Google has announced some changes that they’re bringing to the reviews and ratings of apps on Google Play so that they will be more useful for both users and developers. Later this year, mobile users will be able to see ratings specific to their countries and then by early 2022, they will see ratings for apps specific to the device they’re using. The Play Console for developers will also see some new features including seeing device type dimensions on the ratings page and filtering more granular ratings over specific time periods.
Google says that by November 2021, users will see the ratings of an app specific to their location. This is because there are some low ratings in an area because of a bug that may “unfairly impact” the app in locations where there wasn’t any problem at all. This way the ratings and reviews that you see will be more relevant to where you are, specifically to the place where your Play Store account is registered. The localized ratings will make it more personalized and “indicative of the experience each individual user can expect.”
The same goes for the specific device that you plan to use for the app. By early 2022, users can see ratings specific to the device that they’re on like smartphones, tablets, Chromebooks, and wearables. This will give users a “better impression” of the app depending on the device that they plan to install and use it on. Basically, the current aggregate ratings may not always tell the whole story, and showing it per form-factor and per location should make it more relevant and useful.
As for the changes to the Play Console, developers will soon be able to see Device Type dimensions to the ratings page so as to make it easier to see opportunities across device types. There will also be a Device Type filter to reviews so you can see what different form-factor users say about your app. There will also be more flexible date and period selections so you can get access to granular data. You can choose to see your ratings from 28 days to complete lifetime and also aggregate them from daily, weekly, or every 28 days.
Developers will also be able to download average data and ratings distributions into CSV files. Google also promises developers that 10 weeks before any change in the Play Store, they will automatically analyze the change that you will expect to see and let them know if they will see a change of more than 0.2 stars in a key market. Expect the changes to roll out starting November.