Google Play starts warning users if an app is riddled with problems

Google Play Store on OnePlus 9
(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Users have started seeing Google Play's new warning about apps with performance issues.
  • This warning will show if other owners with an Android model similar to yours have experienced a rash of problems with an app.
  • If an app's crash rate is above 8% on any given phone model, every owner of that phone will see a warning to potentially steer them away until it's fixed.

Google appears to have taken additional steps to warn its users about apps that just aren't cutting it.

Mishaal Rahman tweeted about the appearance of this new warning about apps that may stop working on your phone (via Android Police). The new warning for users is backed up by data that Google has collected regarding the technical performance of an app on devices similar to the one you own.

What's more, is that it looks like Google had plans to introduce this new warning system for the Play Store back in October. According to an Android Developers Blog post, Google's quality bar per phone model was introduced due to some apps working perfectly fine on some Android models but not on others. This brought about a "bad behavior threshold" that Google hopes developers will keep their apps under.

The threshold was set at 8% for the user-perceived crash rate and user-perceived ANR rate. Anything above this will trigger the warning about the app on the Play Store, which has started appearing for some users.

Frustrating to use apps are never a good thing, and it seems like Google is looking to rid its store of any such foolishness. It also gives the user a chance to decide whether or not they want to download an app, given they will have this piece of useful information beforehand.

Google has also stated it would also restrict an ill app from appearing in certain discovery sections if it's been tagged with a technical warning.

That said, app developers should hopefully be able to nip any problems in the bud before it crosses the small user-perceived 1% crash rate across all Android devices. Google has given developers a Play Console tool to use which can monitor an app's core vitals and display the areas where things need to be fixed in an upcoming patch.

Keeping the developer accountable for the product they place on the Play Store is becoming the new normal. In July 2022, Google swapped out the old permissions list (before saying it'd come back) with the Data safety section. This was a way of being completely transparent with the user about what data would be taken and how it would be used — despite the amount of information given still being left up to the developer.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.