Tag Archives: Google Play

Grow your indie game with help from Google Play

Today we’re opening applications for the 2021 editions of the Indie Games Accelerator and the Indie Games Festival from Google Play. These programs are designed to support the growth of small games studios that bring unique games to players around the world. 

Get help to develop your game with the Indie Games Accelerator

The Indie Games Accelerator brings the best of Google’s programs, products, people and technology to indie game developers that are full of potential. Selected studios will get free education and mentorship from Google and top industry experts to help them build and grow a successful games company. 

This year the program will be fully digital and is expanding to nearly double the markets, including the U.S., UK, Germany, France, Russia, Japan, South Korea and others. 


Promote your existing games with the Indie Games Festival 

The Indie Games Festival celebrates the creativity and innovation of top indie talent. Selected games will be rewarded with promotions on Google Play and dedicated marketing campaigns that will help players worldwide discover the games. 

We will host three competitions for indie game developers from Japan, South Korea and select European countries. 

If you are an indie game developer based in one of the eligible countries, apply for either program by July 1st

Quicksave: The latest from Google Play Pass

Google Play Pass helps you connect with awesome digital content: It’s your pass to hundreds of apps and games without ads and in-app purchases. We wanted to take another moment to spotlight a few of the games and developers we think you’ll enjoy.

Stay on top of the latest updates

We’ve been busy these past couple months. Beyond adding the new titles you’ll see below, we’re also announcing that:

Dive into the newest games

A promotional image for the video game Evoland II.

Evoland 2
A slight case of space time continuum disorder.


PRICE:$6.99Free with Google Play Pass subscription


Travel through time and video game history with the epic RPG adventure that takes you from one classic game genre after another.

A promotional image for the video game Crying Suns.

Crying Suns
When tactical rogue-like meets Foundation and Dune.


PRICE:$8.99Free with Google Play Pass subscription


Step into the role of a space fleet commander as you explore a mysteriously fallen empire in this tactical but story-rich strategy game.

A promotional image for the video game Botanicula.

Botanicula
Five friends, one unforgettable journey.


PRICE:$4.99Free with Google Play Pass subscription


Set out on a journey with your fellow tree creatures to save your home from evil parasites in this light-hearted adventure for gamers of all types.

A promotional image from the video game Night of the Full Moon.

Night of the Full Moon
Unveil the mysteries of the Black Forest, one by one.

PRICE:Free (No in-app purchases with Google Play Pass subscription)


Walk in the footsteps of Little Red Riding Hood as she ventures into a dark wilderness of elves, witches, werewolves and other mysterious creatures in this strategy-based card game.

Explore the titles we ❤️   

A promotional image for the video game Risk

Risk
The biggest update ever to Hasbro’s classic game of global domination.


PRICE: Free (No in-app purchases with Google Play Pass subscription)


Everybody wants to rule the world, and now you can with the latest, greatest version of RISK that combines the classic gameplay with new features and content, all available with your subscription.

A promotional image from the video game Lightspeer

Lichtspeer
Embrace the future, eat strudel.


PRICE:$3.99Free with Google Play Pass subscription


Get ready to recapture that ‘80s arcade rush in this fast-paced lightspear-throwing simulator set in an ancient Germanic future.

A promotional image from the video game The Battle of Polytopia.

The Battle of Polytopia
Rule your tribe, build a civilization.


PRICE:Free with Google Play Pass subscription


Control the map, fight enemies, discover new lands and master technologies in this award-winning civilization strategy game.

No need for FOMO: Check out everything that’s been added since April 1, 2021.

Puzzle

Faraway 2: Jungle Escape
One Line Coloring
Maze: path of light
Escape Machine City: Airborne
Train your Brain
Kenshō
Laser Quest
ROOMS: The Toymaker's Mansion
Unit 404
Smarter - Brain training & Mind games
Slayaway Camp: 1980's Horror Puzzle Fun!
Star Vikings Forever
Faraway 3: Arctic Escape
Dissembler
Tents and Trees Puzzles

Strategy

Night of the Full Moon
Crying Suns
Out There: Ω Edition
Worms 2: Armageddon

Adventure

Samorost 2
Ord.
Botanicula
Krystopia: Nova's Journey
Jetscout Mystery of the Valunians
Dentures and Demons

