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18 May 2021

The top Google Play updates from I/O ‘21

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Posted by Alex Musil, Director of Product, Google Play

This year, we announced many great new features, tools, and updates to help you make the most of Google Play. You can check out all the updates in our I/O session, or keep reading for a quick overview of the new capabilities that will help take your business even further, from driving more installs to growing your engagement and revenue.

15% service fee for the first $1M in earnings

1. Earlier this year, we announced an additional service fee tier to help boost developer success on Google Play. Starting July 1st, the service fee will be 15% instead of 30% for your first $1M (USD) of earnings each year. You’ll be able to enroll for the new rate in Play Console the week of June 7th, so we’re sharing details about the process now to give you time to get ready.

New tools for managing policy compliance

2. We’ve built a new, dedicated Policy and Programs section in Play Console to provide you with a centralized place to see any policy compliance concerns, guidance on how to fix policy issues, and information about upcoming policy changes.

More SDK guidance

3. The new Google Play SDK Console lets providers report issues with their SDK versions so we can give you better guidance and recommendations. We’ve started with several large SDK providers and will continue to add more.

4. Later this year, we’re launching a new, public website with important insights about popular SDKs to help you choose the right SDK for your app. Learn more about how we’re helping you build safer and more stable apps in the I/O session below.

Helping more users discover your apps and games

5. To ensure that your store listing assets can help users anticipate your in-app or in-game experience and drive meaningful downloads, we’re pre-announcing a policy change for app metadata...

6. and introducing new guidelines on store listing preview assets.

Distribution features for the future of publishing

7. One million apps are in production using the Android App Bundle, with 15% size savings on average vs a universal APK. The app bundle is the future of publishing on Google Play and, starting August 1, 2021, they’ll be required for all new apps.

8. Based on developer feedback, we'll soon be launching an optional code transparency feature to offer additional cryptographic assurance that your app’s code on device has not been modified from its original version.

Identify growth opportunities with our new competitive insights

9. To help you understand your engagement and monetization trends and optimize your product plans, we’ve taken the best of our ecosystem data and contextualized your performance against peersets. Learn how to make the most of them in the I/O session below.

10. You can now also customize and pin the precise metrics that matter to you in a personalized KPIs section at the top of your app dashboard.

More features for a flexible monetization strategy

11. Your global reach just got even larger: In 2020, we added 34 new local forms of payment across 30 markets around the world.

12. We lowered the minimum prices developers can set for paid apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions in 20 new markets across Latin America, EMEA, and APAC.

13. This year, we’ll be launching multi-quantity purchases, which will allow your users to buy more than one item at a time from the cart.

14. We’ll also be launching multi-line subscriptions, which will allow you to sell multiple products as part of a single subscription.

15. And finally, we’ll be launching prepaid plans, which will let you offer users access to content for a fixed amount of time. (Don’t worry, users can easily extend at any time.)

16. Want to take advantage of these new features? Many will be available when you integrate Play Billing Library version 4.0, and more will be rolling out later this year. As a reminder, new apps are required to integrate version 3.0 by August 2, 2021 or by November 1, 2021 for updates to existing apps.

Program enhancements to engage and retain users

17. This year, Google Play Pass expanded to over 40 markets, with more than 800 games and apps. Developers have on average more than doubled their Play revenue across participating titles in these markets. Let us know if you’d like to join!

18. Google Play Points expanded to 22 countries and added deeper integration with Play Console making it even easier for developers to onboard. Play’s loyalty program helps developers increase engagement and reduce churn with their most high value users. Developers can learn more about joining the program here.

More educational content

19. Want to learn more about any of these features? We’ve built a comprehensive website with best practices and resources to help you learn more about our programs and tools.

20. Last but not least, we’ve also added tons of new free courses to Google Play Academy. Whether you're about to launch your startup or grow your existing business on Play, Google Play Academy has you covered.

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