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Full Google+ Integration With Google Play On the Way (Update: It’s Now Live)

Update: And just like that, Google+ integration is live on Google Play. Go check it out!

If you’ve ever browsed Google Play, you have seen how the curtain of anonymity is used when posting reviews. Until now, users have been able to post feedback to apps with nothing linking back to them except for a nickname or first name. All that is set to change with Google’s upcoming integration of Google+ profiles.

It was recently rumored that Google intended to make a Google Plus profile a requirement for posting reviews. It appears that we are seeing the first step in this feature rollout. All comments previously left on Google Play will now be shown as written by “A Google User”. This looks to be independent from a specific Play Store apk update since both of my devices are showing version 3.10.9, but have different results when viewing the market.

Looking to the future, we can only speculate that full names as well as profile pictures will be viewable from the Play Store. Whether there will be full links back to user profiles is yet to be seen. Furthermore, this change opens up discussion into privacy rights and Google’s policies revolving what they can do with your information across their services. If you are set to private, will your profile still be linked via a review? Again, these are questions currently and we’ll be sure to find answers as soon as more information is available. One thing is for certain, Google is continuing to push their Google+ platform and this seems like a devious method to get people “using” the network.

  • xarophti

    I’m late to this party, just discovered this abomination. Guess I won’t be reviewing apps anymore, either. For various reasons of personal security, I cannot join online social networks that will show my full name. Which Google Plus will do. Security means nothing in the face of money making from data mining.

  • washingupfairy

    i don’t want my full name to appear by my reviews in google play…i don’t review very often and i don’t think i’ve ever posted any nasty review…certainly not abusive – if an update has caused a fault in an app, i might mention, but i definitely did not abuse the last system.
    i like to keep a fairly low profile online though…i hardly use FB or twitter, and I am careful of what i post anywhere. and as i have a very unusual name (a google search of my first and last names only brings up things i have put online) i want to have the option of just using my first name to accompany my reviews (i did have my real first name as my username before anyway).
    i tried to change my name in G+ but it told me that my name would be changed across all of google’s services and as my gmail account is my main email account, i don’t want that to change.
    what can i do about this? – i just don’t want my full name appearing publicly – i have never minded if developers have my name – i have emailed developers directly in the past and had conversations about improvements to apps etc – i feel that i will be doing this more from now on. it is a shame as reading reviews helps me decide whether to get an app or not but i guess the reviews will be less frequent and reliable from now on.

  • John Doe

    You can’t FORCE us to use Google+
    Congrat’s. Now you’re evil.

  • bllcks

    This is so annoying.

  • s

    Bad bad bad!

    I should be able to review an app negatively without danger. If an app is bad, it’s bad. I should be able to star and review it (warn others) safely.

    Sigh, Google.

    To elaborate. I don’t want the cyber trolls to then come stalk me online just because they have an affiliation with the app author etc.

  • NuggetNugget

    So, apparently my real name isn’t accepted by google+ because, well, I have no idea why, but I ended up trying many different spelling variations of my name which didn’t work either, I then went on to just try random words just to see if they’d work. I was almost certain that “Nugget Nugget” wouldn’t be accepted, but it was. So I guess I’m going to be known as Nugget Nugget from now on.

    Dear Google, what exactly did this change accomplish? I went from using my real name in my gmail account, to having to be known as a ridiculous nugget. And I’m sure as hell not going to go through the trouble of submitting proof to get it changed to my supposedly pretend real name. And no, I didn’t get my name changed at a latter age just to be hip or anything retarded like that, I was born with my name. Nor am I trying to by the anti-social cool guy here, I just use facebook for that, and don’t see the need to switch to google+. Especially if I have to jump through hoops to use my real name.

    If I can accidentally become anonymous due to frustration, what prevents trolls from using an even more ridiculous name and continuing their trolling? This change is obviously a marketing strategy to force everyone into using google+. If you believe that they did it for any other reason, you’re a fool and a sheep.