Action

Space Marshals 2
Bubble Tale - Bunny Quest

Parenting

Parenting Hero - Become a wiser parent

Educational

Learn fruits and vegetables - games for kids
Animal Circus - Joy Preschool Game
Little Police

Board Game

SocialChess - Online Chess

Cardgame

Rogue Adventure: Card Battles & Deck Building RPG

Roleplay

Demon's Rise 2
Evoland 2

Sports 

Tennis Champs Returns - Season 3
Pocket League Story

Arcade

Bouncefield: Arkanoid Bricks Breaker

Casual

Strawberry Shortcake Dress Up Dreams
Sunday Lawn Seasons

Racing

Draw Rider 2 Plus

Simulation

The Ramen Sensei

Grow your indie game with help from Google Play

Posted by Patricia Correa, Director, Global Developer Marketing

Indie Games Accelerator graphic

At Google Play we’re committed to helping all developers thrive, whether these are large multinational companies or small startups and indie game studios. They are all critical to providing the services and experiences that people around the world look for on their Android devices. The indie game developer community, in particular, constantly pushes the boundaries with their creativity and passion, and bring unique and diverse content to players everywhere.

To continue supporting indies, today we’re opening submissions for two of our annual developer programs - the Indie Games Accelerator and the Indie Games Festival. These programs are designed to help small games studios grow on Google Play, no matter what stage they are in:

  • If you are a small games studio looking for help to launch a new title, apply for the Accelerator to get mentorship and education;
  • Or, if you have already created and launched a high quality game that is ready for the spotlight, enter the Festival for a chance to win promotions.

This year the programs come with some changes, including more eligible markets and fully digital event experiences. Learn more below and apply by July 1st.

Accelerator: Get education and mentorship to supercharge your growth

If you’re an indie developer, early in your journey - either close to launching a new game or recently launched a title, this is the program for you. We’ll provide education and mentorship that will help you build, launch and grow successfully.

This year we have nearly doubled the eligible markets, with developers from over 70 countries being eligible to apply for the 2021 program.

Selected participants will be invited to take part in a 12-week online acceleration program. During this time you’ll get exclusive access to a community of Google and industry experts, as well as a network of other passionate developers from around the world looking to supercharge their growth.

Festival: win promotions that put your game in the spotlight

If you're an indie game developer who has recently launched a high quality game, this is your chance to have your game discovered by industry experts and players worldwide.

This year we will, again, host three competitions for developers from Japan, South Korea, and selected European countries.

Prizes include featuring on Google Play store, promotional campaigns worth 100,000 EUR, and more.

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Play Logo

Grow your indie game with help from Google Play

Posted by Patricia Correa, Director, Global Developer Marketing

Indie game image

At Google Play we’re committed to helping all developers thrive, whether these are large multinational companies or small startups and indie game studios. They are all critical to providing the services and experiences that people around the world look for on their Android devices. The indie game developer community, in particular, constantly pushes the boundaries with their creativity and passion, and bring unique and diverse content to players everywhere.

To continue supporting indies, today we’re opening submissions for two of our annual developer programs - the Indie Games Accelerator and the Indie Games Festival. These programs are designed to help small games studios grow on Google Play, no matter what stage they are in:

  • If you are a small games studio looking for help to launch a new title, apply for the Accelerator to get mentorship and education;
  • Or, if you have already created and launched a high quality game that is ready for the spotlight, enter the Festival for a chance to win promotions.

This year the programs come with some changes, including more eligible markets and fully digital event experiences. Learn more below and apply by July 1st.

Accelerator: Get education and mentorship to supercharge your growth

If you’re an indie developer, early in your journey - either close to launching a new game or recently launched a title, this is the program for you. We’ll provide education and mentorship that will help you build, launch and grow successfully.

This year we have nearly doubled the eligible markets, with developers from over 70 countries being eligible to apply for the 2021 program.

Selected participants will be invited to take part in a 12-week online acceleration program. During this time you’ll get exclusive access to a community of Google and industry experts, as well as a network of other passionate developers from around the world looking to supercharge their growth.

