Google tweaks Google Play search results to surface best-performing apps

Google play
The Google Play Store is a big place, but Google wants to help you trawl through all its offerings. How? By updating how it ranks apps to take into consideration how an app performs.

Specifically, the company will take into consideration things like excessive battery usage, slow rendering, and how often the app crashes — all data it collects through crash reports and in app reviews on the Google Play Store. In fact, according to Google’s blog post, around half of the 1-star reviews on Google Play mention app stability in some form or other. And, as a general trend, developers who put their focus on app stability end up seeing an increase in their app ratings on Google Play.

So how will this affect you? Well if you search for an app and there are two that fit your criteria, the more stable app will show up at the top — even if the apps are built to do the same thing. That’s a good thing — the first app may not immediately appear preferable, but in the long run it will use less battery life and crash less.

That doesn’t mean that badly performing apps are doomed — developers can take advantage of Google’s Play Console, which gives them the tools they need to improve the stability of their apps. Using the Play Console, developers can even get a pre-launch report before the app launches to consumers, which will help developers find issues before the app is widely available.

Google has been placing a great deal of emphasis on surfacing only the best apps in Google Play. The company recently launched the “Android Excellence” program, which is aimed at highlighting the best Android apps that meet certain criteria — like great design, optimization across a range of devices, and great performance. The Android Excellence program, however, only really shows apps that Google chooses. The recent tweaks to search in Google Play, on the other hand, will apply to all apps in the Google Play Store.

It will be interesting to see how the changes affect apps across the Google Play Store — and whether these moves will result in better-performing apps in general.


Hey Google, why did you kill off Allo, your best messaging app in years?

Allo, Google's messaging app, has shut down. I convinced my closest friends and family to switch to the app two-and-a-half years ago when it debuted, and we've been using it since. With its death, I'm feeling pain and sadness.

Here’s all the news from the Google Stadia GDC presentation

Google announced its new game streaming service Stadia during GDC 2019. Here is all the news from the event, including news on YouTube streaming and quickly accessing your favorite new games.

Nintendo Switch controllers will soon be compatible with Google Chrome

Nintendo Switch controllers will soon be supported by Google Chrome, according to a new commit spotted by 9to5Google. The code is likely related to Google's Project Stream game streaming service.

The first Android Q beta is available. Here's what we know about it

Android Pie recently rolled out, but it's already time to look ahead to Android Q, the next version of Google's mobile OS. We've seen a number of rumors and leaks come out about the operating system, and now it's available for beta testing.

iPad Air vs. iPad Mini: Which new tablet from Apple is best for you?

Apple has unveiled two new iPad models, including a new iPad Air and a new iPad Mini. Both devices have a lot to offer. But which iPad is right for your needs? We put the iPad Air and iPad Mini to the test to find out.

The best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods, nice as they are, aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, and if you're looking to buy a pair of high-end in-ear headphones, we've got the best AirPod alternatives on the…

Even older Apple Watches could be effective at spotting heart conditions

The Apple Watch Series 4 is known for detecting heart conditions like atrial fibrillation thanks to having an electrocardiograph feature. It turns out that older Apple Watches could be effective at tracking AFib, too.

The Black Shark 2’s Ludicrous Mode promises the smoothest mobile gaming

Xiaomi-backed Black Shark has a follow-up to last year's Black Shark gaming phone, complete with high specs and a low price. Here's everything we know about the Black Shark 2 gaming phone.

Need a new tablet? Here are the best iPad deals for March 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for March 2018.

Amazon drops price on Apple Watch Series 4 with a rare deal

Since Apple first unveiled the Series 4, the price for one has pretty much held fast. This has finally started to change with a nice little $15 discount on Amazon. If you've been wanting the newest Apple Watch, now is a great time.

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.

Google's midrange Pixels might be called the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.

Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs brings 3D demolition into your living room

Angry Birds is releasing its next entry in the spring of 2019 - with a new spin. Bringing 3D environments and destruction, Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs uses augmented reality to add a new dimension to a classic series.

Whether by the pool or the sea, make a splash with the best waterproof phones

Whether you're looking for a phone you can use in the bath, or you just want that extra peace of mind, waterproof phones are here and they're amazing. Check out our selection of the best ones you can buy.