Shopping online has many benefits. You don’t have to leave the house to do it, you don’t have to find a place to park, join a queue in-store or even have to talk to anyone. Heck, you don’t even have to wear clothes. However, there is one glaring issue which has always remained when shopping on-line – you have to find the product yourself. In contrast, you can walk into (almost) any store these days and (hopefully) within a minute you are approached by a member of staff “Can I help you”. Although a lot of the time that simply question is rather annoying, if you are in a hurry or specifically targeting a particular product then it can be quite helpful. “Erm, yes, I wanted a Chromecast dongle”. This is the benefit of bricks and mortar shops “Ah yes, it’s over here in the accessories department. Let me show you”.
Online is a little different. If you want a particular product then you have to make your own way to a relative company’s website. Let’s use ‘apps’ for example. So you head over to Play. Step one complete. Once here, you have to navigate to the search bar and correctly type in what you are looking for, which at times, can be trickier than it sounds. Now this is where the fun really begins. Unless you type in the exact name of the product you are looking for you end up with an almost endless list of ‘possible’ options. Imagine walking into Best Buy, asking for the Chromecast and then being directed to an aisle which just goes on and on and on. From here on it’s a luck issue. Hopefully, your search criterion was close enough to bring up the item you were specifically looking for. Google being Google seem to always be on the lookout for ways to make users lives a little easier and being a search giant means they particular like you finding things as quickly as possible.
Now on Play, Google has introduced an additional search refining parameter for apps and games. When you now search for an app (after you have typed in the initial search term) along with being able to choose a price range (free or paid) you can also refine by star status. In the top bar (just under the search box) Google have included a 4 star+ option which when clicked will only show results of apps/games which are rated as 4 stars or higher. This should cut out a large proportion of the useless stuff you are not looking for. Of course if you are looking for the lower star items (not sure why you would be) then this is of no use. However, for the rest, this does add an extra layer of being able to streamline your search a little more. It is worth noting that this only currently seems to be available on desktop Play although knowing Google it will only be a matter of time before it is available on mobile devices too.