  • Tim242

    Yeah, like linking comments to Facebook really improved the quality of comments on BGR haha

  • dsignori

    I only see this on the web, not on Android yet …

  • It will be nice to be able to block certain users reviews/comments. I look at the best/worst reviews on each app I download. Some are just pointless, others are informative. Would potentially follow a user that gives a good/honest review of software..

  • Eric

    Google+ is still a huge sausage fest.

  • FortitudineVincimus

    F*** it, I am done leaving app feedback. I will not be forced into that stupid Google+ social paradigm because they say so. This is a lame move, some of us just don’t want to get involved with all of that pathetic social networking gibberish. F*** I don’t even have a Twitter, Google+, Farcebook account and sure as f**** not about to just to leave stupid internet feedback. What a joke.

    • KnowYourEnemy462

      OK, we get it, you’re the cool antisocial guy. You gonna show us the cigar burns on your arm and tell us how you got a carton of cigarettes for Christmas? Smoke up Johnny!

      • brando56894

        Love the reference lol

  • This is going to seriously tick off some people. Forcing people to use G+ is not cool.

  • brando56894

    I don’t see what the big problem is, who cares if your name and picture is attached to an app review? Do you really need that much privacy? I’m sure those that are complaining leave a lot bigger electronic trail without even knowing it. Unless you’re downloading and reviewing porn apps all the time or some other kinky stuff why does it matter if your name and face is attached to something that says “this app is awesome, it works really well!” or “this app crashed when I opened it”? Take off the tin foil hat and relax a bit.

    • Normally I would agree with you. I am the least paranoid person when it comes to online privacy. Heck, I use my real name and G+ profile for comments on this site. However, the people that will have a problem with this aren’t concerned with doing something bad, they’re concerned with it on principal It’s the fact that Google is forcing this on people that they have a problem with.

      Sure, you can say you’re not going to do anything to get yourself in trouble online anyway, so why should we care. But that’s not the point.

      • brando56894

        I see where you’re coming from, but it’s not like they’re actively forcing you to post stuff on G+ if you don’t want to. Yes they are, in effect, forcing you to use their social network but what they’re actually trying to do is consolidate and interlink all of their products together, so each app can share data with the others to make it more effective. Everyone that has a Gmail account already has a G+ account anyway.

        • s

          I don’t have a G+ account, had a gmail for about 2.5 years.

    • FortitudineVincimus

      coming from yet another guy/girl with a fake name of.. brando56894

      • brando56894

        My name is Brandon Golway and I live in NJ. Go ahead and look me up!

  • Spider210

    I’m not going to have my name and picture published for anyone to see. No thanks

    • brando56894

      If you have ever posted a review of an app I guarantee I could find your name and picture with a little bit of searching. People seem to forget that the review name is usually the person’s email address, so all that needs to be done is to google [reviewer’s name]@google.com and I’m sure I could find a whole wealth of information, more than what would be on a G+ page. Also it says it will be linked to a G+ account, it doesn’t say that you have to fill it out with all of your information and upload a picture.

    • Joe

      Any way to disable all this G+ integration?

      • Gizmo

        How do I disable G+? Is that possible? I’m getting tired of Google force feeding this.

  • They should’ve allowed all devs to reply to comments instead of this privacy problem creating solution

  • jimingo

    I don’t use or have a Google + account. So in the future I guess I won’t be able to review apps.

    • brando56894

      you already have one, you just have to activate it.

      • FortitudineVincimus

        Don’t do it. Don’t get sucked into Google’s desire to aggravate everything about you – even stupid app reviews – in 1 public place for all to see. Resist.

        • brando56894

          If you don’t want Google to know stuff about you, here’s an easy fix: don’t post any of it online or don’t use Google’s services.

        • brando56894

          Google makes money off of advertising, plain and simple. If they use you app reviews to improve their advertisements that would interest you rather than for stuff that you don’t even care about, you should give in to it because it’s mutually beneficial. You get to know about things that you didn’t know about before, and Google makes more money by showing you more things that would interest you. If they didn’t advertise you wouldn’t have all the great Google apps/features that you currently have for free.

