Android: app reviews are about to change completely

It will soon be much more convenient and useful to read reviews of apps published on the Play Store and choose whether to install them, or not.

New things are coming to Android. In the coming months the reviews of apps available for download on Google Play Store will be at the center of an important change; used by most users to find their way around the huge library of the virtual store, in the future they will become even more personalized: here's how.

Explaining this in a long post on the official blog dedicated to Big G Android developers were Tom Grinsted, Scott Lin and Tat Yang Koh, Product Manager of Google Play. The round of updates, scheduled for the end of 2021, will allow users to read and analyze targeted evaluations related to features of particular importance. They will thus have a more complete and specific picture, especially in the light of possible problems that could be encountered on the device. At the same time, it's easy to imagine the value of the project from the point of view of developers, who use the stars and comments as a litmus test for their work.

Play Store Reviews, what changes

With the new Google Play Store setup, positive and negative ratings will take on more importance. As Google itself points out, the first reviews that will be shown are those coming from the same country as the user, i.e. the same country of the store from which the apps are downloaded by default. Next year it will be the turn of detailed information based on the form factor of the device in use: tablet or smartphone, but not only.

The evaluations will take into account this determinant feature, fishing for those released on classic or foldable smartphones, tablets, wearables, devices with Chrome OS or Android Auto. The user will therefore have the possibility to have a complete overview of the compatibility, finding in a simple way potential weaknesses or strengths.

For experts, it is in fact the geographical characterizations and the form factor that make the difference when interacting with the app. In the near future, therefore, Android users will no longer have to deal with a single aggregator of opinions but of comments from those who have used the software on a tool with a similar format to their own.

When the new reviews arrive

The changes to the Google Play Store will begin to make their appearance from November. Only by then will users be able to see reviews for the region to which the profile is linked; after that, the ratings will only cover the type of device used.

For developers, this time will be useful to be able to understand the reasons behind the changes in the scores assigned to apps and visible from the shop pages. For its part, Mountain View will analyse fluctuations in ratings at least 10 weeks in advance of the actual change.

In the event of mutations exceeding a score of 0.2 on each of the top devices, i.e. those that receive more than 5% of the store's visitors, Google will contact the development team to report the discrepancy. During the timeframe, analysts and programmers will have the opportunity to devise and implement the necessary updates, improving the user experience for those devices where the app has performed less well in the past.