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How to Fix Google Play in 6 Easy Steps

Steven Blum
9

Google Play is big, but it isn't bold, bright or beautiful. In fact, sometimes it feels like a hulking, inefficient mess. From fake apps to terrible, unhelpful reviews, the site has its fair share of problems. But it could be even better than Apple's App Store if it just insitituted a few minor (and major) changes, allowing developers to contact users, streamlining the process of reporting fraudulent apps and tweaking its own search algorythms (which really shouldn't be soo hard for, um, a freaking search giant) so that the right app is easier to find. Here's our full list of changes. 

1. Create Communication Between Devs and Customers

Allow developers to respond to user complaints directly under their posts on Google Play. This could allow for bugs to be fixed much more quickly.

2. Get Rid of All the Crap

Streamline the process of reporting fraudulent or misleading apps by creating a "Report" button on app pages OR introduce an approval system similar to Apple's App Store

3. Fix the Ratings System

The star system is flawed for apps that don't have that many starred reviews. A thumbs up, thumbs down approach might be better. Folks should also be able to vote comments up or down. Works for Reddit. 'Nuff said.

4. Clarify "Permissions"

Permissions need to be more clear so that users know what they're signing up for. Right now, many app permissions sound scary. The app Lux's permission asks the user to "allow app at any time to collect images the camera is seeing" when what the app really does is get a rough ambient light reading when prompted by the user. If developers could explain the permissions better, we'd all be better off.

5. Tweak Search

FIX SEARCH. Seriously Google, it should not be so hard to find the right app. Most recently this became an issue when the app "Temple Run" literally could not be found mere days after its release. Hey Google, don't you own Google.com?

6. Allow REAL Test Runs

Re-extend the refund period to 24 hours. Or don't, and continue to let AndroidPIT steal your business (we always offer 24 hour return policy on all our apps).

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Comments

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  • appi Apr 12, 2012 Link

    ...and make it possible for ALL countries to purchase apps.

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  • John James Apr 12, 2012 Link

    yes, if the apps were for all countries it'd be very good

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    Nick N. Apr 13, 2012 Link

    7. Change the name to Google Market.

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  • Cam charles Apr 13, 2012 Link

    i agree with 1,2 and 5 straight up they are good ideas, especially 2, i dont want any apple style walled garden of app verifying before market release (and the cost that would incur, but a better system after the fact to report and remove rubbish is a must.. the others im not sold on

    3. i like the 5 star system it allows you to give reviews that say like, this this and this are good but this is broken and then give it 4 stars for being almost perfect save for that one thing that was broken, in a up/down system thats not possible, i think the issue their is just the morons who write the reviews under the stars that need replacing

    4.permissions clarifying would help, but its also on the dev to explain why the app needs certain permissions ive seen plenty of apps with a blurb about why they want a certain permission which i think is a good thing for all apps

    6. this ones so hard i understand why users would want more time but i also very much understand why 24 hours is way to long in the mobile market, for games especially 24 hours is plenty of time for unsavoury characters to download play and refund a game, i think this is a case of a few bad apples ruining it for all, but they have ruined it and i think theres not much can be done, perhaps a trial run of 24hours to see if the bad apples still exist

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  • isom Apr 13, 2012 Link

    must be nice

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  • Joshuaro Apr 13, 2012 Link

    Yes, for all the countries...

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  • John Smith Apr 13, 2012 Link

    Seriously? "borrow" content much? I've been lurking AndroidPIT for awhile now and I generally liked what I was finding but this is just blatant. All you did was take the info from this dev and hack out all the information so it was just his opinion redressed.

    http://www.atomicmpc.com.au/Feature/296542,google-play-needs-tweaking---here8217s-how-google.aspx

    At least you could have credited the man.

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  • Izzy Apr 13, 2012 Link

    1) as long as the users address is not exposed: Yes. Ideally, this kind of answer then should fire a message via GMail, so the user gets notified.

    2) is strongly needed, as some of the "bad apps" are not simply bad but dangerous. So the "report" should have a category (drop-down or checkboxes) to distinguish at least security relevant (and such urgent-to-remove) from just, um, "simply bad" apps.

    3) No, the star system is fine. Having just a single "thumbs up" on certain apps does not tell you more than a single 4* rating -- but the other way round fits better.

    4a) establish a "..android.adservice" process which only permits (and retrieves) specified apps -- making the "FULL internet" permission obsolete. Hey, you do so with a location service, so this shouldn't be too hard.

    6) 100% agree. 15' are a joke - especially for more complex apps. If they have a free trial, it may be a bit different -- but the 15' window definitely keeps users away from buying apps not having such. I'm one of them.

    7) 100% agree. With the current name I feel like on a gamers convention...

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  • red Apr 14, 2012 Link

    For some reason, I didn't know Android Pit gave 24 hours, now that I do, you've got my business from now on. You've got an app for just that, yeah?

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