Posted by Vineet Buch, Director of Product Management, Google Play Apps & Games
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Google Play continues to grow rapidly around the world, thanks to our ecosystem of developers building high quality and engaging app experiences. There are now 2 billion monthly active Android devices. People in 190 countries downloaded 82 billion apps from the Play Store in the last year and the number of developers with more than 1 million monthly installs grew by 35 percent year on year. We've made huge investments to make purchasing quick and easy by offering direct carrier billing with 140 operators that reach 900M devices every month. These, and other efforts, have made the number of buyers on Google Play grow by almost 30 percent in the last year.
Since we launched the Google Play Console in 2012, we've continued to add features to help you do much more than just publish apps. People in a variety of roles at app and game companies, large and small, carry out tasks like running beta tests, analyzing crashes, responding to customer reviews, evaluating A/B experiments on store listings, pulling financial reports, and more.
Today at Google I/O, we're announcing new and improved features to help you improve your app's performance and quality, and grow your business on Google Play.
StatisticsUPDATED The statistics page for your app now gives you quicker, more flexible access to important data about your business. Compare two different metrics and break them down by a dimension. Select any date range you want, view a breakdown of your data, and even access hourly stats.
Android vitalsNEW Understand your app's Android vitals so you can fix bad behaviors, improve your app experience, and increase your star rating. View aggregated, anonymized device data from people who have opted in their devices to understand three crucial aspects of your app's performance: stability (crash rates and App Not Responding [ANR] rates), battery usage (stuck wake locks and excessive wakeups), and render time (slow rendering and frozen UI frames). Learn more about Android vitals.
UPDATED The ANRs & crashes page has also been updated with larger crash coverage and now benefits from a higher volume of data.
Release managementNEW Use the new release dashboard to track a release as it happens. By monitoring how your release is affecting important metrics, you can be confident that everything is going as planned or you can quickly halt your rollout if anything looks out of the ordinary.
NEW Publish Android Instant Apps with the same release management flow you're familiar with from publishing apps on Google Play. Iterate quickly with a development track, gather feedback from trusted testers on a pre-release track, and when you're ready, release to production. Get started with Android Instant Apps.
NEW The new device catalog will help ensure you're offering a great user experience on the widest range of devices. Search and filter across rich device data for thousands of devices certified by Google. The catalog even shows you your installs, rating, and revenue contributed by device type to help you make the right decisions. You can now also set device exclusion rules by performance indicators like RAM and system on chip. With more granular controls you can exclude fewer devices and offer the best experience on all devices your app supports. Learn more about the device catalog.
NEW For something as important as your app signing key, there's no room for error. With app signing in the Play Console, you now have the option to securely transfer your key to Google to manage on your behalf. You'll benefit from Google's industry leading security and be able to opt-in for upcoming assistive services like app optimizations for APK size. Once opted-in to this service, the Play Store will deliver versions of your APK optimized for the screen density and native architecture of each target device type, saving data and device storage for your users. Learn more about app signing.
UPDATED The pre-launch report, powered by Firebase Test Lab, shows you the results of testing your alpha or beta app on real devices in the lab so you can spot and fix issues before you launch, so they won't affect your rating. The report has been updated with more device test coverage including Android O devices, and new controls, like being able to provide credentials so your app can be tested behind a login.
User acquisitionNEW The acquisition report helps you understand where visitors to your store listing are coming from and whether they go on to install and buy things in your app. The report now includes retained installer data. This reveals which channels and geographies drive valuable users who keep your app installed over periods of up-to 30 days, helping you optimize your marketing efforts.
Financial reportsNEW Subscriptions are the fastest growing business on Google Play – the number of active subscribers has doubled in the last year. With the subscriptions dashboard, see how your subscriptions are performing and make better decisions to grow your business. Understand and analyze total subscribers, revenue, retention, and churn across multiple dimensions.
User feedbackUPDATED Reviews are a valuable channel you can use to engage with people who have your app installed directly. Reviews analysis now covers more languages to help you gather insights from reviews to improve your app. Updated ratings summarizes how users have updated their ratings and reviews, including the effect any replies you made had on those updates. Reviews history shows you the history of your conversation with a user. Finally, we are rolling out the ability to report reviews which do not meet the posting policy guidelines.
Watch us introduce the new Play Console features live at I/O 2017Tune in live to watch the 'What's new in Google Play at I/O 2017' session, which starts at 12:30pm PT on Thursday, May 18. The team is excited to share all the features we've been working on.
We're also presenting deeper dives into all of our new features and sharing best practices to help you succeed on Google Play. Watch all the Google Play I/O sessions live or afterwards on YouTube:
Day 1, May 17
- New release management and device targeting tools in the Play Console or: how I learned to stop worrying and love Android's diversity!
- No one likes crashing or janky apps! Engineer for high performance with tools from Android & Google Play
Day 2, May 18
- Best practices to slim down your app size
- Making data on Google Play work for you
- How to secure and optimize your app with Google Play app signing
- 10 Google Play Console secrets to optimize Android apps for stellar user retention
Day 3, May 19
- Boost user retention with behavioral insights
- Make more money with subscriptions on Google Play
- Android apps for Chromebooks and large screen devices
- Tools and tips to boost user engagement and retention
- Android TV: How to engage more users and earn more revenue
And be sure to watch the Google Play Awards on day two, which will once again recognize outstanding developers that continue to set the bar for quality apps and games.