Tag Archives: Play Console

The latest updates to power your growth on Google Play

Posted by Paul Feng – Vice President of Product Management, Google Play

Our annual Playtime event series kicks off tomorrow, with announcements from our product teams and insights from local Google experts. If you’re not one of the attendees joining us in person this year, here’s a sneak preview of the product news we’ll be sharing to help you grow successful, long-term businesses on Google Play.

Check out our top five updates in the video below, or read on for the full list.

More ways to boost growth and engagement

This year, we improved three of our most impactful offerings: custom store listings, the deep links page in Play Console, and Google Play Games on PC.

Custom store listings enable you to optimize your conversion rate and acquisitions by creating different messaging for different user segments. Many of you have already been using your 50 custom store listings to tailor your messaging by country, pre-registration status, Google Ads campaigns, or to inactive users.

Now, we’re making it even easier to create and manage your listings with the ability to:

    • Save your listings as a draft to continue editing later
    • Schedule your listings to publish when you want and for the duration you choose
    • Test your listings with a portion of your audience before rolling them out

Last year, we launched a new Play Console page dedicated to deep links to help you discover additional opportunities for growth and engagement. This page flags broken deep links and provides detailed guidance on how to fix them, as well as helps you rationalize your web-to-app mapping by reviewing your top website URLs and their deep link status.

This year, we improved the page with new metrics and insights to help you make the most of your deep link strategy. You can now:

    • Make sure the landing pages from your ad campaigns are deep-linked
    • See the percentage of your top-performing URLs that have been deep-linked, so you can see where you have an opportunity to direct more users to your app
    • Find out what percentage of users with your app installed would have the URL open inside the app


For game developers, we’ve expanded our Google Play Games on PC beta to help you grow your user base. Since we launched the program last year, we’ve seen a tremendous amount of growth. Google Play Games on PC currently reaches users in more than 120 countries, offering over 3,000 titles including Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, Free Fire MAX, and Angry Birds 2*. Learn more about how Google Play Games on PC has improved the quality of the gaming experience to accelerate your growth.

More ways to reach your monetization goals

To help you more effectively generate revenue from your audiences, we're rolling out new features on our commerce platform to help you optimize your prices, reach more buyers, and better manage user purchases.

At this year's I/O, we launched price experiments for in-app products, allowing you to test price points and optimize for local purchasing power at scale. Next month, you’ll be able to:

    • Save your experiments as drafts to edit later
    • Remove a poorly performing variant during the experiment
    • See warning notifications for potential price configuration issues
    • Apply the ”winning” price to any and all products within the experiment

We’ve also started automatically updating our min/max price ranges to reflect currency fluctuations against the US dollar, and you’ll see a new Play Console Inbox notification anytime we recommend a price adjustment of your in-app products.

We also made several updates to help you better reach a global audience. Now you can more efficiently display available products and offers to users based on regional availability with the new getBillingConfigAsync API, which provides the user’s applicable country for Google Play. Our extensive payment method library now includes popular payment methods PayPay eWallet and cash top-ups at over 14,500 Lawson stores throughout Japan, cash top-ups at over 18,000 7-Eleven stores in Mexico, ShopeePay eWallet in the Philippines, Verve Card in Nigeria, and China UnionPay Card throughout select East Asian and Southeast Asian markets.

Coming soon, real-time developer notifications will expand to include notifications for one-time purchases and voided purchases such as cancellations, revocations, and chargebacks. These will give you more visibility and help you better manage purchases, including making quicker entitlement adjustments and taking action against potential fraud and abuse.

We’re also continuing our commitment to user choice billing, giving you more flexibility and choice when monetizing on Google Play. Developers enrolled in user choice billing can offer an additional billing system alongside Google Play’s in over 35 markets. And now, we’re making the alternative billing APIs available to participating developers with users across these markets. With the APIs integrated, developers can look forward to a more streamlined experience:

    • User choice screens rendered by Google Play: you will no longer need to build and maintain the information and/or choice screens as required by UX guidelines
    • Alternative billing settings in Play Console: manage alternative billing settings for eligible apps, including market enrollment, payment method logo, and more
    • Simplified transaction reporting: removing manual touchpoints
    • Google Play Top Charts: transactions reported via API are reflected on Top Charts
    • Improved reporting: transactions reported via API enable more detailed developer reporting - including exchange rates, associated app package ID, service fee rates, and more
Illustrative example of the user experience for user choice billing

Helping you deliver high-quality experiences

To connect people with experiences they’ll love, we continuously invest in new tools, features, and programs to help you build high-quality apps and games. As a reminder, we measure quality across four key pillars: core value, user experience, technical quality, and privacy and security.

For example, we’re increasing the app bundle size limit from 150MB to 200MB to help you deliver more functionality to improve your core value and user experience. Because Play will continue to deliver only the relevant content, users will only experience your enhanced functionality and not increased app size.

