The Latest: Q1 2024

The Latest from Google Play: Q1 2024

Sam BrightVP & General Manager, Google Play

Hi everyone,It’s been a little over a year since I joined Google Play, and it’s been one non-stop ride. In just over a decade, Google Play has connected over 2.5 billion people with apps and games they love, made by millions of developers who turned their ideas into growing businesses. I’ve been inspired by the incredible app experiences developers are building on Play that help people around the world make their lives easier, discover joyful experiences, and generate life-changing incomes. This drives me, and all of us at Play, and we are dedicated to continually improving our tools, services, and platform to help developers continue innovating and succeeding.As we look toward the next decade, we’re committed to making our platform an even more vibrant destination for discovery. Our mission to connect people with the experiences they love continues, and - as it always has - goes far beyond the initial download. To keep you updated, we’ve created “The Latest”, a quarterly roundup of some of our top announcements. We’ll share product news, partnerships, programs, policies, and more so you can learn about how we’re working to enhance user experiences and unlock exciting new business opportunities for developers.Let's get started.

Helping users discover content they’ll love

Through continuous store experience updates and curated app and game spotlights, we’re connecting users to experiences that will truly resonate with them.

Discovery improvements: Explore apps seamlessly across devices

Our recent updates are designed to make it easier for users to discover and install apps they’ll love, across all their devices. We launched new detail pages in March to provide users with more information about how apps and games will work across different device types, including device-specific screenshots, ratings and reviews.
An app detail page shows device-specific screenshots and ratings
Users can more easily discover apps for all their devices with our improved detail pages. (Disclaimer: Visual is for illustrative purposes only.)
And for large screen devices, our updated split search results page optimizes the larger screen space so users can more efficiently browse through apps. These features help users quickly find, compare, and make informed install and purchase decisions for any of their devices.

AI-powered FAQs: Helping users get into the game faster

Last year, we added AI-generated review summaries to search results to help give users the information they need to quickly decide if an app or game is right for them. Now, we've brought AI-powered FAQs to select English language post-install game detail pages to help users get up to speed and dive into the action sooner. Together, these AI-powered features empower users to make informed decisions upfront and then jump right into the heart of the experience.
A game detail page displays an AI-generated list of frequently asked questions about the game
AI-powered FAQs provide quick answers to common questions, helping players get up to speed and diving into gameplay faster.

Editorial recommendations: Curated for diverse interests

Alongside algorithmic recommendations, our merchandising teams hand-pick apps and games to help connect users to content that aligns with their interests and values. We celebrated Black History Month in February and Women's History Month in March by highlighting diverse developers and creators, including BET+, Merge Mansion, and Flo Health. And to mark Ramadan, we showcased apps and games with Ramadan-related content, events, and offers during the month-long holiday in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines), the Middle East, Turkey, and Pakistan.
A Play store collection featuring Ramadan-related content, events, and offers
To celebrate Ramadan, we helped users discover apps and games featuring special content, events, and offers.

Cricket takeover: Experimenting with immersive content

We're taking discovery even further beyond apps and games by showcasing the content itself - starting with the category of sports. To better understand how fans engage with their passions, we're piloting a curated cricket experience for users in India.On the Apps homepage, fans can expect a cricket takeover, featuring tentpole moments from top developers like JioCinema and Fancode, alongside nearly 100 curated cricket-related apps, gamified user voting, and over 200 curated YouTube videos featuring popular star players and teams.
The apps homepage on Google Play displays a promotion for cricket-related apps
We're piloting an immersive sports experience on Google Play with a cricket takeover on the Apps homepage in India.

Continuing to make Play the best destination for gaming

For our gamers on Play, whether they prefer playing casual mobile games or immersing themselves in a multiplayer online role-playing game on PC, we strive to be a companion throughout their journey – from discovery to gameplay, and beyond.

