Google recently admitted that it began a quiet change whereby, for the first time, its staff are now part of a process that vets apps before they are approved for distribution in Google Play. For developers, the change may be a mixed blessing, particularly if it affects how quickly they can deploy an app or mobile game to the Android market.
Thirty-two percent of the most popular Android apps are games and casual games are the most popular subset at 28 percent, according to Beijing-based start-up APUS. The firm developed its Global Mobile Application Analysis Report by looking within the user data from its own apps as well as data from Google Play.
Android has often been described as the mobile platform with amazing reach, but less propensity for monetization than iOS, and a move by Google to bring paid search ads to its Play Store may be a strategy to change that.
App developers love giving more to their customers--more features, more levels in a mobile game, more titles to choose from--but it's unlikely any of them wanted to increase the amount they tax them for their purchases. On Jan. 1, however, the European Union introduced a value-added tax (VAT) aimed specifically at sellers of "digital goods," including app developers.
Google Play is distributing apps from nearly 400,000 different developers, outpacing the size of Apple's developer community for the third year in a row, according to AppFigures. The company's most recent report offered a broad look at trends in the major app stores.
Google's decision to ban user testimonials in app descriptions won't put developers out of business overnight, but it could make certain aspects of app discovery more difficult, according to marketing experts.
Google is making a tentative move back to the Chinese mobile market by allowing Chinese developers to develop and sell apps through its Google Play application and media store outside of China.
There are still some small businesses--admittedly, very, very small businesses--that still don't have a website. Unless it's a convenience store or something so mom-and-pop that you get to know the owners really well, it's hard not to think of such firms as fly-by-night. The same thing applies to app developers with no visible means of contact, which explains why Google is cracking down with an unpopular new policy.
Verizon Communications wants to build a new coalition of wireless carriers and device makers to create an application storefront that would be an alternative to Google's Play Store, according to a report from The Information. The new store could let app developers take advantage of network-specific functionality, advertise their wares in the store and give consumers more proactive tips about which apps to use, the report said.
Rapid growth in emerging markets saw Google Play worldwide quarterly downloads exceed iOS App Store downloads by around 60 percent in the second quarter of 2014, according to App Annie.