Festival: win promotions that put your game in the spotlight

If you're an indie game developer who has recently launched a high quality game, this is your chance to have your game discovered by industry experts and players worldwide.

This year we will, again, host three competitions for developers from Japan, South Korea, and selected European countries.

Prizes include features on Google Play store, promotional campaigns worth 100,000 EUR, and more.

The top Google Play updates from I/O ‘21

Posted by Alex Musil, Director of Product, Google Play

This year, we announced many great new features, tools, and updates to help you make the most of Google Play. You can check out all the updates in our I/O session, or keep reading for a quick overview of the new capabilities that will help take your business even further, from driving more installs to growing your engagement and revenue.

15% service fee for the first $1M in earnings

1. Earlier this year, we announced an additional service fee tier to help boost developer success on Google Play. Starting July 1st, the service fee will be 15% instead of 30% for your first $1M (USD) of earnings each year. You’ll be able to enroll for the new rate in Play Console the week of June 7th, so we’re sharing details about the process now to give you time to get ready.

New tools for managing policy compliance

2. We’ve built a new, dedicated Policy and Programs section in Play Console to provide you with a centralized place to see any policy compliance concerns, guidance on how to fix policy issues, and information about upcoming policy changes.

More SDK guidance

3. The new Google Play SDK Console lets providers report issues with their SDK versions so we can give you better guidance and recommendations. We’ve started with several large SDK providers and will continue to add more.

4. Later this year, we’re launching a new, public website with important insights about popular SDKs to help you choose the right SDK for your app. Learn more about how we’re helping you build safer and more stable apps in the I/O session below.

Helping more users discover your apps and games

5. To ensure that your store listing assets can help users anticipate your in-app or in-game experience and drive meaningful downloads, we’re pre-announcing a policy change for app metadata...

6. and introducing new guidelines on store listing preview assets.

Distribution features for the future of publishing

7. One million apps are in production using the Android App Bundle, with 15% size savings on average vs a universal APK. The app bundle is the future of publishing on Google Play and, starting August 1, 2021, they’ll be required for all new apps.

8. Based on developer feedback, we'll soon be launching an optional code transparency feature to offer additional cryptographic assurance that your app’s code on device has not been modified from its original version.

Identify growth opportunities with our new competitive insights

9. To help you understand your engagement and monetization trends and optimize your product plans, we’ve taken the best of our ecosystem data and contextualized your performance against peersets. Learn how to make the most of them in the I/O session below.

10. You can now also customize and pin the precise metrics that matter to you in a personalized KPIs section at the top of your app dashboard.

More features for a flexible monetization strategy

11. Your global reach just got even larger: In 2020, we added 34 new local forms of payment across 30 markets around the world.

12. We lowered the minimum prices developers can set for paid apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions in 20 new markets across Latin America, EMEA, and APAC.

13. This year, we’ll be launching multi-quantity purchases, which will allow your users to buy more than one item at a time from the cart.

14. We’ll also be launching multi-line subscriptions, which will allow you to sell multiple products as part of a single subscription.

15. And finally, we’ll be launching prepaid plans, which will let you offer users access to content for a fixed amount of time. (Don’t worry, users can easily extend at any time.)

16. Want to take advantage of these new features? Many will be available when you integrate Play Billing Library version 4.0, and more will be rolling out later this year. As a reminder, new apps are required to integrate version 3.0 by August 2, 2021 or by November 1, 2021 for updates to existing apps.

Program enhancements to engage and retain users

17. This year, Google Play Pass expanded to over 40 markets, with more than 800 games and apps. Developers have on average more than doubled their Play revenue across participating titles in these markets. Let us know if you’d like to join!

18. Google Play Points expanded to 22 countries and added deeper integration with Play Console making it even easier for developers to onboard. Play’s loyalty program helps developers increase engagement and reduce churn with their most high value users. Developers can learn more about joining the program here.

More educational content

19. Want to learn more about any of these features? We’ve built a comprehensive website with best practices and resources to help you learn more about our programs and tools.

20. Last but not least, we’ve also added tons of new free courses to Google Play Academy. Whether you're about to launch your startup or grow your existing business on Play, Google Play Academy has you covered.