Enriched game details page: Helping users get more from the games they love

We’re making the Play Store the best place to discover amazing new games, and stay connected to them. After installing the game, users can now view new content, and promotions more prominently, all within the game details page. For a select set of games, users will also be able to see the latest videos from the developer’s YouTube channel, get help from AI-powered FAQs, and read the latest tips and tricks. These improvements are currently limited to English language users and to select titles in an early access program.
The app detail page for the Stumble Guys app features a video titled Mr Beast Tools in Stumble Guys
Users can discover new content, promotions, and more from their favorite games on the games details page.

Play Pass: Exclusive in-game items and discounts launching in 21 markets

In addition to the existing catalog of over 1,000 ad-free games and apps, Play Pass subscribers in select markets can now enjoy exclusive in-game items and discounts for popular titles like EA SPORTS FC™ Mobile, MONOPOLY GO!, and Roblox. Propelled by over 120% growth in subscriptions over the past year, Play Pass with in-game offers launched in 21 markets, including Japan. And later this year, it’ll be available in Korea for the first time.
The Offers tab displays a deal for $5 off any in-app purchase in Diablo Immortal for Play Pass subscribers
Play Pass subscribers in select markets can now enjoy exclusive in-game items and discounts for popular titles.

Play Points: Rewards to build gamer loyalty, expanding soon to Brazil

Play Points is one of the world's largest loyalty programs with over 220 million members who earn points to redeem for in-app items or Google Play credit. The program is getting even better with new features that benefit both developers and users.Game studios can now promote limited quantities of exclusive in-game offers to boost excitement and drive repeat purchases, and use our improved performance reporting to find ways to optimize promotions and maximize revenue from Play Points. Our most active users in Germany, Spain, France, Great Britain, and Italy can experience even more rewards with the expansion of the Diamond tier to these markets. We also look forward to bringing Play Points to users in Brazil later this year.

Google Play Games on PC: Maximizing reach for multi-platform games

We've expanded our footprint in the multi-platform gaming space by bringing Google Play Games to 141 countries, and growing the entire catalog to over 3,000 games - so gamers can seamlessly play their favorite titles across mobile and PC. Some of the most popular PC games are already available, including Lineage2M, Odin: Valhalla Rising, Genshin Impact and Dragonheir: Silent Gods. With Play Games Services (PGS), developers can sync players' sign-in information across devices without the need to manage database changes, simplifying integration.

Driving global growth for businesses with secure, frictionless payments for users

Google Play Commerce enables frictionless, secure purchases for users and unlocks international revenue growth for apps and games businesses.
Our expanding payment coverage, which includes over 300 local payment methods across 65+ markets, ensures smooth purchases for a global audience and unlocks new monetization opportunities for developers.
  • Our support for the UPI payment system in India now includes UPI autopay intent, making subscription signup easier and more secure for users, while helping boost subscriptions for developers.
  • Play gift codes are now available in Vietnam. Available through MoMo, a leading super app in Vietnam, this launch introduces Stored Value as a convenient new payment option in this market.
We're continually enhancing our tools to give developers even more ways to optimize revenue and user experiences.
  • We remind users of subscription benefits at cancellation to help them make the most informed decisions. Now, these benefits are also displayed at checkout to improve conversion and attract new subscribers.
A mock streaming apps checkout experience displays a list of subscription benefits
Subscription benefits are now displayed at checkout to help users make better informed decisions.
  • Real-time developer notifications allow developers to respond instantly when a purchase status changes (e.g. completion, cancellation, renewal, or refund) allowing developers to reach users in a more timely manner in case anything goes amiss. Now, these notifications are also available for one-time purchases.
  • Developers can now view their revenue reports in the buyer's currency, providing more clarity on earnings without the impact of currency fluctuations.

Boosting app quality and security

We prioritize safe, high-quality experiences on Google Play. Our focus is on secure and seamless interactions for users, empowering developer tools, and robust platform protections.

Speed and size optimizations: Faster, smaller downloads

A quality user experience means getting the most out of your device. That's why we've focused on making it faster for users to enjoy the apps they install, while taking up less storage space.
  • Devices can now install two apps simultaneously more quickly. In our pilot, this led to an improvement in install success and a notable decrease in canceled installs.
  • Additionally, for Android Q+ devices, we've rolled out an app bundle size optimization to reduce Play-distributed app sizes on device. This frees up disk space allowing users with lower-storage devices to install more apps.