To help you improve your technical quality, we’re excited to announce some new features in Android vitals to help you monitor your title against per-device bad behavior thresholds and effectively manage and debug issues. You can now:

    • Monitor and detect issues with release rollouts using hourly vitals data
    • Analyze longer-term trends in technical performance with 3 years of Android vitals data
    • Prioritize devices by business impact with per-device business metrics like store listing impressions, average rating, and daily active device metrics
    • Get notified via email and Play Console Inbox when your per-device bad behavior threshold exceeds 8%
    • Analyze Android vitals crash event data and potential fixes alongside your code directly within Android Studio via App Quality Insights
    • Grant Play Console teammates limited access to app quality data only

And finally, to help ensure you're delivering the best experience to your users while you’re on the go, check out the recently refreshed Play Console app, where you can:

    • Monitor the metrics you care about
    • View and reply to reviews
    • Monitor and manage your apps across tracks and releases
    • Manage your app’s orders and issue refunds
    • Receive messages from Google Play

Protecting your business with the Play Integrity API

Over the last few years, we’ve continued to invest in the Play Integrity API to ensure that users experience your apps and games the way you intend.

Today, we’re announcing several major updates, including:

    • Low-latency Play Integrity API standard requests are leaving beta and becoming available to all developers, giving you integrity verdicts that are 10X faster
    • A new opt-in Play Protect signal checks whether Play Protect is on or off and whether any known malware is detected
    • A new Play Integrity API report and improved controls in Play Console helps you spot issues and adapt your anti-abuse strategy with an analysis and breakdown of API responses across your install base
    • SDK providers now have the option to set up and manage their Play Integrity API integration using the Google Play SDK Console, giving them control over their quota and letting them customize API responses

We hope you take advantage of all these new features to continue growing 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.

*Google Play Games on PC is available to download in 122 countries as of Nov 15, 2023.
Please see g.co/googleplaygames for more information. Game titles may vary by region.

Google Play Games on PC brings new features to accelerate growth

Posted by Arjun Dayal, Director, Google Play Games

Since we launched Google Play Games on PC beta last year, the product has seen a tremendous amount of growth. Now offering over 3,000 titles, Google Play Games on PC currently reaches users in more than 120 countries, providing a wide range of games across genres for players to enjoy. Our catalog continues to grow with popular mobile titles including Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, Free Fire MAX, and Angry Birds 2 available today*.

We’ve been engaging with our amazing community of players and have been focused on increasing the quality of the gaming experience by adding new gameplay capabilities. We’ve recently added support for microphones and popular game controllers, as well as provided dynamic display options that let players select a screen resolution up to 4K.

CookieRun: Tower of Adventures with game controller support
Preview of CookieRun: Tower of Adventures with game controller support

We’ve also streamlined the user install journey for Google Play Games on PC to make game discovery easier. When a user visits the Play Store from a Windows PC, the games homepage will now showcase PC optimized games that can be installed directly on their PC.

Play store web version details page

We’re excited to bring more features to Google Play Games on PC to our growing community of players and unlock opportunities for developers to expand their reach. If you’re ready to make Google Play Games on PC a part of your growth strategy, learn more about new features and optimization guides from our developer site.

Windows is a trademark of the Microsoft group of companies.
*Google Play Games on PC is available to download in 122 countries as of Nov 15, 2023.
Please see g.co/googleplaygames for more information. Game titles may vary by region.

Notes from Google Play: Keeping our platform safe

Posted by Jacqueline Hart, Director, Trusted Experiences, Developer Enablement

Hi there,

With millions of Android apps to choose from, users are increasingly focused on the privacy and security of the titles they download. That’s why it’s so important to build user trust with delightful, high-quality app experiences built on a secure foundation.

I’m Jacqueline Hart and I lead the team that helps developers navigate our policies. We’re also responsible for reviewing apps on Google Play to make sure they are safe for users.

In this edition of Notes from Google Play, I’d like to share how we’re working to improve your policy experience and how we’re helping strengthen user trust by highlighting your app’s approach to privacy and security.

Over the past few months, we’ve shared updates on our key privacy and security initiatives to help you prepare for changes and use new tools and resources, including enhanced account data transparency and controls in your app’s Data safety section and new Android 14 functionality. Now, I’m pleased to share the next phase of features, tools, and updates that we’ve been working on to help keep our platform safe and trustworthy.

Giving you a better policy experience

A few months ago, we announced that we’re redesigning the App content page in Google Play Console to make your outstanding tasks clearer, and now we’re adding more information to help you:

  • Spot deadlines with a new timeline view for new and updated declarations
  • Understand why your app is in-scope for a particular declaration
  • Find relevant policy issues alongside each declaration, helping you identify and fix issues more quickly

Later this year, we plan to show not just existing declarations, but also upcoming declaration requirements and deadlines to give you more time to plan.

Clearly see outstanding declaration-related tasks in our redesigned App content page. 
Example is illustrative and subject to change

We’re also getting you critical information about third-party SDKs, including a new notice on Google Play SDK Index to help you make more informed decisions about which version of an SDK may cause your app to violate Google Play policies.

And now we’re bringing more critical information right into Play Console. Previously, you could only learn about SDK-related policy issues affecting your apps through an Inbox message or email. Later this year, we’ll bring this information to you right on the Policy status page so you can see any issues in one place and stay on top of your app’s policy status.

Soon, you can learn about SDK-related policy issues on the Policy status page in Play Console.
Example is illustrative and subject to change

We’re also making it easier to find out if your app is impacted by our Target API requirements, which requires you to build for the latest versions of Android so you can make use of our latest security updates and platform enhancements. Since early August, you may have seen information outlining any potential impact on your app on the Policy status page, including resources to help you learn what to do to stay compliant.

