Edgar Cervantes/Android Authority
- Starting in November, Google will change the system behind the Play Store app and game ratings.
- The ratings will be localized, resulting in some apps that have different ratings for people in different parts of the world.
- Next year, by considering the device form factor, the rating will become more specific.
The apps and games in the Google Play store have historically had aggregate review scores. In other words, Google adds up all the scores of users from all over the world and then averages them to get the final score. This is reflected in the star ratings you see in all apps and games on Google Play.
You can also take a look: The best Android apps currently available
However, the system has undergone major changes this year. In November 2021, the Play Store score will be localized globally. This means that Google will aggregate the scores of users in a country and create localized scores. So, for example, an app’s rating in the United States may be very different from the app’s rating in Japan.
Google explains the upcoming changes A blog post Nowadays. This is a related snippet:
We heard from Play Store users and developers that ratings and reviews might be more helpful. This is especially true when the rating of one region has an unfair impact on another region—for example, when an error that affects only one country negatively affects the rating of an application anywhere.
Google’s example there makes sense. Cultural issues may also affect the score on the Play Store. For example, a game designed to cater to people who speak French and understand French culture may not be accepted by people from other countries. Why is the game’s rating lowered by negative reviews from people who have not “acquired” it?
In the future, Google will go further.
In 2022, form factor will affect Play Store ratings
Localization ratings will begin this year. However, sometime next year, Google will include at least one variable: the form factor. This means that app reviews from tablet users will be different from reviews from mobile phone users.
Google explains this change by using the example of “positive improvement of the tablet experience” because the app is “neglected because of the number of mobile phone users.”
This will affect a variety of different platforms, including foldable phones, apps focused on Android Auto, and more.
Google did not give a definite launch date for introducing a form factor variable for the Play Store rating.