More changes coming to the Play Store: score ratings, form factors, and more
Google has been making many changes to the Play Store in the last few weeks. It would seem that no area of the Play Store is untouched. The latest feature that is getting a change is the score ratings. The score rating system will be altered to be localized and even device-specific.
To date, the review scores on the Play Store have been aggregated. Google used an average score from reviews from users across the world to calculate the final score. This final score is represented by the stars when you look at the apps and games rating.
Google is making significant changes to this system in the next couple of months. In November 2021, we should start seeing the first of these changes. Google will begin to localize the ratings for apps. This would mean that we will get aggregated scores for our specific country. Further meaning that ratings for the United States may be different from the United Kingdom ratings for the same app.
Users and app developers have been saying for a while that reviews could be more helpful. This latest change is starting to show just how much more valuable they can be. Cultural issues could affect the ratings of apps. For example, an app created for users who speak Spanish and includes cultural elements of the country might not be as well received by users who don’t speak the language or understand the cultural references.
Such an app might receive negative reviews from users that are not the intended target. Localizing the ratings will help give users a more relevant representation of their country.
Then, in early 2022, form factors will also start to influence app ratings. This will mean that ratings from tablets will aggregate separately from the rating from phones. This form factor will also extend to multiple other devices, such as foldable phones. Google has not yet given a roll-out date for this feature, but the timeframe release notes early 2022.
This feature will be equally helpful, as you will see reviews for apps used on a similar device giving a more realistic representation of what you can expect. This will also mean that apps optimized for tablets will show a more accurate rating rather than one influenced by many phone users’ scores.
These upcoming changes to the rating system on the Google Play Store are a welcomed change. This will give a much more accurate presentation of the rating for apps taking into account your country and your device. I look forward to seeing how well this feature works once it is released later this year and in 2022.
Will there be the ability to toggle between Global and Local, and between Form Factors and “All”?
If it is fixed to Local and the device you are using while on Google Play, it might not be as informative.
For instance, for most apps it seems to me that I’d be interested in UK, Canada, Australia, etc. reviews, not just ones from US. I would like to see if there is a difference, and most often I’d be able to recognize comments that were specific to local culture.
And those us who use other app stores (Amazon, Huewei, etc)… We are all using Android after all, though some devices are not recognized by the goofle store.
How about making developers actually list the prices of their products? Cost: Free (in-app purchases) tells us nothing.
I wish Google updated the Play Store app user interface for Manage apps & devices.
It has degraded over time.
It would also be nice if you could rollback an app update. Since you can’t do that now, some people are hesitant to update their apps.