What’s new in Google Play Update | Google IO Keynote 2021

What’s new in Google Play Update | Google IO Keynote 2021

Hi, I’m Alex Musil, director of product at Google Play. Over the last year, your digital experiences helped people learn new skills, stay connected with family, and take much needed breaks to relax during a time of unprecedented challenges. Thanks to your flexibility, hard work, and commitment, Google Play has become an even more valuable resource for people everywhere. To help you maintain that growth, we’ve been working on more ways to help you build your business. Helping developers build sustainable businesses is a core part of Google Play’s mission. We do that by providing powerful growth tools in Google Play Console, access to exclusive insights and engagement programs, and with a robust eCommerce platform. And we’re always looking for new ways to give you an added boost.

For example, earlier this year, we announced an important change to help you scale your business. Starting July 1st, the service fee Google Play receives will be 15% instead of 30% for the first million dollars you earn each year. We know some developers operate multiple accounts for their app portfolio. Please note that the 15% service fee will be applied to developers total earnings for the year across all the accounts you use to publish your apps. In order to receive the adjustment, we’ll ask you to help us understand which accounts you own. You can start entering these details in Play Console soon. In the meantime, check out this help center article for more details. Helping us understand which developer accounts you’re associated with will allow us to offer other benefits in the future, such as helping us during the app review process, reducing account fraud, and making sure you’re eligible for future programs and Play Console features.

But that’s just the beginning. Let’s take a look at some new features that are available now to help take your business even further from driving more installs to growing your engagement and revenue. Every successful business is built on a solid foundation of user trust. To help you build that trust, we continuously improve our policies to make sure our ecosystem is safe for everyone. However, because our platform policies are constantly evolving, we want to help you keep up with the latest requirements. You’ve asked for improvements like a centralized place to see all your policy violations and enforcements, more guidance on how to fix policy issues, and more advanced notice about upcoming policy changes. We’ve heard you. We spent the last year building a new dedicated policy and program section in Play Console.

The new policy status page allows you to manage your app compliance issues in one central location. It shows you if there are any enforcements against your app, such as rejection, removal, or suspension. You’ll also see more details and guidance regarding specific policy violations. For example, if there was a policy issue with your store listing, we’ll point out the specific image or text that needs to be fixed. We’ve recently added the ability to appeal enforcement decision and track its status right from this page. We understand that not all policy violations are caused by your code. Sometimes they are caused by a third-party SDK. While SDKs play a critical role in our ecosystem, they can introduce a number of challenges from performance to stability and security. SDK developers want to help, but they have little visibility into how and when their SDKs cause instability, and they don’t always have scaled ways to inform their customers of major updates that fix security or policy issues. That’s why we started to establish direct relationships with SDK providers to help them build better, safer SDKs while also improving our guidance about your SDK choices. We took the first step last year with a closed beta launch of the Google Play SDK Console. We’ve already onboarded several large SDK providers to the early access program and plan to continue to expand to more SDK developers. With a new console, SDK providers can report issues with their previous SDK versions and suggest fixes, see usage stats, and gain visibility and a crash reporting at the SDK level.

