Google Play Store tests search filters for ratings, “Editor’s Choice,” and “new” applications
If you are an app developer looking to focus on Android, the Google Play Store will be your topmost focus. And that isn’t remotely surprising — after all, developers have earned over $80 billion from the Play Store, and it is the biggest app market in the world. While the Apple App Store may be more lucrative, the Google Play Store presents itself as a lower bar of entry and a wider audience, which are two things that greatly benefit an app developer who is just starting out. However, because of the sheer number of apps on the platform, actually discovering an interesting new app is not an easy job for users, and by extension, getting your app noticed by users is equally difficult too. However, it seems Google does want to fix this issue in some way, as the Play Store is now testing search filters to help complement the Play Store’s lookup capabilities.
As spotted by 9to5Google, the Google Play Store is testing filters in search that can refine results. Currently, generic search terms can show up a few suggestion chips that can refine results by app features. The new tests will expand the filtering capabilities, allowing refinement by rating (either 4.0+ or 4.5+), by the existence of the “Editor’s Choice” badge from Google, and by “New”. All three of these new filters can be applied at the same time.
These new filters can really help a user narrow down the apps they want to try out — for instance, all highly rated options for a search term can be filtered out, so you can try out the options to see what suits you the best. Similarly, surfacing only new applications will make it easier for new publishers to reach an audience and gain feedback from them to improve their own app. Google Play search filters are not widely available yet and are rolling out via a server-side update, so they should be arriving on your phone automatically in the next few days.
The Play Store has been receiving several changes that make it better at serving as the app store for the masses. The Store recently received a dark theme toggle for most Android versions. It also began showing download counts and app size in search results, and it also recently introduced a “Teacher Approved” section for apps and content that are approved as kid-friendly.
Thanks to XDA Senior Member RKBD for the screenshots!