Google is throwing Android tablets a bone with upcoming Play Store updates

Android 12L on a tablet
(Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • Last year, Google announced that it was making changes to the Play Store to enable better app discovery on different form factors.
  • Google will soon surface "high-quality" apps on tablets optimized for larger-screened devices.
  • Users will also be warned of so-called "low-quality" apps that aren't optimized for tablets and foldables.

Google is seemingly hard at work trying to make Android tablets great again, and on Wednesday, the company laid out how the Play Store will help improve the app experience.

In a post on the Android Developer Blog, Google highlighted changes coming to the Play Store, including some it already announced. The first update will arrive "in the coming months" and prioritize apps that follow Google's large screen quality guidelines. This means that anyone using the Play Store on the best Android tablets will be shown apps that have been optimized for large-screen devices.

On the flip side, Google will start warning users on larger screen devices about apps that haven't been optimized. It did not go into much detail, but users will be presented with alerts that will set certain expectations about apps that aren't built for tablets or foldables. Google plans to provide more information about this change later this year.

Lastly, Google highlights how it will start surfacing ratings and reviews based on the device you're using, whether it's on a tablet, Android Auto, or Wear OS. Google announced this change last year in hopes that it will provide users with more relevant context on the app experience based on the device. For example, the tablet version may be poorly optimized, resulting in a lower rating, but the smartphone app may work just fine and be rated higher. This way, users will know what to expect on their devices, and developers can better understand where they need to improve.

Google says these features will arrive "in the coming months," which should help boost its tablet efforts amid the wider Android 12L launch later this year.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.