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New safety section in Google Play will give transparency into how apps use data

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

Blog header

We work closely with developers to keep Google Play a safe, trusted space for billions of people to enjoy the latest Android apps. Today, we’re pre-announcing an upcoming safety section in Google Play that will help people understand the data an app collects or shares, if that data is secured, and additional details that impact privacy and security.

Developers agree that people should have transparency and control over their data. And they want simple ways to communicate app safety that are easy to understand and help users to make informed choices about how their data is handled. Developers also want to give additional context to explain data use and how safety practices could affect the app experience. So in addition to the data an app collects or shares, we’re introducing new elements to highlight whether:

  1. The app has security practices, like data encryption
  2. The app follows our Families policy
  3. The app needs this data to function or if users have choice in sharing it
  4. The app’s safety section is verified by an independent third-party
  5. The app enables users to request data deletion, if they decide to uninstall

This can be a big change, so we’re sharing this in advance and building with developers alongside us.

What this section will include

Among other things, we’ll ask developers to share:

  • What type of data is collected and stored: Examples of potential options are approximate or precise location, contacts, personal information (e.g. name, email address), photos & videos, audio files, and storage files
  • How the data is used: Examples of potential options are app functionality and personalization

Similar to app details like screenshots and descriptions, developers are responsible for the information disclosed in their section. Google Play will introduce a policy that requires developers to provide accurate information. If we find that a developer has misrepresented the data they’ve provided and is in violation of the policy, we will require the developer to fix it. Apps that don’t become compliant will be subject to policy enforcement.

What you can expect

All apps on Google Play - including Google's own apps - will be required to share this information and provide a privacy policy.

We’re committed to ensuring that developers have plenty of time to prepare. This summer, we’ll share the new policy requirements and resources, including detailed guidance on app privacy policies. Starting Q2 2022, new app submissions and app updates must include this information.

Timeline

Target Timeline (Dates subject to change)

In the future, we’ll continue providing new ways to simplify control for users and automate more work for developers.

In the meantime, here are some resources to help you design secure & privacy-friendly apps

We’re excited to advance our partnership with developers to make Google Play a trustworthy platform for everyone.


How useful did you find this blog post?

Google Play Logo

New safety section in Google Play will give transparency into how apps use data



We work closely with developers to keep Google Play a safe, trusted space for billions of people to enjoy the latest Android apps. Today, we’re pre-announcing an upcoming safety section in Google Play that will help people understand the data an app collects or shares, if that data is secured, and additional details that impact privacy and security.


Developers agree that people should have transparency and control over their data. And they want simple ways to communicate app safety that are easy to understand and help users to make informed choices about how their data is handled. Developers also want to give additional context to explain data use and how safety practices could affect the app experience. So in addition to the data an app collects or shares, we’re introducing new elements to highlight whether:

  1. The app has security practices, like data encryption

  2. The app follows our Families policy

  3. The app needs this data to function or if users have choice in sharing it

  4. The app’s safety section is verified by an independent third-party

  5. The app enables users to request data deletion, if they decide to uninstall


This can be a big change, so we’re sharing this in advance and building with developers alongside us.


What this section will include


Among other things, we’ll ask developers to share: 

  • What type of data is collected and stored: Examples of potential options are approximate or precise location, contacts, personal information (e.g. name, email address), photos & videos, audio files, and storage files

  • How the data is used: Examples of potential options are app functionality and personalization 


Similar to app details like screenshots and descriptions, developers are responsible for the information disclosed in their section. Google Play will introduce a policy that requires developers to provide accurate information. If we find that a developer has misrepresented the data they’ve provided and is in violation of the policy, we will require the developer to fix it. Apps that don’t become compliant will be subject to policy enforcement.


What you can expect


All apps on Google Play - including Google's own apps - will be required to share this information and provide a privacy policy. 


We’re committed to ensuring that developers have plenty of time to prepare. This summer, we’ll share the new policy requirements and resources, including detailed guidance on app privacy policies. Starting Q2 2022, new app submissions and app updates must include this information.


Target Timeline (Dates subject to change)


In the future, we’ll continue providing new ways to simplify control for users and automate more work for developers.


In the meantime, here are some resources to help you design secure & privacy-friendly apps


We’re excited to advance our partnership with developers to make Google Play a trustworthy platform for everyone.


