How could we forget that Google I/O is a developer conference, so definitely there is plenty of dev-focused stuff that does not get general public attention. However, there are few important announcements at this year’s Google I/O that might interest you as well as app developers.
Amongst other highlights this year, Google will be introducing an upcoming change to Play Store ratings. In just a couple of months, Google will start to recalculate review scores to give more weight to recent reviews. This could be potentially helpful for developers in a way that it will favor ratings given to the most recent version of an app.
Looking back at the history of Google Play (even when it was called the Android Market), an app’s overall review score has treated all individual ratings equally. But, now it’s changing. Google claims that app developers have been asking for the rating to focus more on recent reviews, so that’s what it’s doing. Google doesn’t say exactly how it’s changing the weighting, but developers can log into the dev console to preview their recent score.
On the contrary, this change could also make it harder for apps to attain good rating citing their previous record. However, the new change will help developers turn around a bad score by addressing users’ concerns. Google will provide developers suggested replies to help them respond to users faster.
Another major impact of this change is that Google will now highlight reviews to which it thinks developers should reply. Google said if developers reply to negative reviews it may help users to add an average of 0.7 stars to their reviews. The revamped version of Play Store’s review scores will be public as early as August.