To give you further support, we’re launching more ways to improve the experience. These include the new Developer Help Community, where you can ask your peers about everything from Play Console to the latest policy changes, and the Google Play Strike Removal program, which helps eligible developers get certain enforcement strikes removed after passing a related Play Academy training course. We launched the program as a pilot last year and have seen a successful reduction in repeat violations, so now we’re making it available to all developers.

Building user trust with the Data safety section

Security plays an important role in helping users decide whether an app is right for them. Recently, we announced account data transparency and controls in the Data safety section to help build user trust. If you haven’t completed your updated Data safety form yet, watch our two-minute video to learn how before the December 7, 2023 deadline. Users will begin to see your new information in your store listing in early 2024.
Provide data deltion options in Play Console by Dec 7, 2023
Soon, you can learn about SDK-related policy issues on the Policy status page in Play Console. 
Example is illustrative and subject to change.

To help users feel confident about their downloads in sensitive app categories, we’re soon adding a new Play Store banner for the VPN app category to emphasize the importance of reviewing an app’s Data safety section before installing.

When users search for “VPN” apps in Google Play, they’ll see a banner that encourages them to look for a shield icon in the app’s Data safety section, which indicates that the app has completed an independent security review. VPN developers such as NordVPN, Google One and ExpressVPN are early adopters of this program. We encourage and anticipate additional VPN app developers to undergo independent security testing, bringing even more transparency to users. Users can learn more about the independent security validation process and see VPN apps that have been independently validated by tapping “Learn more” to go to the App Validation Directory.
Independent Security Review - VPN apps with this badge in the Data safety section have been independently validated against a global security standard.
We're rolling out a Play Store new banner to build user confidence in the VPN app category. 
Example is illustrative and subject to change.

If you are a VPN developer and interested in learning more about this feature, please submit this form.

Looking ahead

Our team at Google is prioritizing new ways to give users even more confidence in the quality and security of the apps and games they download, establishing Google Play as the most trusted app marketplace. This includes efforts like our new developer verification process for new Play Console accounts.

We’ve got a lot more to come, but I’m excited to share these updates with you now, and I hope they help you continue to thrive on our platform. As always, thanks for partnering with us to make Google Play a safe, trustworthy platform.

Jacqueline Hart

I/O 2023: What’s new in Google Play

Posted by Alex Musil, Senior Director of Engineering and Product, Google Play

Over the past year, our teams have built exciting new features and made major changes to help you thrive with us. These updates have focused on:

  • Being the best partner to help you grow your audiences across the lifecycle of your business,
  • Being the best platform to help you effectively monetize your users at scale, and
  • Being the safest place to publish and distribute your hard work with Android.

Watch our video for more details, or keep reading to get the highlights.

More store listing enhancements designed to drive growth

Attracting users is the foundation of any app business, and it all starts with your store listing. These updates can help you craft better and more personalized content to drive more audience growth.

  • Last year, we gave every title the ability to create at least 50 custom store listings. Now, in addition to tailoring by country and pre-registration status, you can also customize your listing for inactive users, highlighting why they should give your app or game another chance.
  • Soon, we’ll launch custom store listings for Google Ads App campaign ad groups. These will allow you to serve custom listings to users coming from specific ads on AdMob and YouTube so you can create a more seamless user experience from Google Ads to Google Play.
  • All these new tools mean managing more listings, so we’re launching store listing groups to streamline the process. Now you can design for different audiences by simply creating a base listing, then overriding specific elements.
Image showing an example of a store lisitng group in Google Play
Create a base listing as your primary template and modify elements for different audiences with store listing groups.
  • To help you connect with people in their native language, we just launched new machine translation models for 10 languages from Google Translate in Play Console. It can translate your app and store listing in minutes, at no cost.

AI-powered features to highlight the best of your app

We’re bringing the benefits of AI to Google Play to make it easier for you and your users to get things done. From helping you showcase your app or game in the best possible light to helping users discover your title, these AI-powered features help you highlight the best of your app experience with ease.

  • Starting today, you can use Google’s generative AI technology to help you get started with store listings in English. This is an experimental feature to help you draft content with less effort. Just open our AI helper, enter a couple of prompts like audience and key theme, and it will generate a draft you can edit, discard, or use. You’re always in complete control of what you submit and publish.
Moving image of using Generative AI to create a custom store listing in Google Play
Draft an AI-generated store listing with just a few prompts
  • To help users learn from each other about what makes your app or game special at a glance, we’re launching review summaries powered by Google’s generative AI technology. Starting with an experiment in English, and expanding later this year.
screenshot of user review summaries in Google Play on a mobile device
Review summaries highlight what users are saying about your app or game at a glance

New opportunities to boost user discovery

Google Play can also help you grow your audience by partnering with you to promote important events, new content, or exciting offers. Use Promotional content to let us know when these are happening so we can amplify your growth. Almost 25,000 apps and games already have access to Promotional content, and we’re rolling out to more titles later this year.

