Google Play Store Rolls Out New Top Navigation Slider

New Navigation Bar in The Google Play Store

A new top navigation slider is making its way out to the Google Play Store app this weekend.  The change is a cloud-side change so there isn’t anything new to download.  It will just be pushed to your app so long as you are running the latest version.

The change is a minor one but it is something that Google has been A/B testing for a while now and would appear to be the direction they want to go with it.  At the top of the Google Play Store app you have the tabs for Home, Games, Movies & TV, Music, Books and Newsstand.  But under each one of those, you know have a content specific slider for filtering.

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Google Play Store Offering $1 Off Some In-App Purchases

Play Store In-App Promotion Feb 2018

If you haven’t checked into the Google Play Store over the weekend and are a player of games like Candy Crush Saga or Clash of Clans, you may want to take a peek.  Over the weekend, Google started a $1 off promotion on in-app purchases on a handful of games.  The promotion ends on February 28.

There are five games that you can get the $1 discount on throughout this month:

  • Candy Crush Saga
  • Clash of Clans
  • Candy Crush Soda Saga
  • Gardenscapes
  • Clash of Kings

To get the discount, you just need to accept the promotion within the Google Play Store, then open one of the games and make an in-app purchase.  The $1 discount will be applied prior to completing the purchase.

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Google Leveraged Machine Learning to Remove 700,000 Rogue Apps

Google Play Store

Through the use of Machine Learning to detect apps that impersonate, have inappropriate content or malware, Google removed over 700,000 rogue apps from the Google Play Store, taking 100,000 repeat offender developers along with them.  The injection of ML can find patterns that detect bad behaving apps quicker than human inspectors, resulting in a 70% increase in removing of apps from the Play Store over the previous year.

Not only did we remove more bad apps, we were able to identify and action against them earlier. In fact, 99% of apps with abusive contents were identified and rejected before anyone could install them.

The end result is that the Play Store, while still not perfect, is a far safer place than it was this time last year and it will only get better as the Machine Learning models get smarter.

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Developers, Please Update Your Release Notes (Talking to You Google)

This past weekend I experienced one of my pet peeves about the Google Play Store so you get to listen to me vent.  Google, you in particular need to pay attention to me on this one.

Developers, for the love of all that is good and pure in this world, update your Release Notes.  I can’t tell you how many times I or another site has found something new in an update to an app and yet the release notes provided in the Play Store say absolutely nothing about it.  If you want people to know about that thing you added to your app, you may want to let people know about it?

This weekend however, pretty much took the cake for this month.  It was Google and Chrome for Android.  It literally made me utter harsh language and have a catharsis moment of writing this post.

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Google Drops In-App Commission to 15% Starting Next Year

Google Play Store

In a move that is similar to the cut Apple made for iOS developers, Google has announced that they will be dropping the percentage they keep on in-app purchases.  Starting January 1, 2018, in-app purchases will have a 15% commission rate to the Mountain View company, a drop of 50% from the previous 30% rate.

For developers, this means that they will be able to keep more money when you make an in-app purchase in their app.  Ultimately it is good for developers who will be able to stay funded to further development.  For Google, that means having top-shelf apps in the Play Store.

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Google Play Store App Rolling Out New Navigation Design

Google Play Store

The experimenting with the layout of the Google Play Store continues as Google trots out yet another new look & feel for the app.  The latest update brings a new top level sliding navigation to reach different parts of the Play Store as well as a slightly condensed menu.

The top navigation, in my opinion, is quite nice.  All of the major areas of the store are now in a sliding navigation bar at the top of the screen, which makes finding specific areas of the store much easier.  This new navigation bar can be slid left to right and then you tap on the area you want to see.  Those areas include For You, Top Charts, Categories, Editors’ Choice, Early Access, and Family.

Previously, to get to these areas, you either had to find it on the menu (depending on which flavor of the store you had on your phone or tablet) or you had to scroll down to that section on the main page.  Neither was a great user experience and this new navigation bar greatly simplifies the process.

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Google Play Now Lets You Sort Your Installed Apps

Google Play Store Installed App Sorting

Over the course of the past few weeks, Google has been doing a lot of tinkering with various apps and services for Android.  One of these tweaks, in the Google Play Store app, is the ability to sort your installed apps.

In the Google Play Store app, you have always been able to see your installed apps on your phone or tablet by going to My apps & games then to the Installed tab.  There you would see the number of apps you have installed on your device and they would be presented to you in the order of last updated.  Now you can change that sorting.  Next to your app’s total app count, there is a new pull down that allows you to sort your apps four ways:  Alphabetical, Last Updated, Last Used and Size.

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Android App Revenue Expected to Outpace iOS in 2017

Google Play Store Free App of The Week

The mobile analytics firm App Annie has pegged, for the first time, that the combined Android app stores in the market will out earn Apple’s App Store this year.  According to their report, they project that Android based stores will earn about $41 billion in 2017 compared to the $40 billion that Apple will earn with their app store.  The report is quick to point out that the Android numbers are a combination of the various app stores for Android that exist, such as Amazon’s Underground and Samsung’s app store.

If you strip down the report to just the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, Apple still leads the way.  The Google branded store will account for $20 billion of the projected $41 billion this year but the Apple store alone churns $40 billion in earnings.

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