Google I/O 2024: The Latest Updates for Apps and Games on Google Play

At this year’s Google I/O, Google Play unveiled its latest developments for apps and games, highlighting efforts to reinforce trust with secure, high-quality experiences, acquire and engage users, and optimize revenue for developers.

Addressing the diverse needs of various app categories, Google Play is focusing on specific challenges and opportunities across verticals such as games, media, entertainment, and retail.

One of the key announcements is the introduction of the Engage SDK, aimed at expanding an app’s reach on and beyond the Play Store. This new surface will enable developers to showcase their content, provide personalized recommendations, and promote their apps to users who haven’t installed them yet. Interested developers can integrate with Engage SDK to feature their content on the new on-device surface.

For game developers, Google Play Games on PC has expanded to over 140 markets, offering a catalog of more than 3,000 games. To maximize gamer engagement, developers can leverage Play Points to offer coupons, discounts, or exclusive in-game items, while also benefiting from improved performance reporting within Play Console.

Google Play is also reinforcing trust with secure and high-quality experiences through various updates, including enhanced SDK management tools, smoother launch processes, and proactive measures to safeguard user trust and business integrity.

One notable update is the Google Play SDK Console, which is now open to all SDKs distributed from a canonical Maven repository source. SDK owners can access usage statistics and tools to guide app developers in adopting SDK versions that comply with Play policies.

Additionally, Google Play has introduced new pre-review checks and enhanced app-release tools to prevent surprises and streamline launches. These tools allow developers to spot common policy and compatibility issues before their app goes live and make last-minute changes if needed.

To further enhance security, Google Play has launched the Play Integrity API, offering new protections against unauthorized access. The API includes features such as app access risk, Play Protect verdicts, and recent device activity to help defend against security threats.

In terms of user acquisition and engagement, Google Play is introducing custom store listings tailored to search keywords, enabling developers to reach users actively seeking their app’s benefits. Store listings now display screenshots, ratings, and reviews specific to each device type to help users get a sense of the app experience.

Deep links are also being optimized to increase engagement by driving users directly to relevant pages within apps. With deep links patching, developers can experiment or make quick changes to their deep-link setup without releasing a new app version.

On the revenue front, Google Play is expanding payment options and optimizing pricing for local purchasing power. New features include Pix in Brazil, enhanced support for UPI in India, and the ability for customers to make purchases for someone else.

Google Play is also introducing installment subscriptions, allowing customers to pay over time for long-term subscriptions, which can help increase signups and lifetime value. Installment subscriptions are now available for users in Brazil, France, Italy, and Spain.

Written by Maya Robertson


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