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10 May 2023

I/O 2023: What’s new in Google Play

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Posted by Alex Musil, Senior Director of Engineering and Product, Google Play

Over the past year, our teams have built exciting new features and made major changes to help you thrive with us. These updates have focused on:

  • Being the best partner to help you grow your audiences across the lifecycle of your business,
  • Being the best platform to help you effectively monetize your users at scale, and
  • Being the safest place to publish and distribute your hard work with Android.

Watch our video for more details, or keep reading to get the highlights.

More store listing enhancements designed to drive growth

Attracting users is the foundation of any app business, and it all starts with your store listing. These updates can help you craft better and more personalized content to drive more audience growth.

  • Last year, we gave every title the ability to create at least 50 custom store listings. Now, in addition to tailoring by country and pre-registration status, you can also customize your listing for inactive users, highlighting why they should give your app or game another chance.
  • Soon, we’ll launch custom store listings for Google Ads App campaign ad groups. These will allow you to serve custom listings to users coming from specific ads on AdMob and YouTube so you can create a more seamless user experience from Google Ads to Google Play.
  • All these new tools mean managing more listings, so we’re launching store listing groups to streamline the process. Now you can design for different audiences by simply creating a base listing, then overriding specific elements.
Image showing an example of a store lisitng group in Google Play
Create a base listing as your primary template and modify elements for different audiences with store listing groups.

  • To help you connect with people in their native language, we just launched new machine translation models for 10 languages from Google Translate in Play Console. It can translate your app and store listing in minutes, at no cost.

AI-powered features to highlight the best of your app

We’re bringing the benefits of AI to Google Play to make it easier for you and your users to get things done. From helping you showcase your app or game in the best possible light to helping users discover your title, these AI-powered features help you highlight the best of your app experience with ease.

  • Starting today, you can use Google’s generative AI technology to help you get started with store listings in English. This is an experimental feature to help you draft content with less effort. Just open our AI helper, enter a couple of prompts like audience and key theme, and it will generate a draft you can edit, discard, or use. You’re always in complete control of what you submit and publish.

Moving image of using Generative AI to create a custom store listing in Google Play
Draft an AI-generated store listing with just a few prompts

  • To help users learn from each other about what makes your app or game special at a glance, we’re launching review summaries powered by Google’s generative AI technology. Starting with an experiment in English, and expanding later this year.

screenshot of user review summaries in Google Play on a mobile device
Draft an AI-generated store listing with just a few prompts

New opportunities to boost user discovery

Google Play can also help you grow your audience by partnering with you to promote important events, new content, or exciting offers. Use Promotional content to let us know when these are happening so we can amplify your growth. Almost 25,000 apps and games already have access to Promotional content, and we’re rolling out to more titles later this year.

  • We’re launching multiple new, dedicated high-traffic surfaces to showcase your most exciting content, including via Play notifications. Participating games are seeing a median 20% uplift in store-wide acquisitions and reacquisitions, driven by increases of over 60% from organic Explore traffic. 
  • Aimage of four mobile screens displays side-by-side showing new high-traffic surfaces
    New Play surfaces showcase your most exciting content

    • To enhance how and where your Promotional content is viewed on Play, we’re updating our reporting so you can track and optimize your events’ direct performance. Check it out in Play Console under “Promotional content performance reports.”

    To be eligible for these new growth opportunities, your app or game needs to be of high quality and deliver the great experiences your users expect. Because it’s so important, we’re sharing more insights into how we think about quality and improving our tooling to help you meet these goals.

    • Today, we launched a unified framework for app and game quality that explains how we evaluate quality across a number of dimensions for promotion and featuring. Learn more with this article and I/O session, “What great quality looks like on Play.

More effective monetization features

We’re also rolling out new features that leverage Play’s reach, expertise, and technologies to help you more effectively generate revenue.
    • Soon, you’ll be able to run price experiments for in-app products right within Play Console. Experiment with different price points across markets and identify when you may be pricing yourself out of a sale or undervaluing your in-app products.

