Google Play removes version numbers from Android apps

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In response to user criticism, Google Play is bringing back the app permissions list, but another curious Store change sees version numbers removed from the App Info section.

Historically, you could find the version number by opening the “About this app” section of a list and scrolling down to “App Info” where it was the first line item.

As of today, “Version” no longer appears there (or in the phone section of “Compatibility for your active devices”) and “Updated on” is at the top. This information only disappeared for the phone version of the applications. It curiously remains for Wear OS and Android/Google TV apps.

Meanwhile, version numbers still appear on the Google Play website. This issue doesn’t seem to be related to apps (or just impact) that only note “Varies by device”.

To us, this looks like a bug rather than an intentional removal. It makes no sense to get rid of the version only for phones and not for smartwatches or TVs. Maybe Google was only trying to remove one of the two instances, but accidentally got rid of both.

Whatever the reason, forcing users to use the app info page at the OS level isn’t ideal, nor is it not being able to see a version number before the update (in case of buggy versions).

We first noticed the removal yesterday with the latest Google app beta. The version number disappeared with the Play Store version 31.6.13-21, which is also responsible for the large-scale rollout of the new Google Play icon.

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