Google Play Store test drops one of its most useful data from app listings

Google Play Nov 2020 Joe
Google Play Nov 2020 Joe (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google appears to have removed the "last updated" section from the app listings in the Play Store as part of a test.
  • This seems to affect only the Play Store listings on Android phones, not the web version.
  • The changelog and app description may have vanished as well.

The Google Play Store's timestamp for the most recent update to an app is an important section in app listings since it gives you an idea whether a game or app is still actively receiving regular updates and bug fixes. However, Google may be testing the removal of that section.

According to a user who posted a screenshot of the latest change on Reddit, Google removed the "last updated" section from the Play Store listings. This affects a few apps, and it is no longer possible to see when those apps were last updated.

Google could not immediately respond to Android Central's request for comments, but Android Police can confirm that the timestamp was missing from some of their devices. In addition, other pieces of information such as the changelog and app description seem to have disappeared as well.

The absence of the last updated section seems to be occurring only on some of the best Android phones. This change does not appear to affect the Play Store's web version. It's possible that the removal of that section is part of a test, but there's also the possibility that this is a bug.

The latest change may not sit well with users who are already annoyed by Google's recent move to hide the number of dislikes on YouTube videos from public view. According to YouTube, the move was meant to keep creators motivated and prevent abuse of the feature.

It's unclear why Google Play would remove such valuable information from app listings. If you're constantly checking this section to see how frequently an app is updated, the most recent change will leave you in the dark.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.

  • On the subject of changelogs, App devs should be keeping these up to date with each update. Google is guilty of this with its own app and there are several others are guilty as well.
  • I feel like Google is worse at this than most developers.
  • The less transparent Google can be (while pretending that they are), they will. Not really a mystery to me, looking at how Google functions from a macro perspective. I still remember when Google removed the notification from the Play Store app that informed you which apps on your phone just updated. Weak sauce.
  • The last update date is one of the first things I look at when I'm considering a new app. I don't want to install something that's been abandoned or hasn't had any security updates.
  • The play store is a complete mess, full of recommendations or promotions which are just basically ads for crap. There needs to be a way to filter out crap, create labels, hide stuff I've tried and don't want, add private notes to stuff, and force listings to say if an item is a trial, or won't let you do anything without creating an account. The rating system is just full of either people complaining because they didn't read the instructions, or shills