          You have two options:
          1) stop complaining and keep using all of Google’s great software that they give to you for free
          2) continue to complain about privacy issues and stop using all of Google’s services

          From the looks of all of your comments I’m going to assume that you’re going to go with secret option 3 which is “continue to use all of Google’s services but complain about them using my information even though I don’t pay a dime for using their multitude of services”.

          Nothing in this world is truly free, you have to pay for it one way or another.

  • Royal2000H

    I don’t want to be personally tied with my full name to every app I download. In other words, I’m not going to review apps other than the standard Google ones. I don’t need people having a public inventory of which apps I have.

    • Reviewing is optional.

      • Royal2000H

        Reread my comment, I’m fully aware of that. “In other words, I’m not going to review apps…”

        • Brevity is the soul of wit.

          • FortitudineVincimus

            So you like quotes? Here is one for you..

            “Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too.”

            Don’t let Google think for you & decide for you how they want you to participate.

          • Google absolutely has the right to decide how you participate. It’s their service and this validates helpful comments over spam.

            Use Amazon or some other market if you’re afraid of your name being attached to reviews.

      • Guy

        Sure, but some of us actually enjoyed doing it. In essence you can no longer review apps without, as Royal2000H put it, people having a public inventory of which apps I have.

        • TheDrunkenClam

          So if it’s an app that you don’t want anyone to know you have, then don’t post a review on that particular app. Problem solved.
          The good in this, from a developer’s stand point, is it will be less likely that some moron will post an unfair review trashing the app simply because they’re too lazy to figure out how the app works, or had completely unreal expectations as to what the app should do. I see this all the time, and it’s unfortunate.
          Also, if you want to post a restaurant review on Google Maps, this G+ integration is already live. Anyone had any reservations against that so far?

          • myvidster

            Well said!!! Sadly us devs seem to be the minority on this thread.

          • Tim242

            Yeah, like linking comments to Facebook really improved the quality of comments on BGR. /s

      • FortitudineVincimus

        But helpful, now, many won’t help.

    • AranelAlasse

      I think you can get another google account just for your google app purchases/reviews… that could help you keep your “real” google plus identity separate.

      • FortitudineVincimus

        And there you have it.. prime example of how this can be circumvented and is a total waste of time. This will lead to no more valid reviews than just letting the reviews go as is – anonymous or not – why the f*** should it matter who wrote it.

        • NuggetNugget

          I made a post before seeing your comment, but this is exactly what happened to me. I actually BECAME anonymous, because my real name isn’t good enough for Google+.

          So there you have it. I shall be known as Nugget Nugget from here on out.

  • jcorf

    Love this, it will definitely make for better reviews. I hope they make it so that you can have an option to link to the review on your Google+ page.

    • FortitudineVincimus

      Man.. you just buy into this social media crap deep huh? But with a fairly vague and anonymous user name of course.

      • Dr_Buttballs

        Stop liking things I don’t like. /post

      • brando56894

        In case you didn’t know, not everyone is anti-social networking like you are. Some of us actually like interacting with other people and possibly people we don’t know. Go back to hiding in the shadows you nameless and faceless troll.

        • Dr_Buttballs

          I’m afraid you’re talking to a brick wall, my friend.

        • Tim242

          IInteracting with people??? The way to interact with people is to get out and meet people, not a bunch of social networking mess.

          • Dr_Buttballs

            You can still interact and meet people through social networking. Just because someone is linked to sone sort of social network doesn’t always mean they’re a hermit that’s glued to a computer/tablet/phone screen.

  • Morrisz

    This is a shame for developers because it will mean I’ll no longer be posting my reviews.

    • Justin W

      What’s the problem with having accountability? Based on what I’ve seen, it’s nearly always made for more reliable reviews than with anonymous/nick-name only reviews.

      • I agree. I would rather have 1 genuine review than 10 “this app is gay, doesn’t work, can’t move to SD” reviews..

        • Yep. Anonymity lets idiots go crazy with reviews. They use it as graffiti wall and leave totally useless (to every other user too) reviews; and sometimes just to spite the developer. Sadists. When that veil of anonymity is taken away, people will be more careful and constructive with their review. Whether they had a good experience or bad, they’ll leave their views properly instead cursing and name-calling. At least, I hope so.