  • We’re launching multiple new, dedicated high-traffic surfaces to showcase your most exciting content, including via Play notifications. Participating games are seeing a median 20% uplift in store-wide acquisitions and reacquisitions, driven by increases of over 60% from organic Explore traffic. 
image of four mobile screens displays side-by-side showing new high-traffic surfaces
New Play surfaces showcase your most exciting content
  • To enhance how and where your Promotional content is viewed on Play, we’re updating our reporting so you can track and optimize your events’ direct performance. Check it out in Play Console under “Promotional content performance reports.”

To be eligible for these new growth opportunities, your app or game needs to be of high quality and deliver the great experiences your users expect. Because it’s so important, we’re sharing more insights into how we think about quality and improving our tooling to help you meet these goals.

  • Today, we launched a unified framework for app and game quality that explains how we evaluate quality across a number of dimensions for promotion and featuring. Learn more with this article and I/O session, “What great quality looks like on Play.

More effective monetization features

We’re also rolling out new features that leverage Play’s reach, expertise, and technologies to help you more effectively generate revenue.

  • Soon, you’ll be able to run price experiments for in-app products right within Play Console. Experiment with different price points across markets and identify when you may be pricing yourself out of a sale or undervaluing your in-app products.
View of price experiments in Google Play Console
Find the right price point for your in-app products with our experiments tool in Play Console
  • Also coming soon is a new type of Promotional content called “featured products” that will allow you to sell your in-app items directly on Play. Feature specific in-app items in different countries or offer discounts to excite users and increase conversions.
moving image showing in-app items on the details page in Google Play
Feature in-app products on your store listing and nominate them for further promotion across Play surfaces
  • We’ve also made new updates to subscriptions to help you expand your reach, increase conversions, and improve retention. This year, we launched multiple prices per billing period so you can provide different auto-renewing and prepaid plan prices as desired, like giving “VIP” users recurring discounts.
  • Our commerce platform continues to evolve by improving access to buyers with new payment methods, exploring expanded billing options through our user choice billing pilot, and investing in secure purchase experiences that prevented over $2 billion in fraudulent and abusive transactions in 2022.

Learn more in our “Boost your revenue with Play Commerce” session.

Finally, we’re also working to increase the effectiveness of your marketing-to-sales funnel.

  • Last year, we launched a Play Console page dedicated to deep links. This page flags broken deep links and provides contextual guidance on how to fix them. Coming soon, we’ll make it easier for you to rationalize your web-to-app mapping with a convenient way to review your top website URLs alongside their deep link status. To help you validate your deep links, we're adding a simple way to compare your app to your web experience for a given URL, side-by-side.

Find out more in our deep links talk, “Optimize app experiences with deep linking.

Enhanced privacy and security protection for developers and users

Protecting your users and your work is critical to a successful ecosystem, so we’ve continued to strengthen our platform-wide protections and roll out more tools to help you protect your apps.

  • Google Play Protect scans billions of apps each day across billions of Android devices to keep users safe from threats like malware and unwanted software. Last year we prevented 1.4 million policy-violating apps from entering Google Play
  • Play Integrity API lets you check that user actions and server requests come from unmodified versions of your app, running on genuine Android devices. We’re rolling out a new beta integration option which gives Play Integrity API verdicts 10x faster. We launched status.play.google.com so you can monitor Play Integrity API service status and be notified of any issues.
  • We’re also expanding access to Automatic integrity protection for apps and games so anti-tamper and anti-piracy protection can be applied in “one-click” with no need to integrate an API in a backend server. Developers who use these products see a reduction in unauthorized usage of 80% on average.
  • Finally, we are building new tools to help you steer users away from broken app versions with prompts to update. First, automatic update prompts for crashing apps are triggered if your app crashes in the foreground and a more stable version is available. And second, you can prompt users on specific app versions to update. No prior integration is required and it will be available to all apps built with app bundles in the coming months.

We’re also continuing to improve Google Play and Play Console to help you provide safe, trustworthy experiences to users.

  • Last year, we launched the Data safety section to help explain what data your app may collect or share, and why. Since the launch, we’ve seen millions of users engaging with this feature every day, and it’s become an important way for users to evaluate an app’s safety before installing it.

    Now, we're enhancing this feature with new data deletion options both inside and outside an app, and policy requirements to help you build trust and empower users with greater clarity and control. You also have the option to give users the choice to clean up their account and request that data like activity history, images, and videos be deleted, rather than their entire account.

  • The redesigned App content page makes outstanding tasks clearer, so you can quickly identify what you need to do to comply with our policies. And soon, you’ll see upcoming declaration requirements and deadlines, so you have more time to plan.

Finally, we rebuilt the Play Console App around modern developer needs. The new app is more customized, so you can tailor the homepage with the metrics you care about most, and integrates Inbox so you can stay up to date with key messages from Google Play. Join the open beta and let us know what you think.

We understand how exciting and challenging building and running a mobile business can be, and our teams are dedicated to building the tools and opportunities you need to succeed across your app lifecycle. Thank you for partnering with us, and please continue to share your feedback as we work together to build the future of Google Play.

Monitor all your deep links in one place on this new Play Console page

Posted by Yaift Becher, Product Manager, Google Play and Luís Dorelli, Engineer, Google Play

Deep links are a great way to improve engagement with your in-app content and the overall user experience by accepting traffic from external sources, including the web. Keeping your deep links in good shape, however, can be a challenge, so many apps have partial, broken, or no deep links configured. For some developers, even answering basic questions like “is this URL deep-linked?” or “why is this deep link not working?” can be difficult to answer.

