Years ago, I would comb through Google Play in an effort to discover new apps worthy of sharing on this site, as well as deals on TV shows and movies. Around the holidays, you could find some really decent deals on movies too, but with so many streaming platforms out there housing essentially any movie you may want to watch, the idea of purchasing a digital copy for $20 doesn’t intrigue me. And finding new apps on Google Play? It’s now an act of wading through endless “sponsored” titles. What happened to Google Play?
I’m not the only one that seems to have essentially exited the platform when looking for new apps to play with. Over on reddit, there’s a large thread of people who have been sharing feedback on Google Play. It all started when a budding Android app developer asked for people to share their thoughts on the platform, especially with regard to new app discovery. The people were how we would describe as brutally honest.
One user going by the handle PatrickBasedMan says, “Apps are either paid and bad, free and bad, or free to download but asks you to subscribe for a million bucks a month when you open it. Smaller good apps and devs are also hard to find or, again, not updated.”
Another user, named CokeZoro says, “I tried to find a basic sound recorder app for my father today. They all either bombard you with ads, or bombarded you with monthly subscription options.”
That’s the trend for that thread. Mostly, people seem completely turned off by the idea of finding new and exciting apps, due to the amount of either unrelated apps or the overall quality of the apps they are finding. It’s not all bad, though. One user, omniuni, had a bit more positive of a take. They said, “Frankly, it’s pretty bad, but it’s improving. While it’s ‘worse’ for developers, Google’s more strict requirements are finally starting to decrease the number of outdated and low effort applications.”
And that’s true. Google has been taking numerous steps to up the quality of apps available on the store over the years. At the end of the day, there are millions of apps available on Android, so of course it will be difficult for users to navigate such a vast library of titles. This is why Google has been putting in so much work in the search aspect of the platform. Users can look up apps by category, offline versus online, ratings, and more. Still, reading these words from actual users does help broaden our perspective on how people perceive Google Play.
What’s your own take on Google Play? Do you even use it to find new apps or is it just an app necessary to update your other apps.