Google is planning to take measures against Android apps that are prone to crashing in the form of worse rankings in the Google Play Store in hopes of making developers write more stable code for their apps. Google will use machine intelligence as well as human assessors that will work on the many application found on the Google Play Store as a response to the ever-growing number of complaints by Android users who’ve been saying that many of the offered apps on there can be flaky and dissatisfying. Google’s plan is to hit the dissatisfying app developers right in the visibility which is proven to be the most important part of them.
Google’s new AIs are planning to look at user ratings and engagement and performance data and use the data acquired to rank the Android apps now the factors of how stable and reliable they are. The rating that will come out of it will be used to place the app either higher or lower in the search results. Efficient, stable titles will get good visibility and be near the top of the list; those which aren’t will be downranked.
This is the newest move that Google made in the efforts of cleaning up the Play Store. Another major cleanup happened in February, taking with it many apps with over-reaching permissions policies, for example, and more recently Google promised to use machine learning to identify titles that were too demanding in terms of performance or access to device hardware.
Still, it is yet unknown if this will take in question the biggest complaint the users have about Android, which is the assumption that Google doesn’t really pay attention to what is being allowed into the Play Store. Apple, for example, checks every application that wants to go into the App Store before it grants access for users to download the said app, and Google goes by the rule of first allowing the app to be downloaded and only later checks if it’s unsuitable for being in the Play Store. While this liberal approach gives the opportunity to many apps, it also grants gateway for many sorts of malware to infiltrate into the store, malware that steals personal information and even banking recordings.
The machine intelligence approach isn’t the first time Google did something similar, though. The approach is already made with the search results, where factors that are taken into account are page load speed, whether there are pop-up ads or not, mobile readability and other elements that go against easy reading.
Initially, Google will test the new Google Play ranking algorithms on a small subset of users. However, Google’s goal is to expand it across all Android devices in due course.