Saturday, December 3, 2016
Google wants make it easier to craft apps that go big

Google wants make it easier to craft apps that go big

Part of the plan involves simpler access to beta apps.

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The Google Play Store serves over a billion users globally a month, so the potential for an app to go big is nothing to sneeze at. Alas, the chances of that actually happening is a different story, which is why Google is outing a bunch of updates to help developers craft apps to make more of an impact.

First off, Google is making it easier for would-be beta testers to find non-final software in the Play Store. For the first time, open beta apps will show up in your Play Store search results, and especially promising betas should get some spotlight in a new Early Access section. This latter effort is part of a bigger push to make it easy for users to find new, valuable apps — that same rationale is why Google is rolling out Collections in the Play Store. Looking for real estate apps, or apps that are great for young ones? Your search should become easier shortly.

These changes are welcome additions for users, but most of the big news today is for developers who want to reach bigger audiences. New to the Play fold is a set of guidelines called “Building for Billions” meant to give devs insight into crafting apps for crucial emerging markets. And to help apps feel just a little neater internationally, the Play Store will automatically round prices converted between currencies. After all, a $1.99 app seems pretty normal in the US store, but seeing the equivalent ¥218.12 in the Japanese store lacks a certain panache — now the Play Store will round it to ¥200.

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