Image: Mika Baumeister

Android users can expect different reviews and ratings from the Play Store in the near future, as Google removes feedback about apps in regions outside the country where a user is registered. It will also distribute figures on smartphones, tablets, laptops and Chrome OS to improve feedback for developers.

Starting in November, Google will begin showing ratings for each country where each user is registered, and will start showing ratings for the device they are using in early 2022, with separate categories for tablets, Chromebooks, and laptops.

The change is for developers who are keen to understand the ratings of other apps and reviews from different regions.

This move reflects the reach and diversity of Android devices and users, as well as the relative fragmentation of Android compared to iOS.

“We’ve heard from Play Store users and developers that ratings and feedback can be more helpful,” say members of the Google Play unit.

“This is especially true when ratings in one area adversely affect another, such as an error in only one country that negatively affects the app’s score, or a positive improvement in tablet experience due to the number of phone users.”

“From November, this means that phone users will see specific country or region-based ratings. So a Japanese user will see ratings of apps submitted by other Japanese users,” Google explained.

“Early next year We’ll update ratings to reflect the type of device users are browsing on Play, including tablets and folders, Chrome OS, Wear or Auto, “says Google.” This will provide a better account of the experience that users can have. for the device they are using. We currently recommend that you review the form factor ratings, especially for tablets that are very strong in growth, to see if you need to invest in optimizing your user experiences. ”

The change could help Google develop Android app developers on devices like tablets and smart watches, as Android has not been successful on smartphones.

Google’s new plan could help Android WearOS combine with Samsung’s Tizen platform, along with details of FitBit’s fitness service. The unified platform aims to speed up performance, longer battery life and help developers compete better with Apple, which in 2021 had about 30% of the 1 smartwatch market, according to CounterPoint Research. WearOS had only 4%, but when combined with Tizen, it could have a 15.7% share.

The Galaxy Watch 4, announced earlier this month, is the first WearOS device to run on a Samsung Exynos processor, and so far is a likely tester for the Apple Watch. It is still awaiting FDA approval in the US.

Google has cautioned that it will automatically review the changes that the app can see in the Play Store for at least 10 weeks. It intends to contact developers when they see a change of more than 0.2 stars on any device in a key market (that is, any application with more than 5% of visitors to a developer’s store list).

To further support developers, Google has added a new device type dimension to the Play Console ratings page. It has also added a device-type filter for reviews to help developers see how tablet users rate apps. There’s an additional filter for Chrome OS devices that has proven to be a popular option during the pandemic.

Developers can choose the time period they want to draw, from the last 28 days to the entire life of the app, and they can view a unified view every day, week, or month (28 days).

Google allows developers to download a CSV file with average data and rating distributions.