An app’s rating for you on the Google Play Store may different from your friends in other countries.
Currently, apps and games on the Play Store have aggregated review scores. Google added up all the scores from users around the world and averaged them to create the final score. This is reflected by the star rating on Google Play.
However, that system will change this year. In November 2021, Play Store ratings will be localized around the world. Google will aggregate scores from users in a country and generate a localized score. As a result, an app’s rating in Brazil may be very different from its rating in Korea.
Google explained this upcoming change in a blog post. The reasons for this change are:
Ratings from one region unfairly impact another. For example, when a bug affects only one country but negatively affects the app’s ratings everywhere else.
Cultural issues can also affect Play Store ratings. For example, a game designed to cater to people who speak Japanese and understand Japanese culture may not be well received by users from other countries. But that game’s rating was lowered by negative reviews from users from other countries.
In the future, Google will have even bigger changes. Specifically, next year, form factor will affect Play Store ratings.
Localized ranking will start happening this year. Around next year, Google will incorporate at least one more variable: the form factor. This means that app reviews from tablet users will aggregate differently than reviews from phone users.
But as of now, Google has not given a firm rollout date for the introduction of form factor variables for Play Store ratings.
Indian startups have banded together to challenge Google’s monopoly over the Android app ecosystem by Google Play. And build an Indian app store.
Indian businesses want to build a national altenative to Google Play.
They was prompted by Google’s recent annoucement to force app developers on its store to use its payments system. That takes a 30% cut on transactions including in-app purchases. Founders Paytm, MakeMyTrip and PolicyBazaar discussed Google’s policy and the concerns on dependence on Google.
Executives of startup and firm in India attended the call on september 29. They agreed that a Google’s 30% cut was “simply unfeasible”. And it will hurt Indian businesses. It said the meeting discussed Google’s “monopolistic” hold on India. And what the executives alleged Google were unfair and inconsistent enforcement of Play Store guidelines in India.
Indian businesses took the hit from Google’s allegedly opaque policy enforcement.
Google reiterated Play Store’s gambling policy. And even they pulled Paytm’s app from the store for some time in the last month. Google is a direct competitor to Paytm in the mobile payments market. They also sent notices to OTT platform Hotstar and food delivery startups Swiggy and Zomato.
Paytm app was pulled for adding a fantasy cricket tournament that the company recently included in the app. The app was back in Play store after a few hours. But the ban sent shock waves through the Indian startup ecosystem.
Doosra has also been took the hit from Google’s allegedly opaque policy enforcement. It was pulled from the Play store just a week after its launch Sept. 15. It took Doosra team 48 hours to convince the Google Play store team to bring back the app.
The move of Indian startups came a day after a group of apps including Epic Games, Deezer, Spotify and Tile, banded together to form the ‘Coalition for App Fairness’. This group claims to fight against Apple’s control over its app store and in a minor way, Google as well.