And as an app developer, Play will now be able to give you more guidance on the latest SDK updates and steer you away from problematic versions, including those with potential policy violations. All of this will add up to improved SDKs over time and improved apps for those who use them. To learn more about the trust and safety improvements we made in the console, as well as about the new SDK Console itself, check out our other session entitled New Tools to Help Build Safer Apps on Google Play. We’re continuing to invest in Play’s core developer value proposition helping you distribute your apps and games to millions of users, which is why we developed the Android App Bundle. By delivering smaller apps and streamlining the release process, app bundles are a foundational step forward for Google Play. There are now over one million apps in production with the Android App Bundle, helping developers decrease their app size by an average of 15% compared to a universal APK. It’s also just a simpler, more streamlined way to release your apps. App bundles are the future of publishing with Google Play, which is why they’ll be required for all new apps published on Play starting August 1st. The Android App Bundle makes next-generation distribution features possible. Play Feature Delivery, which now powers a third of all Play Store download requests, helps shrink app size by allowing users to download only the code and resources they need to run your app. It also makes Play Asset Delivery possible, which replaces expansion files and allows games to cut delivery costs and dramatically reduce user wait time. Games using Play Asset Delivery can use texture compression format targeting so your users only get the assets suitable for their device with no wasted space or bandwidth. In response to developer feedback, we’re launching an optional Code Transparency feature for app bundles that gives users cryptographic assurance that your app’s code has not been modified from its original version. Next, I’m excited to share some new developments to what you can do with data in Play Console. Successful apps don’t necessarily have the most installs, but they do have active and engaged users. Engagement metrics help tell the story of what happens after a user installs your app. Knowing these trends can help you find patterns to prioritize feature development and make strategic business decisions. So we’ve put together great new tools that’ll give you context to make sense of this data. We’ve taken the best of our exclusive ecosystem data and contextualized your engagement performance against your key markets. These are our new engagement metrics with benchmark comparisons. You can find this in the statistics page under Compare to Peers, our new area for metrics that are designed specifically to help you understand how your app is performing relative to similar apps. The new metrics here include peer-set benchmarks, which provide performance trends for over 250 different types of apps and games. These metrics enable you to draw comparisons without having to worry about the size of your user base. They focus on high-quality apps by excluding small, underperforming, or abandoned apps. The new Compare to Peers tab also contains key monetization metrics to help you determine opportunities to increase the number of users who purchase or to increase the amount they spend with you. With 15 new metrics and performance data from up to 250 different peer sets across over 200 countries and territories, Console provides up to two million new data points a day to evaluate your performance. We make it easy to access, use, and understand all of this data via a simple interface on the Compare to Peers tab on the stats page. We’ve also made some updates to how you can make money on Play. Our investments in Play Commerce are focused on helping you grow your business in 3 ways: increasing your ability to access customers around the world, giving you the tools to help optimize your go-to-market approach, and supporting your efforts to engage and retain your customers. Our commerce platform helps over two billion people have access to more than 300 local payment methods in over 70 countries, and supports international cards in over 150 countries around the world. In the last year alone, we added 34 new local forms of payment across 30 markets and lowered the minimum price developers can set for paid apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions in an additional 20 markets. To help you optimize the way you sell, we’re excited to launch two new capabilities for more streamlined purchasing: one, multi-quantity purchases enable users to buy more than one item at a time from the cart; and two, multi-line subscriptions allow you to sell multiple products as part of a single subscription. We are also excited to launch prepaid plans which allow you to offer users access to content for a fixed amount of time. Users can easily extend their access period any time prior to or after plan expiration. To take full advantage of the new features described as well as the rest of the monetization features Play has to offer, you will need to integrate with Play Billing Library version 4.0. As a reminder, at I/O 2019, we announced a two-year support window for each major version of Play Billing Library. This means that billing integration support for AIDL and Billing Library versions 1 and 2 will stop at the end of this year. You can learn more at the link shown here. To learn more about the recent improvements we’ve made to our commerce platform check out the Grow Your Engagement and Monetization session as well. Play Commerce also offers two exciting programs to help you engage and retain users. Just over a year ago, we launched Google Play Pass as another way to complement your monetization strategy, giving users access to hundreds of great apps and games without ads and in-app purchases. Play Pass has expanded to over 40 markets with more than 800 games and apps, and developers have, on average, more than doubled their Play revenue across participating titles in these markets. While Play Pass is currently an invitation-only program, we are always looking for great new content. You can learn more and express interest in joining by visiting the link displayed here. In 2018, we launched the Google Play Points program to help increase engagement with your games and apps. It’s free for users to join, and members earn points on almost everything they buy on Google Play. Users can then exchange these points for special and exclusive content in top games. Play Points is growing rapidly in 22 countries, including Australia, Germany, Norway and Italy with plans to expand even further. More than 60% of top game companies and over 150 developers are active in the program. And soon, we’ll be launching developer-initiated points campaigns available directly within the Play Console. With so many great resources available to you, we want to make sure you know how to make the most of them. So we’ve also built a comprehensive website with resources to help you learn more about our policies, programs, and tools. Whether you’re about to launch your startup or grow your existing business on Play, Google Play Academy has a wealth of relevant courses to help. So make sure to check out those as well. We hope you’ve seen something new here that you find exciting. As a platform, Google Play does not succeed unless our partners succeed. We look forward to seeing more businesses scale to new heights and to further discussions with our developer community about new ways to support you. Thank you for your time and for being part of Google Play.

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