Google Play is the world’s largest app distribution platform with over 1 billion monthly active users, and over 80 billion yearly app installs as of last year (a 26% increase from 2015). The service’s success wouldn’t be what it is without excellent apps, and that’s why Google introduced the Play Developer Console in 2012 to help developers create better experiences.
With Google I/O, there are a few changes coming to the Play Developer Console, starting with the name: it’s dropping “Developer” to become simply “Play Console”, to reflect the growing portion of non-developers using the service. The latest features (either new or updated) include:
Updated Statistics Page
The statistics page for your app now gives you quicker, more flexible access to important data about your business. Compare two different metrics and break them down by a dimension. Select any date range you want, view a breakdown of your data, and even access hourly stats.
As of May 17th 2017, crash reports are collected from Android devices whose users have opted in to automatically share usage and diagnostics data. This provides greater crash coverage, so you are likely to notice an increase in the volume of your app’s crashes.
Understand your app’s Android vitals so you can fix bad behaviors, improve your app experience, and increase your star rating. View aggregated, anonymized device data from people who have opted in their devices to understand three crucial aspects of your app’s performance: stability (crash rates and App Not Responding [ANR] rates), battery usage (stuck wake locks and excessive wakeups), and render time (slow rendering and frozen UI frames).
Use the new release dashboard to track a release as it happens. By monitoring how your release is affecting important metrics, you can be confident that everything is going as planned or you can quickly halt your rollout if anything looks out of the ordinary
Publish Android Instant Apps with the same release management flow you’re familiar with from publishing apps on Google Play. Iterate quickly with a development track, gather feedback from trusted testers on a pre-release track, and when you’re ready, release to production.
The new device catalog will help ensure you’re offering a great user experience on the widest range of devices. Search and filter across rich device data for thousands of devices certified by Google. The catalog even shows you your installs, rating, and revenue contributed by device type to help you make the right decisions. You can now also set device exclusion rules by performance indicators like RAM and system on chip. With more granular controls you can exclude fewer devices and offer the best experience on all devices your app supports.
For something as important as your app signing key, there’s no room for error. With app signing in the Play Console, you now have the option to securely transfer your key to Google to manage on your behalf. You’ll benefit from Google’s industry leading security and be able to opt-in for upcoming assistive services like app optimizations for APK size. Once opted-in to this service, the Play Store will deliver versions of your APK optimized for the screen density and native architecture of each target device type, saving data and device storage for your users.
The pre-launch report, powered by Firebase Test Lab, shows you the results of testing your alpha or beta app on real devices in the lab so you can spot and fix issues before you launch, so they won’t affect your rating. The report has been updated with more device test coverage including Android O devices, and new controls, like being able to provide credentials so your app can be tested behind a login.
The acquisition report helps you understand where visitors to your store listing are coming from and whether they go on to install and buy things in your app. The report now includes retained installer data. This reveals which channels and geographies drive valuable users who keep your app installed over periods of up-to 30 days, helping you optimize your marketing efforts.
Subscriptions are the fastest growing business on Google Play – the number of active subscribers has doubled in the last year. With the subscriptions dashboard, see how your subscriptions are performing and make better decisions to grow your business. Understand and analyze total subscribers, revenue, retention, and churn across multiple dimensions.
Reviews are a valuable channel you can use to engage with people who have your app installed directly. Reviews analysis now covers more languages to help you gather insights from reviews to improve your app. Updated ratings summarizes how users have updated their ratings and reviews, including the effect any replies you made had on those updates. Reviews history shows you the history of your conversation with a user. Finally, we are rolling out the ability to report reviews which do not meet the posting policy guidelines.