Google’s Play store is getting a new capability that allows app developers to better showcase their new apps when consumers search for apps using their mobile devices in the app-filled store.
App developers can now upload screen shots of their apps running on 7-inch and 10-inch tablets so consumers can see what those apps will look like on their similar devices, which Google and the developers hope will continue to spur even more sales of innovative and useful apps in the store.
The update, which also reminds app developers to run through a previously released checklist to be sure that their apps will render properly on users’ devices, was announced in an April 16 post by Ellie Powers of the Google Play team on the Android Developers Blog.
“More and more, developers are investing in a full tablet experience for their apps and seeing those investments pay off big,” wrote Powers. “Starting today, it’s even easier to show off those tablet apps to users and to understand what it takes to make a great tablet app.”
The new tools allow developers to upload screen shots of their apps running on 7-inch and 10-inch tablets to the Google Play Developer Console, which will allow the Play store to highlight and show those screen shots to users on those devices, wrote Powers.
When building their apps, developers should be sure that the programs adhere to the tablet app quality checklist that Google released in October 2012 as a way to help them build better apps that display properly on users’ devices, she wrote. The checklist has recently been updated to give developers more tips and information on how to achieve better app performance and optimization on tablets and the resulting increased sales of those apps.
“Soon, we’ll start surfacing tips based on our tablet app quality guidelines directly in the Google Play Developer Console, and we’ll use these guidelines to help users better discover tablet apps in Google Play,” wrote Powers.
The tablet app quality checklist includes tips and reminders for developers about targeting which Android versions their apps will run on, as well as optimizing layouts for larger screens and taking advantage of the extra screen space that exists on tablets, compared with smaller smartphone screens, according to the checklist.
Google Android Play Store Making It Easier for Developers to Showcase Apps
Developers are also reminded to use icons and other bitmap assets that will best be rendered on various sizes of tablet screens, while also adjusting the sizes of any home screen widgets so they are displayed properly on the devices.
Also recommended is that developers’ apps include at least the same set of features on tablets as they do on smartphones so that users’ needs and expectations will be met when they make their purchases.
Earlier in April, Google revamped its Play store app for Android smartphones and tablets so that it features larger images that jump off the page to help users find the content they are seeking. The latest Play store app is available for devices running on Android 2.2 or above.
In March, Google’s Play store made some waves when the company removed at least four apps from the store that had allowed users to block advertisements that appear when using their Android devices. Google said that the ad-blocking apps violate Section 4.4 of the store’s Developer Distribution Agreement, which prohibits the development or distribution of a product that “interferes with, disrupts, damages, or accesses in an unauthorized manner the devices, servers, networks, or other properties or services of any third party including, but not limited to, Android users, Google or any mobile network operator.”
A huge portion of Google’s revenue comes from ad revenues, so the ability of advertisers to get their ads in front of viewers’ eyeballs is huge for the company.
Google Play, which was created in March 2012 to combine what until then were separate sites where Android lovers could buy their favorite apps, music and ebooks, has been a huge hit. Before Google Play, users had to shop through the individual Android Market, Google Music and Google e-Bookstore sites.
By September 2012, Google Play had served up more than 25 billion downloads to app- and game-hungry Android users, reaching a significant milestone in only six months.