they can provide context about their data practices and more detail on whether their app automatically collects data versus if that collection is optional. We also learned that users care about whether their data is shared with other companies, and why.

The final design is subject to change as we continue working with developers and designing for the best blend of developer and user experiences.

Policy changes to support the safety section

Today we announced new user data policies designed to provide more user transparency and to help people make informed choices about how their data is collected, protected and used.

  • All developers must provide a privacy policy. Previously, only apps that collected personal and sensitive user data needed to share a privacy policy.
  • Developers are responsible for providing accurate and complete information in their safety section, including data used by the app’s third party libraries or SDKs.

This applies to all apps published on Google Play, including Google's own apps.

What you can expect

We want to provide developers with plenty of time and resources to get prepared.

Target Timeline. Dates subject to change.

Starting in October, developers can submit information in the Google Play Console for review. We encourage you to start early in case you have questions along the way. The new safety section will launch for apps in Google Play in Q1 2022.

We know that some developers will need more time to assess their apps and coordinate with multiple teams. So, you’ll have until April 2022 before your apps must have this section approved. Without an approved section, your new app submission or app update may be rejected.

Images are directional and subject to change

If your app’s information is not approved by the time we launch the safety section in Google Play to users in Q1 2022, then it will display “No information available.”

How to get prepared:

  • Visit the Play Console Help Center for more details about providing app privacy details in Play Console, including data type lists and examples.
  • Review how your app collects, protects and shares data. In particular, check your app’s declared permissions and the APIs and libraries that your app uses. These may require you to indicate that your app collects and shares specific types of data.
  • Join a policy webinar and send us your questions in advance. You can register for Global, India, Japan, or Korea sessions.

We’ll continue to share more guidance, including specific dates, over the next few months.

Thank you for your continued partnership in building this feature alongside us and in making Google Play a safe and trustworthy platform for everyone.