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

Blast off into Entertainment Space on your Android tablet

Tablets are the perfect device to stay entertained, whether you’re watching a movie from your bed, playing games on your daily commute or reading a book while you travel. The screen is bigger than your phone, but more portable than your TV.  In fact, over the last year, we’ve seen over 30 percent more people start using Android tablets compared to the prior year.


As a versatile device with many different capabilities, whole families often share the same tablet. Last year, we introduced Kids Space as a way for your kids under 9 to learn and have fun with recommended apps, books and videos on Android tablets. And for the rest of the family members, we’re now bringing you a new Android tablet experience that places the entertainment content you love front and center.


Entertainment Space is a one-stop, personalized home for all your favorite movies, shows, videos, games and books. You’ll save time and avoid having to hop between apps to try to figure out what to do, whether it’s to watch, play or read. Once you sign in to your subscription apps, Entertainment Space will show you your content in one place and tailored for you. And if you want to share your tablet, everyone in the family can have their own personalized profile. 


Hit play on the latest movies, TV shows and YouTube videos

In the Watch tab, you can move between your streaming services, find movies and TV shows to watch, rent or buy from Google TV and view recommended videos from YouTube. With the Continue Watching row, you can also easily hop back into a show you were watching last night. And, if you’re not sure what to watch next, Entertainment Space will surface your personalized and trending recommendation rows from Google TV, Twitch, Hulu and many additional services.

Entertainment Space Watch Tab

Discover movies, TV shows and YouTube videos in the Watch tab.

Discover the next action-packed game

Build empires. Slay dragons. Save the universe. With the Games tab in Entertainment Space, a world of fun and adventure awaits your discovery with Google Play Games. Jump back into your favorite games in the continue playing row, or explore new games recommended for you. And to help you start playing more quickly, select games in Entertainment Space are available to Instant play – so you can try a game without downloading it.

Entertainment Space Play tab

Explore or hop back into your favorite games in the Play tab.

Bring your favorite books together, and find the next one too

Whether you’re looking for your next read or already have a stack of books on your virtual nightstand, the Read tab is where you’ll find your next chapter from Google Play Books. If your eyes get tired but you want more stories, you can find audiobooks in this section, too. Check out free sneak peeks before committing, plus see books with discounted prices and recommendations based on what’s trending and what meets your tastes. 

Entertainment Space Read tab

Find your next book and audiobook in the Read tab.

Starting this month, Entertainment Space will be available on Walmart onn. tablets. And later this year, Entertainment Space will roll out globally on new and select existing Android tablets from Lenovo™, Sharp and more.

Updated guidance to improve your app quality and discovery on Google Play

Posted by Bert de Weerd and Tingmui Li, Google Play

When Google Play launched in 2008, it was easy for developers to get noticed with only a few hundred apps and games live on the Play Store. Fast forward to today, there are now millions of apps and games available to audiences in over 190 countries. The unique assets you provide to the Store – images, video, descriptions, even your app name itself – are essential to users making a decision on what to download.

Google Play is increasingly showing more of your assets front and center, surfacing graphic assets and descriptions right on Apps and Games home. To ensure that your store listing assets can help users anticipate your in-app or in-game experience and drive meaningful downloads, we are:

  1. Pre-announcing a policy change for app metadata
  2. Introducing new guidelines on Store listing preview assets

1. Pre-announce policy change for app metadata

Since your app title, icon, and developer name are the most important discovery elements on your store listing page, we are preparing to launch a new set of policies to keep these elements recognizable and unique, focusing on:

  • Limiting the length of app titles to 30 characters
  • Prohibiting keywords that imply store performance, promotion in the icon, title and developer name
  • Eliminating graphic elements that may mislead users in the app icon

App title, icon and developer name that do not meet the upcoming policies will not be allowed on Google Play. You can expect more details about this policy change, including enforcement start dates, later this year.

We recommend reviewing the examples of do and don’t below and thinking about how these changes may impact you, so you can get ready for the upcoming policy changes.

