The Google Play Store is revamping its rating system so that ratings and reviews are displayed based on the device used. A way to provide more relevant reviews to users.
On the Google Play Store – the official store of applications for Android – the ratings and comments left by other users are often an essential way to judge the quality of an application and to choose among all those that offer more or least the same functions. No one wants to suffer from invasive advertisements – which sometimes go so far as to prevent the proper functioning of the app –, a laborious translation, recurring bugs or a game that is too greedy. But we must not forget that Android is a system deployed on very different media. In the end, the rendering and the use can be very different on a smartphone, a tablet, a connected watch – with Wear OS – or a television. That’s why Google decided to improve its rating system, sorting reviews and ratings according to the device used.
Play Store: very different applications from one device to another
In general, the applications adapt to the format of the screen of the device and to its specificities, which means that they do not necessarily offer the same functions from one medium to another. For example, browsing YouTube is more laborious on a TV than on a mobile device – especially searching for a title or commenting on a video. Similarly, the optimization is not necessarily identical on a tablet or on a smartphone, and an application can run very well on a state-of-the-art phone and lack fluidity on an entry-level device. Ditto for the language, with the quality of the translation which can vary from one country to another.
By taking all these parameters into account, the rating system of the Play Store – which therefore offered an overall average of the evaluations without any distinction of country or device – proved to be of little relevance. Google has therefore revised its method. Now it says “Ratings are based on recent reviews from people in your area who use the same type of device as you.” notes left by other people who also use a tablet. For example, the Xbox app shows nearly 1.5 million reviews from a Pixel 6, and only 100,000 from a Galaxy Z Fold 4 – considered a tablet. Ditto for the Facebook application, which shows an average of 2.5 from a Xiaomi Redmi Note 10s, and 4 for a Galaxy Tab A7 tablet. A way to offer more relevant and useful opinions – only given by users with a validated Google account –, especially as Android is being installed on more and more varied devices.