Google Play Nov 2020 JoeSource: Android Central

What you need to know

  • Google has announced changes coming to the Play Store later this year.
  • App reviews will soon be shown based on the user's location and device.
  • The changes will begin rolling out in November.

Google is making some changes to how Play Store reviews are being shown, which should provide users with a more tailored view.

Later this year, reviews will be location-specific, meaning you'll only be able to see reviews from the country you're based in. Additionally, Google says that into next year, reviews will reflect the type of device being used to browse on, to better reflect the kind of experience you can expect from the app.

Google says that the changes are being made "because the app experience can vary depending on the user's region and device type, aggregate ratings don't always tell the whole story." For example, you can view an app on a smartphone with great reviews, but the app experience on a tablet could be quite lacking. Additionally, a bug might affect the app in one country but can negatively hurt the overall app review.

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As far as device types, reviews will be differentiated based on whether you're is on Chrome OS, Android Auto, Wear OS, tablet, or any of the best foldable phones.

With this change, Google says it will make it easier for developers "to spot opportunities across various device types and track the impact of enhanced experiences." This way, developers may be able to make necessary changes to certain app experiences base on the device.

Google Play Store Device Type RatingsSource: Google

The location-specific changes will roll out come November, meaning there may be a notable change to ratings once it does roll out. Google says that it will analyze changes that apps can expect in their ratings and inform developers ahead of time if their app can expect a deviation of more than 0.2-stars due to the change, giving them time to adjust their app experience accordingly.

Google is also updating the Play Store Console to help developers spot these opportunities to improve their apps. That includes new Device Type dimensions and filters for ratings, more granular date selections for viewing data, and CSV downloads of certain app data.