If you are a mobile developer getting ready to launch your Android app, or if ever launched a mobile app on Google Play, you know successfully launching app into the world involves more than publishing —"it's diligent testing, constant user feedback and incremental tweaks that lead up to the special launch moment that truly count."
To this end, at Google I/O in May, the team unveiled a new "Google Play Early Access," a featured section in the store, showcasing open betas that haven't gone to production yet to users looking to experiement with new and exciting ideas as well as giving developers timely feedback.
The "Early Access" was launched with initial 29 app and game partners, with select new open beta Android titles. The program became an immediate hit—and in just over a month, open beta titles have been installed "over 1 million times and still growing," writes Android team.
In addition, company also introduced improvements to find open beta tests, app discovery and participation in apps available in Google Play Developer Console.
With this change, "apps listed as open betas and aren't in production yet "will soon appear in Play search results," enabling users to "opt-in from Play store listings directly," as well as letting users to send "private feedback through Play store listing too"," google stated at I/O.
Additionally, new "Play pre-launch" report summarizes issues found when testing apps on Firebase Test Lab for Android on a wide range of devices.
You can enable pre-launch report in Developer Console. When enabled, along with diagnostics, the reports also include "screenshots from testing devices that use different Android versions, languages, and screen resolutions."
The report also include early warnings if any of any known security vulnerabilities in your app -- even via third party libraries you rely on.
While using "Review topics" you'll be able to see your app's rating for list of topics specific to your app only.
Google also expanded improvements to ratings and reviews, now using "Review benchmarks" you can see your app's rating compared to other similar apps for common relevant topics like– design, stability, and speed.
Helping developers, Google introduced new "Reply to Reviews API", so they can now reply to reviews directly from platforms such as "Zendesk and Conversocial", or build own custom integration.
"User Acquisition performance" report in Developer Console now help understand more about "user acquisition" by country, acquisition benchmarks and "conversion," and see how you're doing compared to others.
The User Acquisition performance report give a snapshot number of users visit to your store listing, number of installation, and how many go on to make purchases.
For devs, Google created a development checklist to help optimize app called "Building for Billions guidelines."
Also, offering more in-depth tips and best practices for expanding to new markets through "Building for Billions Playbook".
The Developer Console now automatically round prices to local conventions in each market you have listed your app—making purchases more attractive to your users. Additionally via Developer Console, dev can also set up pricing templates to change pricing for products in bulk.
New Play Console app, gives access to your app's data including installs, uninstalls, crashes, ratings, and reviews—wherever you need it. Additionally, you can also receive push notifications. and can even reply to reviews directly in the app.
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Another "Playbook by Google Play" app offer best practices and strategies to consider when growing your business on Play Store.
Finally, Developer Distribution Agreement (DDA) update includes ability for family members to share purchased apps on Google Play.
For end user experience, company is introducing:
- “With improved compression app updates is now more data efficient.
- focusing is on making Play Store itself faster on all connection types.
- Now, visible apps are more relevant locally made by local developers.
- more payment methods for new countries are added, including carrier billing and gift cards in India and Indonesia,” explained google.