Google is introducing changes to the Play Store to make it easier for customers who own large-screen smartphones to find apps that take advantage of the extra screen real estate. According to a post on the firm’s Developers blog, the business is planning changes to how apps are ranked and promoted, how reviews are shown, and the alert messages you could see if you’re exploring apps on a tablet, foldable, or Chromebook.
Google says in the post that it will improve how the Play Store ranks and features apps on large-screen devices, with the rationale taking into account elements such as device orientation support, keyboard compatibility, and more. According to the business, the change, which will take place “in the coming months,” is intended to “prioritize high-quality apps and games” and assist ensure that the first apps consumers find are ones that will run well on their device.
According to Google’s post, the Play Store will begin showing people reviews and ratings from devices in the same category — for example, phone users will see reviews left by other phone users, tablet users will see reviews left by tablet users, and so on — so they can get a better idea of how well the app will work on their type of device. This update was announced by the company last summer, but it’s excellent to know that it’s still being worked on. According to Google, developers can see in the Play Store interface which reviews and ratings a user with a given device will see.
Finally, Google says it will change the alerts for apps that do not fulfill compatibility standards in order to ensure that users of large-screen devices understand how something will work when they install it. Its post is ambiguous on what this entails, stating that it will “offer additional messages on this adjustment” later this year.
Google has recently focused a lot of emphasis on tablets and larger-screen phones. Its Android 12L upgrade focuses on improving the big-screen experience by changing the notification and Quick Settings shades and adding a taskbar. There have also been some exciting changes within the company’s Platforms and Ecosystems division, where one of Android’s original founders is focusing on developing Android for huge screens.
Google’s emphasis on large-screen devices is intriguing, given that the company produces no tablets, no folding phones, and only one Chromebook (which was introduced in 2019). Of course, it has a slew of partners who produce them, but if I were in the business of forecasting what a corporation was working on, my ears would be perked up at this point. There have been whispers about an impending Pixel foldable, and perhaps that’s all we’ll see — or perhaps Google will make Android so fantastic for tablets that it won’t need to manufacture its own.