That’s why we’re making it easier for you to keep your deep links in good shape with a new, dedicated Play Console page. This page collects all the information and tools related to your app’s deep links in one convenient place, giving you a quick but comprehensive snapshot of your current setup to help you identify and troubleshoot issues at a glance.

See a comprehensive snapshot of your deep links so you can easily identify and troubleshoot issues.

On the new deep links page, you’ll find a quick summary of possible issues with your app’s deep links and the steps to take to fix them. The page also lists all web domains your app is configured to accept traffic from, as well as information about the user experience from those domains. In cases where the user experience could be improved, you’ll see step-by-step guidance on how to fix the issue, showing you exactly what’s missing from your app or website association with code snippets to make sure you get it right.

Get step-by-step guidance on how to fix issues with your deep links.

Lastly, the new deep links page offers a full drill-down of your deep links app configuration, listing details of all intent filters and the sources they are configured to receive traffic from. Again, you can see if each line item is properly configured, and if not, get specific instructions about how to fix it.

We’re very excited to share this first release of the deep links page with you, making it much easier to make sense of your setup and fix broken deep links. The next release, coming later this year, will also highlight important website URLs that aren’t yet configured as deep links, so that you don’t miss an opportunity to drive more quality traffic to your app.

Check out the new deep links page today to see the status of your deep links and fix any setup issues.

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What’s new in Google Play

Posted by Alex Musil, Product Management at Google Play

Blue graphic with Google Play logo 

At this year’s Google I/O, we focused on three major ways we can help you continue growing your business on Google Play:

  • Privacy and security initiatives to keep the ecosystem safe for users and developers, like the new Google Play SDK Index
  • Tools to help you improve your app quality across the app lifecycle
  • New ways to help you acquire users and engage with existing ones through features like LiveOps, as well as ways to drive revenue growth with new subscription capabilities

You can check out all the updates in our I/O session, or keep reading for a quick overview of the new features that will help take your business even further.

Privacy and security initiatives to protect developers and users

Over the last few years, we've been working on tools to help make SDKs better and safer for everyone, including SDK providers, app developers, and ultimately, our collective end users.

  • In 2020, we launched Google Play SDK Console, which provides usage statistics, crash reporting, and the ability for SDK providers to communicate to app developers through Play Console and Android Studio. Today, we launched Google Play SDK Index, a new public portal that lists the most widely used commercial SDKs, and provides data and insights about each one.
    The index includes over 100 SDKs with information about which app permissions they use, statistics on the apps that use them, and if the SDK provider is committed to ensuring that their SDK’s code follows Google Play policies. You can use it to inform your decisions about which SDKs and specific versions to use in your app.
Google Play SDK Index shows reliability and safety signals so you can decide if an SDK is right for your business and your users.

Google Play SDK Index shows reliability and safety signals so you can decide if an SDK is right for your business and your users.

  • We’re also protecting the work you put into your apps with Play’s app integrity tools. Play App Signing is used to securely sign millions of apps on Google Play and helps ensure that app updates can be trusted. From now on, Play App Signing will use Google Cloud Key Management to protect signing keys. This means you can review public documentation including the storage specifications and security practices that Google uses to protect your keys. We’ll soon be using Cloud Key Management for all newly generated keys, followed by securely migrating eligible existing keys.
  • Another new feature of Play App Signing rolling out soon is the ability for any app to perform an app signing key rotation. In the event of an incident or just as a security best practice, you’ll be able to trigger an annual key rotation from within Play Console. To maximize security, Google Play Protect will also verify your app updates using rotated keys for older Android releases that don’t support rotation, going all the way back to Android Nougat.
  • We also offer an API that you can use to help protect your app, your IP, and your users from abuse and attacks. The new Play Integrity API is now available to all apps and games to detect fraudulent and risky interactions, such as traffic from modified or pirated app versions and rooted or compromised devices.
  • In addition to protecting users, we also want them to feel safe when downloading apps and games from Google Play. The new Data safety section gives you a way to showcase your approach to privacy and security so that users can confidently download your app. If you haven't yet, please complete your Data safety form by July 20th. Check out our Help Center article for more information.
  • In other data privacy news, we’ve released the first developer preview of the Privacy Sandbox on Android, our initiative to build new technologies that improve user privacy while still enabling effective advertising. Check out our blog post to learn more and join our email newsletter for the latest updates.

More features to help you improve app quality across your app lifecycle

Your app quality affects everything from your ability to engage and retain users to your discoverability and promotability on the Play Store.

  • Android vitals is your definitive source of technical quality metrics on Play. Now, with the new Developer Reporting API, you can access Android vitals metrics and issues data outside of Play Console, including crash and ANR rates, counts, clusters, and stack traces and integrate them into your own tools and workflows.
  • You can also now view Android vitals data at the country level to help you troubleshoot and prioritize by location.
  • And we’ve made it easier to use Android vitals alongside Firebase Crashlytics by aligning issue names and enabling you to see Play Track information in Crashlytics when you link your Play app with your Crashlytics app.

