Three interesting changes making their way to the Google Play Store

Google is rolling out a revamped version of its content platform, you know where get all our apps, games and, in some markets, music and videos. The Google Play Store is getting a welcome makeover. Well, it’s not as radical as the makeovers we have had in the past but it reflects the place where the Play Store is at the moment: a very important component of the Android ecosystem.

Besides the mobile site getting a white background instead of the grey that has populated it for long, there are some other notable changes that should be interesting depending on what the Play Store is to you:

  • For instance, as someone who lives and breathes everything Android, I am always writing about this app or that app and, at times, having to rely on the screengrabs of the said app that the developer has uploaded on the Play Store for use on here as featured images or something. Normally, that’s quite a chore since Google has been storing those images in the rare WEBP format. With the new changes, that changes to the traditional JPEG and PNG. The downside here is that it takes a little more time for the screenshots to load. Also, the screenshots are much larger now. That’s not something that will bother the average person but it should be interesting to those of us who are all about the petty stuff.
  • Going forward, Play Store users will be able to tell when an app was first published. This is interesting because it will help some of us to be able to tell the age of certain apps. Normally, the date displayed is that of when an app was last updated.
  • Apps that are the top in certain categories will actually be marked as such. Normally, the only way to tell if an app is the top of its class is usually to check the charts. That won’t be necessary going forward. This will, probably, help some apps which rank top of their respective categories, rack up a few more downloads and installs on the basis of their favourable placement in the charts. It’s human nature to want the best, after all.
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There are also some other reported minor changes like how the Play Store reports app installation data. Previously, Google used to go with ranges i.e. 10,000-15,000 installs or something like that. Today, that would simply be noted as 10,000+ installs. That essentially makes the job a little harder for those of us who make it our mission in life to report on the little things, like when an app we really like crosses the half a million mark. Well, I guess that is what makes the job interesting.

What changes would you like to see make their way to the Play Store?

Have something that you believe I need to have a look at? Hit me up: echenze [at] androidkenya.com