The latest Android and Google Play news for app and game developers.
Posted by Ellie Powers, Google Play team
Last week we updated our guidelines for making great tablet apps and added the ability to upload tablet screenshots that are shown preferentially in Google Play to users on those devices. Today we’re introducing a new Optimization Tips page in the Google Play Developer Console that lets you quickly see how your app is doing against basic guidelines for tablet app distribution and quality.
When you upload an app, the Developer Console now runs a series of checks to verify basic criteria from the Tablet App Quality Checklist and shows you any issues it finds in the Optimization Tips page.
If you’re developing for tablets, make sure to visit your Optimization Tips page to ensure that your app is delivering a great tablet experience. If there are any issues listed, we recommend addressing them in your app as soon as possible and uploading a new binary for distribution, if needed.
For ideas on how to design and build a great tablet app, including details on how to address issues listed in your Optimization Tips page, check out the Tablet App Quality Checklist. Remember that a great tablet experience goes well beyond these basic checks. Keep working to bring your tablet users the most polished UI and richest content possible.
More and more, developers are investing in a full tablet experience for their apps and seeing those investments pay off big. Starting today, it’s even easier to show off those tablet apps to users and to understand what it takes to make a great tablet app.
Many of you have already made optimizations to your apps to make them more beautiful and useful on tablets, and we’re giving you a way to showcase your application’s specialized tablet layouts. You’re now able to upload screenshots of your app running on 7” and 10” tablets to the Google Play Developer Console, and those screenshots are shown preferentially in Google Play to users on those devices.
In October, we published the tablet app quality checklist, which shares best practices for creating tablet applications that users will love. We've updated this checklist with additional tips and guidelines, as well as more details on specific technical checks you should perform to ensure your app is correctly optimized for tablets. Soon, we’ll start surfacing tips based on our tablet app quality guidelines directly in the Google Play Developer Console, and we’ll use these guidelines to help users better discover tablet apps in Google Play.
So upload your tablet screenshots and confirm your app follows the quality guidelines today.
Today we announced that a new version of the Google Play Store app is rolling out worldwide to Android phones and tablets. This new app brings a redesigned UI that’s easier to use and showcases more great content for users. For developers, the new app offers more ways for your app to get noticed, as well as a new, simpler purchase flow.
The new UI is simple and easier to browse. Collections are front and center on the homepage, helping users discover great content through recommendations and curated lists. Items in collections are now presented as cards, with a larger area for your app’s graphics and a larger touch target for users. Overall, the homepage surfaces more apps than before and highlights them more effectively right on the page.
Most important for apps that sell in-app products, the new UI offers a dramatically simplified, dialog-based purchase flow that lets users buy your products without leaving the context of the app. Your app remains active and visible behind the purchase dialogs. When the purchase is complete, users return directly to the place they left, without your app having to reconstruct its state. It’s especially powerful when combined with In-app Billing v3, providing a faster and more reliable purchase flow.
All of these changes build on the core features of Google Play. Our editorial team will continue to look for exemplary apps to showcase in Editors’ Choice and other collections, and our familiar top lists will continue to track the market performance of your app on an ongoing basis.
Watch for the new Play Store app (version 4.0.25) coming to your devices soon. The rollout has already started and we expect all devices running Android 2.2 or higher to have received the update over the next few weeks.