Beyond Android vitals, there are other new features to help you across the development lifecycle:

  • Reach and devices makes it easier to plan for better quality by providing insights on your user and issue distribution. It now includes revenue and revenue growth metrics for apps that monetize on Play, so you can build revenue-based business cases for quality and reach.
  • We also overhauled the Device catalog to make it easier to understand and use. The Overview page now includes install data, and you can filter by new device attributes like shared libraries. You can also see device variants by RAM and Android version, which lets you quickly identify the most common variant.
  • It is now much easier to test your app on different form factors. You can independently run internal and open testing on many form factors including Android Automotive, and soon, Wear OS.
  • To help you keep users up to date, the In-app Updates API will now let your app users know if there’s an update available within 15 minutes instead of up to 24 hours, including showing your “What’s new” text within the update screen.

To learn more about all these launches, check out our session on app quality.

Marketing and monetization features to help you grow your business

Google Play can help grow your business with new ways to acquire new users, engage your existing ones, and drive revenue growth.

  • Your store listing is often the first thing a prospective user sees about your app. To help you make the right first impression, you can now make up to 50 custom store listings, each with analytics and unique deep links, so you can show different listings to users depending on where they come from.
Listing details page

Developers can now create up to 50 custom store listings, each with analytics and unique deep links.

  • We’ve also made some major improvements to Store Listing Experiments. You’ll now see results more quickly for most experiments, with more transparency and contrul to help you anticipate how long each experiment is likely to need.
  • Deep links are an important tool when trying to improve engagement with your in-app content, so we’re making it easier to keep your deep link setup complete and up-to-date. Soon, we’re launching a new Play Console page dedicated to deep links with all the information and tools related to your app’s deep links in one convenient place.
  • Another helpful tool is LiveOps, a feature that allows you to submit content to be considered for featuring on the Play Store. By surfacing limited-time offers, events, and major updates for your app or game, LiveOps drives 5% more 28-day active users and 4% higher revenue for developers using the feature than those that do not. If you’d like to join our beta program, you can learn more and express your interest here.
  • Since last year, we’ve made some big changes to Play Commerce to help you do business with users with regional payment method preferences, such as cash and prepaid. We’ve expanded our payment method library to include over 300 local payment methods in 70 countries, and added eWallet payment methods such as MerPay in Japan, KCP in Korea, and Mercado Pago in Mexico.
  • We also expanded pricing options with ultra-low price points to help you increase conversions and grow your revenue. Now you can price your products as low as the equivalent of 5 US cents in any market. This will allow you to adjust your prices to better reflect local purchasing power, run locally relevant sales and promotions, and support micro-transactions such as tipping.
  • We launched new subscription capabilities along with a reimagined developer experience, making it easier to sell subscriptions on Google Play. For each subscription, you can now configure multiple base plans and offers. This allows you to sell the subscription in multiple ways and reduces operational costs by removing the need to create and manage an ever-increasing number of SKUs.

    Each base plan in a subscription defines a different billing period and renewal type - e.g a monthly auto-renewing plan, an annual auto-renewing plan, and a 1-month prepaid plan. A base plan can have multiple offers supporting different stages of the subscription lifecycle - e.g. an acquisition offer for limited time free trial, or an upgrade offer to incentivize subscribers to move from a prepaid plan to an auto-renewing plan. Offers are a great way to acquire new subscribers, incentivize upgrades, and retain existing subscribers.

Easily configure your subscription base plans and offers without having to create additional SKUs. [previous configuration (left); new configuration (right)]

For each subscription, you can now configure multiple base plans and offers.

  • New prepaid plans allow you to offer users access for a fixed amount of time. Users can easily extend their access period at any time before plan expiration. Users can purchase these top-ups in your app, or right on the Play Store subscription screen. They make a great option for regions where pay-as-you go is standard.
  • In-App Messaging is a new way to prevent you from losing subscribers due to a declined payment. Simply use the In-App Messaging API to check with Play when a user opens the app. If the user’s payment has been declined, a message will remind them to update their payment information.
    Prevent subscriber loss due to declined payments with the In-App Messaging API.

    Prevent subscriber loss due to declined payments with the In-App Messaging API.

    These features are all available with the latest version of Play Billing Library 5.0. To learn more about these and other tools to help grow your business, check out “Power your Success with new acquisition, engagement and monetization tools.”

    Thank you for continuing to be a part of the thriving Google Play ecosystem. We can’t wait to see what you build next.

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Access Android vitals data through the new Play Developer Reporting API

Posted by Lauren Mytton, Product Manager, Google Play

Hand holding a phone 

Quality is foundational to your game or app’s success on Google Play, and Android vitals in Google Play Console is a great way to track how your app is performing. In fact, over 80% of the top one thousand developers check Android vitals at least once a month to monitor and troubleshoot their technical quality, and many visit daily

While the Android vitals overview in Play Console lets you check your app or game’s quality at a glance, many developers have told us that they want to work with their vitals data outside Play Console, too. Some of your use cases include:

  • Build internal dashboards
  • Join with other datasets for deeper analysis, and
  • Automate troubleshooting and releases

Starting today, these use cases are now possible with the new Play Developer Reporting API.

