Google Play at I/O 2024 highlights better security and user app experiences

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

What you need to know

  • During I/O 2024, Google highlighted several new features for the Play Store that developers can begin experimenting with.
  • Such features include better app searching, discoverability for specific devices, payment features, and security.
  • Google states users and developers can expect more to come in the weeks ahead.

It's I/O day and Google is highlighting several new tools arriving for the Play Store that developers can use to better the user experience.

Google stated in a press release that the Play Store's app categories are in for a tune-up. To do this, the company states developers can extend their app's reach to users outside of the store with the new "Engage SDK." Google adds that this new "surface" should help app developers highlight the "most important" piece of content in a user's app and launch "immersive, full-screen" experiences.

Such experiences would be fueled by a user's recommendations alongside any promotions the developers wish to show.

Google then reiterated its recent updates to Play Games on PC, Play Points, and more, which it discussed during its Developer Summit in March.

Custom store listings are set to arrive, giving unique details based on the keywords users have searched. Google states the Play Console will give developers tailor-made suggestions that could help their app reach a new target audience. "Cross-device discovery" is also on its way. This will help users interested in using an app on multiple devices.

The post states that an app's details will display screenshots, ratings, and reviews for different devices like phones, tablets, etc. Search filters will also benefit from this, as users can discover an app for whichever device they desire. Deep linking is said to help developers improve a user's app experience by sending them to a "relevant" page within the app for content, bookings, shopping, and more.

Security is a big part of the Google Play Store, so the company is opening its SDK Console to all SDKs for developers. In short, this gives developers a centralized place to view usage stats and tools to fix issues and information on following the store's various policies.

Google I/O logo

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Some "enhanced app-release tools" are making their way to developers. These are a set of pre-release checks to ensure that your app meets all the right quality points in terms of UI for a swift, uninhibited launch. There will also be a place to discard unwanted releases. Google states that this feature should help developers avoid "accidental updates."

A few features are entering the scene to help developers protect their products against "unauthorized" folk. Google states that "App Access Risk" is now in public beta and is designed to let app creators know if another app is capturing a user's screen or controlling their device. "Play Protect Verdict" acts like a safety net, alerting the app about the status of Play Protect and if there is any malware present on a user's device.

Developers also receive "recent device activity," which helps them weed out devices sending automated traffic or signs of an attack.

The Google Pixel 8a in the Bay blue colorway

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Optimizations for revenue in the Play Store are arriving via extended payment options. Google highlighted its previous expansion of Pix in Brazil and UPI in India. However, users can now ask another to purchase an app or in-app content for them through a shareable Play Store link. This will begin for users in India and will likely go to more places if all goes well.

Additionally, Google adds that parents with a Google Family setup can approve their child's purchase on any Android OS.

Developers are picking up more revenue-based options such as recommended pricing to better fit with any economic changes. The Play Store is said to begin displaying badges such as "best selling," "trending," and "popular" to help consumers make an informed choice.

Lastly, the Play Billing Lab app will help developers playtest new payment features for users before rolling them out. The app is designed to help better the one-time payment experiences and subscription plans.

With developer previews scheduled, the company states will have more updates in the "weeks to come."

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.