Google Play Store ratings can be a helpful indicator when you’re comparing similar apps while deciding which one to download. But reviews and ratings of an app from all over the world might not be useful for you.
So Google is changing things up. Starting November, it will display local ratings of an app on Android. Notably, local would mean the country your device and account are registered in.
This move actually makes a whole lot of sense. Downloading a highly-rated app that features content from all over the world might sound like a safe bet, but it’s pretty useless if parts are blocked in your region.
I can see the focus on local reviews save me time and valuable storage space as it’ll be easier to spot whether an app has enough localized information for my usage.
The company is also introducing device type-wise rating next year. What this means is that for the same app, you’ll be able to rate and see experiences based on form factors such as tablets, Chromebooks, and wearables, in addition to phones. An app can be great to use on a phone, but its wearable version might not be as smooth.
Google said it has kept from rolling out these changes just yet for a later date to give developers ample time to make these adjustments. Plus, it’ll give automatic notification to developers if there’s a major shift in rating for a device type in a particular market:
So at least 10 weeks before any change in Play Store, we’ll automatically analyze the change your app can expect to see and reach out to any developer that will see a change of more that 0.2 stars on any device type in a key market (one with >5% of your store listing visitors). This will give you time to plan if you want to make key changes to your app.
This will help developers tune their app according to feedback and make the user experience better.
You can read more about these changes here.