The Play Developer Reporting API allows developers to work with app-level data from their developer accounts outside Play Console. In this initial launch, you get access to the four core Android vitals stability and battery metrics: crash rate, ANR rate, excessive wake-up rate, and stuck background wake-lock rate, along with crash and ANR issues and stack traces. You can also view anomalies, breakdowns (including new country filters in Vitals), and three years of metric history.

Set up access to the new Play Developer Reporting API from 
the API Access page in Play Console.

Set up access to the new Play Developer Reporting API from the API Access page in Play Console.

Getting started with the API

To enable the API, you must be an owner of your developer account in Play Console. Then you can set up access in minutes from the API Access page in Play Console. Our documentation covers everything you need to know to get started.

Using the API

You can find sample requests in the API documentation, along with a list of available endpoints (for both alpha and beta releases).

Best practices

Once you have enabled the API, you may wish to send some requests manually to get a sense of the API resources and operation before implementing more complex solutions. This can also help you establish query times, which will vary depending on the amount of data being processed. Queries over long time ranges, across many dimensions, and/or against very large apps will take longer to execute.

Most of our metric sets are refreshed once a day. To avoid wasting resources and request quota, we recommend you use the provided methods to check for data freshness and verify that new data is available before issuing a query.

Thank you to all the developers who requested this feature. We hope it helps you continue to improve your apps and games. We hope it helps you continue to improve your apps and games. To learn more about Android vitals and the Play Developer Reporting API, view our session from the Google for Games Developer Summit.

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Things to know from the 2022 Google for Games Developer Summit

Posted by Greg Hartrell, Product Director, Games on Play/Android

Google for Games Developer Summit 

Over the years, we’ve seen that apps and games are not just experiences - they’re businesses - led by talented people like yourselves. So it's our goal to continue supporting your businesses to reach even greater potential. At our recent Google for Games Developer Summit, we shared how teams across Google have been continuing to build the next generation of services, tools and features to help you create and monetize high quality experiences, more programs tailored to your needs, and more educational resources with best practices.

We want to help you throughout the game development lifecycle, by making it easier to develop high quality games and deliver these great experiences to growing audiences and devices.

Easier to bring your game to more screens
To enable games on new screens and devices, we want to help you meet players where they are, giving them the convenience of playing games wherever they choose.

  • Gameplay across tablets, foldables, and Chromebooks is on the rise and offers the opportunity to be more engaging and immersive than ever before. In 2021, Android usage on CrOS grew 50% versus the previous year, led by games.
  • Google Play Games for PC Beta rolled out in January to South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. This standalone Windows PC application built by Google, allows users to play a high quality catalog of Google Play games seamlessly across their mobile phone, tablet, Chromebook, or (now) their Windows PC. Learn more and start to optimize your game for more screens today.
  • Play as you download beta program was announced last year and we will soon open it up to all Android 12 users. PAYD allows users to get into gameplay in seconds while game assets are downloaded in the background. and can happen with minimal developer changes to your underlying implementation. Sign up for the beta.

Easier to develop high quality games

We’re committed to supporting you build high quality Android games, by continuing to focus on tools and SDKs that simplify development and provide insights about your game, while also partnering with game engines, including homegrown native c/c++ engines. Last year, we released the Android Game Development Kit (AGDK), a set of tools and libraries to help make Android Game Development more efficient, and have made several updates based on developer feedback.

  • Android Game Development Extension allows game developers to build directly for Android from within Visual Studio. To make debugging easier across Java and C, AGDE will now include cross compatibility between Android Studio and Visual Studio so you can open and edit your AGDE projects in Android Studio’s debugger.
  • The new Memory Advice API (Beta) library added to AGDK helps developers understand their memory consumption by combining the best signals for a given device to determine how close the device is to a low memory kill.
  • We’ve fully launched the Android GPU Inspector Frame Profiler to help you understand when your game is bottlenecked on the GPU vs. CPU, and achieve better frame rates and battery life.

More tools to help you succeed on Google Play

The Play Console is an invaluable resource to help in your game lifecycle, with tools and insights to assist before and after launch.

  • We continue to invest in programs to help developers of all sizes grow their businesses with Google Play. For our largest developers, we launched the Google Play Partner Program for Games, offering additional growth tools and premier services, tailored for the unique needs of developers at this scale.
  • Reach and devices helps you make foundational decisions about what devices to build for, where to launch and what to test, both pre-launch and post-launch. It already shows your install and issue distributions across a range of device attributes. Today, we’re launching Google Play revenue and revenue growth distributions for your game and its peers, so you can build revenue-based business cases for troubleshooting or device targeting, if that suits your business model better than using installs.
  • We recently launched Strategic guidance in Console, which provides an intuitive way to help you evaluate how well your game is monetizing, and see opportunities to grow revenue. You can think of Reach & devices as helping you to understand revenue opportunities from a technical perspective; strategic guidance does the same from a business perspective, so you can use them together to provide a holistic picture of your IAP revenue drivers.
  • Android vitals is your destination to monitor and improve your game’s stability on Google Play. For those of you who have games with global presence, we’ve just launched country breakdowns and filters for Vitals metrics, so it’s easier for you to prioritize and troubleshoot stability issues. In addition, today we’re launching the Developer Reporting API which gives you programmatic access to your core Android vitals metrics and issue data, including crash and ANR rates, clusters, and stack traces.

