Since joining the team at the start of this year, I’ve been continuously inspired by our incredible community of people building apps and games, and it’s been my privilege to support your hard work and creativity. In particular, it’s been exciting to see you not only identify new user needs, but to develop innovative ways of solving them with your apps and games. This year, our annual Best of Play awards introduced new categories to recognize these achievements, including “Best with AI” and “Best multi-device app and game.”
No matter where you are on your developer journey, whether you just published your first app or already reached a global audience, Google Play is committed to being your partner in growth. Here’s a look back at some of the key tools, features, and programs we built this year to help you reach your full potential and build a successful business on Google Play.
Check out the video below or keep reading for more details about this year’s updates.
New tools and features built in 2023
User growth and engagement:
- Developers can boost discovery and re-engagement with new ways to promote your most exciting moments, including launches, new content, and offers.
- Users are better able to find your high-quality apps and games for their devices with optimized Play Store experiences for large screens and wearables.
- With our store listing tools, you can craft more personalized and effective content with less effort, such as with our store listing AI helper and Google Translate-powered machine translation feature.
- It’s now easier to discover new growth and engagement opportunities with the enhanced Play Console page dedicated to deep links.
- And for game businesses, the expanded Google Play Games on PC program can help your core players enjoy seamless and immersive gameplay across phones, tablets, Chromebooks, and Windows PC.
- Generate revenue more effectively with the ability to A/B test prices to optimize for local purchasing power at scale.
- Grow and retain your subscribers with our new subscription capabilities, such as the ability to offer different auto-renewing and prepaid plan prices per billing period.
- To help you optimize for a global audience, we’ve started automatically updating our min/max price ranges to reflect currency fluctuations against the US dollar. You’ll also see a notification anytime we recommend a price adjustment for your in-app products.
- We added several popular local payment methods to our extensive library, including PicPay in Brazil and PayPay in Japan, and expanded our support of UPI in India.
- And with the introduction of our new alternative billing APIs, developers offering an alternative billing system alongside Google Play’s can enjoy a more streamlined experience.
Privacy and security:
- To make outstanding tasks clearer and help you identify and fix issues more quickly, we made several improvements to help you navigate privacy and security on Play, including bringing key requirements and deadlines right into Play Console.
- We also updated the Play Integrity API to ensure that users experience your apps and games the way you intend.
Investing in our app and game community
This year, our Indie Games programs helped businesses of all sizes grow on Play. Through our Indie Games Fund, we awarded $2 million and offered hands-on support to 10 Latin American studios to help them grow their games on our platform. And for mentorship from Google and industry experts, early-career indie developers can apply for the Indie Games Accelerator from now until December 12, 2023.
We’re also pushing for greater representation and equity in the developer community by giving $600,000 across 13 nonprofit organizations around the world to support more inclusive programming. For example, we’ve partnered with Global Game Jam and the IGDA Foundation to host a game jam that helps women across Asia and Latin America launch careers in game development.
And finally, we continued our tour of the world by sharing and celebrating your stories through #WeArePlay. This year, we spotlighted over 260 app and game businesses from Europe, Japan, India and more.
I’m excited about the future of Google Play, which will see even more updates and improvements to the work we did this year.
For example, you may have noticed that we gave the Play Store a fresh look this year, with more visual components, new video capabilities, and fluid animations, and introduced new ways for people to discover, engage, and re-engage with your apps and games. In addition to new original editorial content and livestream events, we also developed new ways for users to be rewarded for their play, such as with time-bound offers and promotions.
Next year, we’ll build on that investment, going deeper to provide more value to users — and, in turn, to your businesses. We’re looking to:
- Continue to improve gaming experiences across platforms,
- Direct users to the right experiences, within and across apps,
- Help folks get the most out of their devices, and
- Make it easier for users and developers to transact when they want to.
As you know, Google Play is more than an app marketplace. We connect people with the experiences they’ll love, wherever they are, on whatever device they’re using. A big part of this is our continued focus on making it easier for people to find your latest, most relevant app and game content. It also means going beyond the Play Store to deliver this content to people across their devices, when and where it's most relevant.
Once again, I want to thank you for all the hard work you’ve put into making Google Play the best place for apps and games. I can’t wait to see what you build next.
On behalf of all of us at Google Play, happy holidays and best wishes for an amazing 2024.