Google throws a bone at Android tablets with upcoming Play Store updates


What do you want to know

  • Last year, Google announced that it was making changes to the Play Store to enable better app discovery across different form factors.
  • Google will soon deliver “high-quality” apps on tablets optimized for larger-screen devices.
  • Users will also be warned about so-called “poor quality” apps that are not optimized for tablets and foldables.

Google is apparently hard at work making Android tablets even better, and on Wednesday the company explained how the Play Store will help improve the app experience.

In a post on the Android Developers Blog, Google highlighted upcoming changes to the Play Store, some of which have already been announced. The first update will arrive “in the coming months” and will prioritize apps that follow Google’s large screen quality guidelines. This means anyone using the Play Store on top Android tablets will see apps optimized for large-screen devices.

On the other hand, Google will start warning users on larger screen devices about apps that haven’t been optimized. He didn’t go into specifics, but users will get alerts that will set some expectations for apps that aren’t designed for tablets or foldables. Google plans to provide more information about this change later this year.

Finally, Google outlines how it will start showing ratings and reviews depending on what device you’re using, whether it’s a tablet, Android Auto, or Wear OS. Google announced the change last year in hopes of providing users with more relevant context about the app experience based on device. For example, the tablet version may be poorly optimized resulting in a lower rating, but the smartphone app may perform very well and be rated higher. This way, users will know what to expect on their devices and developers can better understand where they need to improve.

Google says these features will arrive “in the coming months,” which should help bolster its tablet efforts as part of the broader Android 12L launch later this year.


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