Learn more about everything we shared at the Google for Games Developer Summit and by visiting g.co/android/games for additional resources and documentation. We remain committed to supporting the developer ecosystem and greatly appreciate your continued feedback and investment in creating high quality game experiences for players around the world.

Freeing up 60% of storage for apps

Posted by Lidia Gaymond and Vicki Amin, Product Managers at Google Play

One of the main reasons users uninstall apps is to free up space. To prevent unnecessary uninstalls and help users get more out of their devices, we started working on a new feature that would enable app archiving.

Archiving is a new functionality that will allow users to reclaim ~60% of app storage temporarily by removing parts of the app rather than uninstalling it completely. An archived app will remain on the device and can easily be restored to the latest available compatible version, whilst preserving the user data.

With the release of the upcoming version of Bundletool 1.10, we are taking the first step toward making archiving available to all developers using App Bundles. For apps built with the Android Gradle Plugin 7.3, we will start generating a new type of APK - archived APKs. Archived APKs are very small APKs that preserve user data until the app is restored. While we will start creating archived APKs now, they won’t be functional until the archiving functionality is launched to consumers later in the year.

Once launched, archiving will deliver great benefits to both users and developers. Instead of uninstalling an app, users would be able to “archive” it - free up space temporarily and be able to re-activate the app quickly and easily. Developers can benefit from fewer uninstalls and substantially lower friction to pick back up with their favourite apps.

As before, all APKs generated will be available to download and inspect through Generated APKs API or in Play Console under App Bundle Explorer. Since the functionality is open source, developers will be able to inspect the code, and other app stores can benefit from it too.

If you want to opt-out of the generation of archived APKs, you can modify the build.gradle file of the project:

android {
    bundle {
        storeArchive {
            enable = false

Alternatively, if you are not using Gradle to build your apps, you can opt-out with a new option in the BundleConfig:

  "optimizations": {
    "storeArchive": {
      "enabled": false

Keep an eye out for more information about app archiving on the Android Developers blog.

Grow your game’s revenue with Google Play Console’s new strategic guidance

Posted by Phalene Gowling, Product Manager, Google Play

light blue illustration with coin bouncing

Last year, mobile game consumer spending grew 7.3% to $93.2 billion with no signs of slowing down. In this competitive, growing market, effectively monetizing your audience has never been more important. But without access to a strategy consultant, how can you know if your monetization strategy is as strong as it can be?

That’s why we’re expanding the suite of tools available in Play Console to help it be exactly that. Last year, we released new engagement and monetization metrics on the Statistics page to help you grow your business, and now we’re pleased to announce new strategic guidance tools to help you drive successful monetization.

In this new section, you’ll see our metric-driven guidance to help you better monetize your game by:

  1. Contextualizing your topline revenue: Understand how your game’s revenue metrics contribute to your overall business goals, and learn when to prioritize optimizing for one metric over another.
  2. Identifying opportunities: Find out where there is an opportunity to improve a metric by benchmarking against peer groups, and explore insights by country.
  3. Recommending next steps: Learn how to take advantage of monetization opportunities with specific actions you can take right away.
screenshot of strategic guidance for monetization webpage in Google Play Console

The strategic guidance metric hierarchy. (Learn more or visit our Play Academy for specific courses like monitoring KPIs.)

We’ve spent the last couple of years perfecting our guidance, and testing the dashboard with selected partners. Feedback on our strategic guidance has been positive — and we hope you’ll find it useful, too.

“This is extremely useful! These type of insights are actually what we expect from Google, because this is something that really can help us to scale our business.”

- Product Manager at Gameloft

Understand key monetization drivers and their relationships with the metric hierarchy

Strategic guidance can be found in Financial reports within Play Console. In partnership with experts in mobile games growth, we’ve included primary monetization metrics (including new metrics) and their relationships to help you easily assess your performance and measure against your peers. You can see all the metrics in this Help Center article.

The metric hierarchy is a tool to help you understand how you and your teams can directly influence the lower-level metrics of your games performance, like buyer conversions, which contribute to your overall top-line business performance. Using peerset comparisons and per-country breakdowns, you can quickly identify your biggest growth opportunities: what markets are underperforming and where you are a market leader.

Explore metric analysis to turn insights into action

Select a metric and explore it in detail to track your performance over time. Strategic guidance shows you a breakdown of your chosen metric by location to help you spot opportunities to expand your game globally. The detailed metric analysis also helps you identify where a small investment has an outsized return.

Strategic guidance metric recommendation example for returning daily buyer ratio.

Strategic guidance metric recommendation example for returning daily buyer ratio.

Whether you’ve created a casual game or an RPG, the metric-specific recommendations are designed to be insightful and relevant to a variety of game developers. They can be used to help you diversify your promotional content, refine your game mechanics, or test new price points that enable purchasing power parity.

Get IAP monetization guidance today, with more insights to come

With an increasing number of developers shifting focus from an ads-only monetization business model to include in-app purchases (IAP), we’ve developed strategic guidance to be most relevant for developers that include IAP-monetization as part of their overall strategy. With this launch, we’re excited to bring growth consulting opportunities to these game developers at scale. Stay tuned for more launches this year to help you successfully drive your revenue growth.