Google Play Is Now Shunning Poorly Performing Apps

When it comes to using your phone to save time or play a few games, there’s nothing worse than apps that frequently crash or suck your entire battery in a couple hours.

Google has announced plans to combat less-than-adequate apps by changing the way its Play Store lists and ranks downloadable content. If an app does not crash, uses battery power at a normal level and is considered non-malicious, it will be ranked higher than other apps.

The reasoning for the new change is to promote safer and more efficient app development and promotion. This in turn will lead to more downloads, more traffic to the Play Store and more time spent on your phone. These changes came after Google realized around half of the poorest ratings on the Play Store were affixed to negative comments regarding stability and usability concerns.

“Developers who focus on app quality can see improvements in their rating, and ultimately their retention and monetization,” wrote Google Play Product Manager Andrew Ahn in a blog statement.

There may be a bit of a learning curve for app creators as they learn what will prioritize them on a download list. Google recommends creators to pay close attention to the Android vitals page, a tool to help analyze bad app behaviours.

The way the ranking works right now is good, but could become more efficient. Poorly reviewed apps generally sink to the bottom, but if an app has a large amount of installs, that figure can override the ranking system and keep it high up on a list.

The change has already begun to roll out to a small amount of users. Once fully implemented, the update will affect both the top charts as well as search results.