Posted by Ellie Powers, Google Play team
This week at I/O, we were excited to announce some updates to Google Play to help you optimize your business on Google Play: to help you take control of your app publishing, gain insight into your users, and expand your app’s success globally.
Play Store’s new view: apps designed for tablets
Many of you have invested in making great tablet experiences for your users, and we want to ensure that that work pays off and that users are able to discover great apps for their tablets. This week, the Google Play store began providing a view of our top charts highlighting apps which have been designed for tablets according to our tablet app quality checklist.
Beta testing and staged rollouts
We have introduced support for beta testing and staged rollouts so that you can get feedback on your new app or app update early in its development and make sure your users are happy with the results. You can test two different versions on two different groups at the same time, such as testing a newer version with your employees first, and a more mature version with a group of external testers.
The beta testing is private on Google Play, and you can specify who gets these versions by adding Google Groups and Google+ Communities. Users give you feedback privately rather than through public reviews. When you’re satisfied that your new version is ready, you can now do a staged rollout to a percentage of your userbase. To give you more flexibility in light of beta testing and help get your whole team involved in the Developer Console, we will soon launch additional access controls.
We’re collaborating with Google's internationalization team to make translating your app into new languages easier than ever. You can purchase professional translations of your apps from independent providers through the Google Play Developer Console. You can upload the strings you want translated, select the languages you want to translate into, and select your translation vendor based on time and price. If you’re interested in translating your apps with this feature, sign up to be a part of the preview in the Developer Console today on the APK page.
The new optimization tips for localization will help you identify new potential opportunities for global expansion based on popular languages for your app’s users and category. To fully localize your app into a language, you need to translate the strings in an APK, translate your Google Play store listing, and upload localized graphics. The optimization tips will also let you know if you’re missing any of these pieces.
New Analytics and monetization features
Getting better revenue and engagement data has been another key developer request, as developers told us that they check their revenue and stats constantly. New revenue charts in the Developer Console allow you to see your app’s daily revenue and summary figures, and you can filter the data by country. Coming soon, Google Play and Google Analytics are teaming up to bring you better insight into your users. Google Analytics will start showing Google Play views and installs for each campaign, while Google Play will show Google Analytics engagement metrics.
For those of you using in-app billing, we’ve heard your feedback and made some improvements to reduce your development time and costs. Your test accounts will now able to make in-app test purchases without those transactions actually being charged, but everything else works the same as it would for a real user.
In a few weeks, we will launch a new Order Status API, which allows you to verify the status of an in-app order from your servers. We will also be launching a tool for automating downloads of financial reports. Finally, the new Google Wallet Merchant Center is continuing to roll out with enhanced reporting, additional analytics and many other enhancements.
Google Play for Education coming soon
You'll soon be able to offer apps to schools through Google Play for Education, which launches later this year to K-12 schools in the United States. This online destination will allow schools to discover, purchase, and distribute apps to their students. Visit developer.android.com/edu to get started creating or optimizing your apps for schools today.