Post warning signs if you know your app isn’t working properly
We’ve all had bad apps that don’t do what you want them to do, are too difficult to use, or just don’t work right. Luckily, from user reviews and app ratings to Google’s efforts to monitor Play Store submissions, some tools can help you tell the difference between the good and the bad. Last fall, we heard about a new system that identifies poorly performing apps and warns users before they download them. We haven’t discovered many of them yet, but it seems like more and more apps show such hints.
As you may remember, the plan was to collect data not only on how often the app crashed for users but when it experienced annoying seconds of freezes. Google decided to set both general thresholds at around 1%. More interestingly, this data is also collected on certain devices. Not all apps will have the same issue, as some apps may only have issues with certain hardware. But for users of the same phone, if the app crashes at a rate higher than 8%, the Play Store will raise alarm bells.
As you can see in the screenshot above, if you have the same hardware as someone else who has a bug in your app, you will get this kind of warning before downloading. There is no guarantee that the app will be completely unusable, but we hope that you will open your eyes wide and access this opportunity.
So far, we haven’t seen any shipments of them, and perhaps for good reason.
Developers also have access to these crash and freeze stats. With this kind of highly public Play Store disgrace, developers should be very motivated to forestall performance issues. Either way, I’m still glad Google is keeping them honest.