Play Store ratings finally become relevant to the devices you use

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More than a year after Google announced the change


Android apps are not just limited to the smartphone in your pocket. Your tablet, smartwatch, TV, and even your laptop all support a wide variety of software you rely on daily, often with a version specific to that form factor. Of course, this diversity of gadgets also limits the real usefulness of Play Store reviews. After all, if a specific app has bad tablet optimizations, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will do the same on a smartphone. With a long-awaited change, Google is making its Play Store ratings more helpful across the board for all the gadgets in your life.

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As spotted by Mishaal Rahman of Esper.io, Google has confirmed that app ratings are now based on device types, as announced in a message to developers on the Play Store console. This change has been a long time coming – in fact, it was originally supposed to arrive earlier this year. Google first talked about these plans in August 2021, setting an “early 2022” window of time for when we would finally see live device matching ratings. As of today, it is finally online.

Left: Xbox app on the Pixel 6. Right: Xbox app on Galaxy Z Fold 4.

Currently, if you head to an app on the Play Store, you should see a notice in the ‘Ratings & Reviews’ section confirming that these scores are from “people who use the same type of device as you” . This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll see unique averages, although the number of reviews counted almost always differs depending on the device you’re using. For example, my Pixel 6 has nearly 1.5 million ratings for the Xbox app, a number matched by other Android phones. But on the Galaxy Z Fold 4, I see just over 100,000 reviews. The app has a 4.4-star rating on both platforms, but clearly different metrics are counted here for a single form factor.

Ultimately, it’s a small change that could have a big impact on how users download apps today. As Android continues to expand into new product categories, ensuring Play Store ratings are accurate for watches, tablets, and everything in between is an essential step.

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