Play Store ratings: In the future, display by device class and country

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Google wants to personalize the display of its app ratings in its own Play Store more and therefore only break them down according to the country or region of the respective user and the device class used. This development should not please every user.

For many users a disadvantage

For quite a few users, when searching for an app in the Google Play Store, not only the number of downloads but also the ratings given should play a major role in assessing the respective application. If Google has its way, this tool could have significantly less informative value in the future. As the search engine specialist announced in an entry in its developer blog, with the changes introduced from November, only reviews from your own country will be displayed, before 2022 only those from matching device classes such as smartphones, tablets, foldable devices, Chrome OS, Wear or Auto are listed.

Some users are likely to see a limitation in the planned changes, even if reviews in other languages ​​are only allowed to be used by a few users for assessment. Device-specific problems should also be of little interest to other users, and the same applies to other cultural or social perspectives on an app. On the other hand, the changes also mean that smartphone users will not be shown any reviews from tablet users in the future – and vice versa. With the latter in particular, the legitimate question arises as to “why”, because the corresponding outputs can already be filtered.

Problems could also arise for users in countries with a small user base: While in regions such as the USA there should still be sufficient ratings to classify a program, these could shrink considerably in other countries. If there is also a breakdown by device class, there may be hardly any information left with which the user can get an appropriate picture of an app.

Changes also for developers

On the other hand, the reasons given by Google are partly understandable: In the future, negative evaluations, which only result from problems in one country or region, should no longer be able to negatively influence the overall evaluation. Changes to a tablet version, for example, should also be better recognizable, which threaten to go under with predominant smartphone use.

In addition to the Play Store, the associated console for developers is also getting new ones Functions with which they can receive even more detailed information about the ratings submitted by users in the future. In addition to various filter options, this also includes the improved segmentation options, with which time periods for the display and collection of data can now be better selected. In addition, the CSV export of average data and the distribution of ratings is also possible. Overall, Google wants to give developers even more information and data.