    View of price experiments in Google Play Console
    Find the right price point for your in-app products with our experiments tool in Play Console

    • Also coming soon is a new type of Promotional content called “featured products” that will allow you to sell your in-app items directly on Play. Feature specific in-app items in different countries or offer discounts to excite users and increase conversions.

    moving image showing in-app items on the details page in Google Play
    Feature in-app products on your store listing and nominate them for further promotion across Play surfaces

    • We’ve also made new updates to subscriptions to help you expand your reach, increase conversions, and improve retention. This year, we launched multiple prices per billing period so you can provide different auto-renewing and prepaid plan prices as desired, like giving “VIP” users recurring discounts.
    • Our commerce platform continues to evolve by improving access to buyers with new payment methods, exploring expanded billing options through our user choice billing pilot, and investing in secure purchase experiences that prevented over $2 billion in fraudulent and abusive transactions in 2022.

    Learn more in our “Boost your revenue with Play Commerce” session.

    Finally, we’re also working to increase the effectiveness of your marketing-to-sales funnel.

    • Last year, we launched a Play Console page dedicated to deep links. This page flags broken deep links and provides contextual guidance on how to fix them. Coming soon, we’ll make it easier for you to rationalize your web-to-app mapping with a convenient way to review your top website URLs alongside their deep link status. To help you validate your deep links, we're adding a simple way to compare your app to your web experience for a given URL, side-by-side.

    Find out more in our deep links talk, “Optimize app experiences with deep linking.

Enhanced privacy and security protection for developers and users

Protecting your users and your work is critical to a successful ecosystem, so we’ve continued to strengthen our platform-wide protections and roll out more tools to help you protect your apps.
    • Google Play Protect scans billions of apps each day across billions of Android devices to keep users safe from threats like malware and unwanted software. Last year we prevented 1.4 million policy-violating apps from entering Google Play
    • Play Integrity API lets you check that user actions and server requests come from unmodified versions of your app, running on genuine Android devices. We’re rolling out a new beta integration option which gives Play Integrity API verdicts 10x faster. We launched so you can monitor Play Integrity API service status and be notified of any issues.
    • We’re also expanding access to Automatic integrity protection for apps and games so anti-tamper and anti-piracy protection can be applied in “one-click” with no need to integrate an API in a backend server. Developers who use these products see a reduction in unauthorized usage of 80% on average.
    • Finally, we are building new tools to help you steer users away from broken app versions with prompts to update. First, automatic update prompts for crashing apps are triggered if your app crashes in the foreground and a more stable version is available. And second, you can prompt users on specific app versions to update. No prior integration is required and it will be available to all apps built with app bundles in the coming months.

    We’re also continuing to improve Google Play and Play Console to help you provide safe, trustworthy experiences to users.

    • Last year, we launched the Data safety section to help explain what data your app may collect or share, and why. Since the launch, we’ve seen millions of users engaging with this feature every day, and it’s become an important way for users to evaluate an app’s safety before installing it.

      Now, we're enhancing this feature with new data deletion options both inside and outside an app, and policy requirements to help you build trust and empower users with greater clarity and control. You also have the option to give users the choice to clean up their account and request that data like activity history, images, and videos be deleted, rather than their entire account.

    • The redesigned App content page makes outstanding tasks clearer, so you can quickly identify what you need to do to comply with our policies. And soon, you’ll see upcoming declaration requirements and deadlines, so you have more time to plan.

Finally, we rebuilt the Play Console App around modern developer needs. The new app is more customized, so you can tailor the homepage with the metrics you care about most, and integrates Inbox so you can stay up to date with key messages from Google Play. Join the open beta and let us know what you think.

We understand how exciting and challenging building and running a mobile business can be, and our teams are dedicated to building the tools and opportunities you need to succeed across your app lifecycle. Thank you for partnering with us, and please continue to share your feedback as we work together to build the future of Google Play.