          And I don’t understand this “oooohhhh… I won’t leave a review that shows my profile… oooh my privacy”…!! Aren’t people already commenting using Facebook comment forms all over the web?

          • justincase_2008

            But my privacy to be a troll… And yeah more and more are using facebook commenting. I commented on Think-Geek about a problem with a product and i got a message on FB from them trying to help me out. If anything this could help devs write back and trouble shoot better.

          • michael arazan

            If anything, it will help the developer find out what specifically is the bug or problem, some apps seem to work great on one type of phone like an HTC one, and the other phones can’t work at all.
            Also instead of leaving a bad review, I always contact the Dev first for problems, 9 times out of 10 they email you back with a response, unless its gameloft or EA, or some other conglomerate

          • Guy

            I have never used the Facebook comment field, or any other non-anon posting medium. I always leave very detailed and elaborate reviews, even registering for a given site sometimes. I refuse however to have a track back to my person with an inventory of everything I like, dislike, or have an opinion on.

          • FortitudineVincimus

            The beauty of the internet is the right to be anonymous. I clicked your name, I found your blog, on your blog I see no reference to you and who you are. So, you like your anonymity to a degree as well as the next guy. BUT just because your a social media hoe does not mean everyone wants to and that everyone wants every little thing they say tied to them for life. It’s the friggen internet man, it’s 99% bullshizz anyway.

          • s

            Not many websites force a Facebook only comment system. They offer something amazing called options.

        • FortitudineVincimus

          Coming from a guy who uses a pseudo name… nice

          • You can find my full name all over the place, and I know you already know it! 😛

      • polioman

        That’s very probable, but I still like keeping my online presence to a minimum.

        • WAldenIV

          Then create a second account just for feedback and contest entries.

          • John

            I thought of doing that but your Play Store will be tied to your main gmail account/G+ profile

          • Guy

            It looks like you can comment from that second account anyway without owning the apps on it

      • FortitudineVincimus

        So, your assuming just because the post is anonymous, it is not valid?

        Who are you? Justin W. And? So what? Because I have your “maybe” first name, you have something valid to say? And it is more legit? More legit than from a guy whose name is “Tim-o-tato”.

        • You’re making something out of nothing. People will hopefully think twice before posting a completely ridiculous app review. If they know people can see their face or full name, or whatever, then maybe it will help. Then again, maybe it won’t.

          No one is forcing anybody to use it. What would be real interesting is if all of the trolls were given faces and full names and they STILL continued to be jerks. Now that would be interesting.

          I don’t live in a world of extremes, bro! 🙂

          • Hail Sirius

            That’s the “Incessant license checks will eliminate piracy forever” argument that punishes and burdens legitimate customers while having very little impact on the actual problem. And this google+ nonsense will be no more effective.

            If my intention is to be a troll, then I will find a way to be a troll–that’s the very definition of a troll. If I want to leave constructive feedback, then I will leave constructive feedback. What I won’t do is have to open my profile/info/whatever to untold strangers because I have an issue to report, or because I want to say what I like about Angry Birds.

            It’s not going to work, Tim, et. al. It’s only going to punish legitimate viewers while having negligible impact on reducing rubbish reviews. Hell, even this single comment thread has already come up with a workaround.

            Sure, we might be forced into this nonsense by Google, but please don’t encourage it.

          • Justin W

            Pretty much summed up my thoughts too 🙂

      • s

        The only reason you want people to have accountability is so you can find them in real life.

        • Justin W

          Yup, that is exactly what my plan was: to hunt down those that dis Angry Birds Star Wars.

  • termiNader

    Smart move by Google. G+ is truly a great social networking site and the establishment of all android users as its base is a huge step forward.

    • Justin W

      I agree, I much prefer to look at my G+ profile over my Facebook profile. I use FB maybe once every couple of weeks to see if I have notifications, while with G+, I check it on almost a daily basis because there’s so much more useful info than on FB.

      • John

        Luckily, the “+1 this if you like ” posts haven’t started happening

  • nice

    • Do I spy a Planetside 2 avatar?

      • Justin W

        Yes! I prefer the VS over the NC, though. Awesome game.