App update enhancements: Making it easier for users to stay secure

We've introduced several updates to help users more easily get the latest features, fixes, and security improvements:
  • Bringing auto-update to more users: To help users with limited Wi-Fi access stay secure and up-to-date, Google Play is now updating apps over mobile data globally. We’re mindful of mobile data budgets and will activate this feature only when it's appropriate and users can always opt-out. This update also benefits developers by allowing them to ship features globally and reduce maintenance complexity.
  • Encouraging timely updates: For users who have opted out of auto-updates, we launched a new tool for developers to target and prompt users to update their apps. This gives developers more control to give their users the intended app experience.
A user prompt to update an app to the latest version includes options to receive more info or update the app
To help ensure the best app experience, developers can now prompt users to update using new Play recovery tools.

Developer verification requirements: Protecting against malware and fraud

To further enhance user trust, we've been updating developer verification requirements. We've recently added new requirements to help ensure users discover safe, relevant apps while protecting the integrity of our platform.
  • Device verification for personal accounts improves quality and user safety by ensuring developers can test apps before they publish them. All new personal developer accounts must verify that they have access to a real Android mobile device using the Play Console mobile app before they publish apps.
  • Website verification for new organization accounts helps confirm authenticity. Developers with new organization accounts must verify their website before publishing apps.

Automatic integrity protection: Stronger protection against app modification and redistribution

We introduced a new, stronger version of our automatic integrity protection, designed to help developers safeguard their apps and games from unauthorized modification and distribution. Developers using Play integrity features have seen a significant reduction in unauthorized access compared to unprotected apps.

Google Play SDK Index: Building a safer Play Store with SDK providers

Software development kit (SDK) providers can register their SDKs with Google Play to see usage statistics and crash reporting as well as send urgent messages to developers. This allows them to recommend SDK versions that proactively fix potential policy issues and contribute to a safer, more trusted Play Store experience.
  • Developers can now receive proactive alerts about potential policy violations with their SDKs, while they are coding with our integration with Android Studio.
  • Developers now also receive emails about potential policy violations with their SDKs and receive persistent warnings on the Policy status page in Play Console.

Championing our global developer community

Our global developer community is the heart of Play. We're constantly seeking ways to celebrate their successes and provide the resources they need to reach their full potential.

#WeArePlay stories: Showcasing apps and game businesses on Google Play

We continued to share developer stories from around the world through our #WeArePlay series, which celebrates the community of app and game businesses on Google Play. Check out our latest stories highlighting Women’s History Month, featuring 9 founders behind groundbreaking apps and games made by women or designed especially for them.
A collage of photographs of 9 app founders representing the global developer community

Indie Games Accelerator: Supporting small game businesses around the world

As part of our mission to help businesses of all sizes succeed on our marketplace, we announced Google Play's Indie Games Accelerator class of 2024. Selected indie game studios from around the world will participate in the 10-week program designed to take their businesses to the next level, including:
  • A series of online masterclasses, talks, and gaming workshops hosted by industry leaders
  • 1:1 mentorship sessions with game experts covering a broad variety of topics including technical development, improving gameplay and team leadership skills
This year, we received such a high volume of impressive applicants that we’ve doubled the class size to 60. After the program ends, we’re inviting our class of 2024 to attend an in-person graduation ceremony in July.
An illustration shows a collection of bears and other creatures celebrating alongside a banner promoting the Indie Games Accelerator
That’s a wrap on the Q1 update for Google Play. We’re excited to continue growing this vibrant marketplace and keep the needs of our users and developers at the center of everything we do. Stay tuned for announcements at Google I/O on May 14 and follow our journey as we meet with developer communities around the world at I/O Connect events in Berlin, Bengaluru, and Beijing throughout the summer.Until next time,Sam BrightVP & General Manager, Google Play


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