Google Play Developer Console updates rolled out past Wednesday at I/O, help you take control of your app publishing, gain insight into your users, and expand your app’s success globally.
The udates adds a very cool app translation service, revenue graphs, alpha and beta testing and staged rollouts, optimization tips, and referral tracking.
In addition to these updates, Google notes, that in few weeks from now, it’ll launch a new Order Status API, which allows you to verify the status of an in-app order from your servers.
Also, a tool for “automating downloads of financial reports” is launching soon. And, the new Google Wallet Merchant Center is continuing to roll out “with enhanced reporting, additional analytics and many other enhancements.”
Here is what is new in Play Store:
Play Store’s new view: apps designed for tablets. Google Play store ha now began providing a view of “top charts” highlighting apps which have been designed for tablets according to Google’s tablet app quality checklist.
Beta testing and staged rollouts available now to developers–so that “you can get feedback on your new app or app update early in its development and make sure your users are happy with the results.”
“The beta testing is private on Google Play, and you can specify who gets these versions by adding Google Groups and Google+ Communities,” Google writes adding, “You can test two different versions on two different groups at the same time, such as testing a newer version with your employees first, and a more mature version with a group of external testers,” it said.
“Users give you feedback privately rather than through public reviews. When you’re satisfied that your new version is ready, you can now do a staged rollout to a percentage of your userbase.”
Google says, it’ll soon launch additional “access controls” to give you more flexibility in light of beta testing and help get your whole team involved in the Developer Console.
New monetization and Analytics:
To offer better revenue and engagement data, Google has launched new “Revenue charts” in the Developer Console, that allow you to see your app’s daily revenue and summary figures. The data can be filtered by country.
Google also notes, that Google Play will soon integrate with Google Analytics to bring you better insight into your users. “Google Analytics will start showing Google Play views and installs for each campaign, while Google Play will show Google Analytics engagement metrics,” google explained.
And, to help those using “in-app billing,” Google announced improvements that “reduce your development time and costs.” “Your test accounts will now able to make in-app test purchases without those transactions actually being charged, but everything else works the same as it would for a real user,” Google adds.
Localization improvements. Google is collaborating with it’s internationalization team to make translating app into new languages easier than ever.
“New optimization tips for localization will help you identify new potential opportunities for global expansion based on popular languages for your app’s users and category. And, will also let you know if you’re missing any of these pieces,” google stated.
To fully localize your app into a language, you need to translate the strings in an APK, translate your Google Play store listing, and upload localized graphics. To this end, “dev can now purchase professional translations from independent providers through the Developer Console. Or, they can upload the strings that they want translated,” google added. “Just select the languages you want to translate into, and select your translation vendor based on time and price,” Google writes.
Those interested in translating apps with this feature, can sign up “to be a part of the preview in the Developer Console today on the APK page.”
Update: On day 3 at the I/O, Google has announced Portable Native Client (PNaCl) — is now available in developer preview in Chrome 29.
The technology, which Google says should pronounce as “pinnacle”, will allow developers to write web applications that are truly architecture-independent–will also find its way into the stable version over the coming months.
“”PNaCl” essentially an architecture-independent version of Native Client, lets developers write high-performance apps that offer near-native speeds and that run on today’s new architectures includin ARM and X86 (both 32-bit ad 64-bit) as they become available without having to rebuild their apps,” explains Google.
For those not aware, “Native Client is a technology that allows developers to run native compiled C and C++ code as part of their web apps and has long been a part of Google Chrome.”
PNaCl, uses an LLVM compiler infrastructure with a “compile -> link -> translate” workflow that creates an intermediary bitcode, which is then translated locally for the specific infrastructure.
Google switched Google+ Android app to “WebP” image format about a month and half ago, which now “saves 50% bandwidth,” revealed the company at I/O.
The team notes, that the move helps the Google+, a image-heavy service, as well as it plan to introduce WebP to virtually every other Google product, too – “and possibly within the next year.”
Google also during a I/O session on how to make money on Android, shared some updated stats around Google Play revenues and how those are progressing.
Google said that the big growth is coming with “In-app” revenues through Play store, “up 700 percent since the same time last year.”
In addition, “Subscriptions,” launched around 12 months ago, is also seeing doubling inbound revenue each quarter.
On Google’s efforts to improve Android user monetization, Google Play Product Manger for Commerce and Monetization Ibrahim Elbouchikhi said that average revenue per user (ARPU) among the Android install base is up 2.5x versus the same time last year.
Other key trends identified include a 1.7x higher purchase rate on tablets than on smartphones for apps. Also, updated versions of apps that take advantage of recent platform additions like the new capabilities unveiled at I/O this year have a 2.2x advantage at monetization vs. older versions, on average.
Google has announced the extension of the Platform Tools for Google Now partners. Google is extending mark up tools for emails from select partners, which help highlight flight schedules, hotel bookings and various types of reservations, to make sure that Gmail can spot that information and use it to auto-generate helpful reminders in Google Now.