Store performance or rank:
Price and promotional information:
Play programs and graphic elements that mislead users:
Emoticons & repeated or sequential special characters and or punctuations:

2. New guidelines for Store listing preview assets

We are also announcing new store listing preview asset guidelines for the feature graphics, screenshots, videos, and short descriptions you supply to showcase your app's features and functionality. Assets that don’t meet our guidelines may be ineligible for promotion and recommendation on major Google Play surfaces like Apps and Games home.

The new guideline for developer supplied assets focus on the following principles:

  • Do the preview assets accurately represent the app or game?
  • Do the preview assets provide enough information to help users decide whether to install?
  • Are the preview assets free of buzzwords like "free" or "best" and instead focus on providing meaningful information about the unique aspects of your app or game?
  • Are the preview assets localized correctly and easy to read?

To ensure that your apps and games are eligible for recommendations on all surfaces on Google Play, please review our new store listing guidelines. We’ll start using these guidelines to inform our recommendations starting in the second half of 2021.

We hope you found both the policy pre-announcement and preview asset guideline announcement useful as you plan your roadmap for the year, and we hope you share in our excitement for a more useful and engaging Play Store.

A New Standard for Mobile App Security

Posted by Eugene Liderman, Director, Android Security Strategy and Brooke Davis, Android Security & Privacy Partnerships

Mobile App Secruity image

With all of the challenges from this past year, users have become increasingly dependent on their mobile devices to create fitness routines, stay connected with loved ones, work remotely, and order things like groceries with ease. According to eMarketer, in 2020 users spent over three and a half hours per day using mobile apps. With so much time spent on mobile devices, ensuring the safety of mobile apps is more important than ever. Despite the importance of digital security, there isn’t a consistent industry standard for assessing mobile apps. Existing guidelines tend to be either too lightweight or too onerous for the average developer, and lack a compliance arm. That’s why we're excited to share ioXt’s announcement of a new Mobile Application Profile which provides a set of security and privacy requirements with defined acceptance criteria which developers can certify their apps against.

Over 20 industry stakeholders, including Google, Amazon, and a number of certified labs such as NCC Group and Dekra, as well as automated mobile app security testing vendors like NowSecure collaborated to develop this new security standard for mobile apps. We’ve seen early interest from Internet of Things (IoT) and virtual private network (VPN) developers, however the standard is appropriate for any cloud connected service such as social, messaging, fitness, or productivity apps.

The Internet of Secure Things Alliance (ioXt) manages a security compliance assessment program for connected devices. ioXt has over 300 members across various industries, including Google, Amazon, Facebook, T-Mobile, Comcast, Zigbee Alliance, Z-Wave Alliance, Legrand, Resideo, Schneider Electric, and many others. With so many companies involved, ioXt covers a wide range of device types, including smart lighting, smart speakers, and webcams, and since most smart devices are managed through apps, they have expanded coverage to include mobile apps with the launch of this profile.

The ioXt Mobile Application Profile provides a minimum set of commercial best practices for all cloud connected apps running on mobile devices. This security baseline helps mitigate against common threats and reduces the probability of significant vulnerabilities. The profile leverages existing standards and principles set forth by OWASP MASVS and the VPN Trust Initiative, and allows developers to differentiate security capabilities around cryptography, authentication, network security, and vulnerability disclosure program quality. The profile also provides a framework to evaluate app category specific requirements which may be applied based on the features contained in the app. For example, an IoT app only needs to certify under the Mobile Application profile, whereas a VPN app must comply with the Mobile Application profile, plus the VPN extension.

Certification allows developers to demonstrate product safety and we’re excited about the opportunity for this standard to push the industry forward. We observed that app developers were very quick to resolve any issues that were identified during their blackbox evaluations against this new standard, oftentimes with turnarounds in a matter of days. At launch, the following apps have been certified: Comcast, ExpressVPN, GreenMAX, Hubspace, McAfee Innovations, NordVPN, OpenVPN for Android, Private Internet Access, VPN Private, as well as the Google One app, including VPN by Google One.

We look forward to seeing adoption of the standard grow over time and for those app developers that are already investing in security best practices to be able to highlight their efforts. The standard also serves as a guiding light to inspire more developers to invest in mobile app security. If you are interested in learning more about the ioXt Alliance and how to get your app certified, visit https://compliance.ioxtalliance.org/sign-up and check out Android’s guidelines for building secure apps here.