The Android app search function of the Google Play Store is presently broken for some users who are seeing an endless list of duplicate results after inputting a wide variety of queries, particularly more generic searches such as "movies," "downloads," and "water tracker." 9to5Google reports the bug is present on both the web version of the Play Store and its Android app, claiming it managed to replicate it on a stable version of Android Oreo and the latest developer preview of Android P. AndroidHeadlines wasn't able to replicate the issue on the Galaxy S9 Plus running Android 8.0 Oreo, Galaxy S7 Edge running Android 7.0 Nougat, or the web. Users who want to try determining whether they're affected by the bug can try referring to the source link below and inspect the web search results they land on for duplicate listings.
Due to that state of affairs, the problem appears to be tied to particular versions of the Google Play Store or user locations, though it's still unclear what's causing it. Affected individuals claim their app search results start repeating after around 20 items have been listed, whereas some queries result in duplicates after as little as a handful of apps. While the scope of the issue remains to be determined, such a bug being present on any significant scale would likely significantly hurt the chances of many Android developers having their products discovered. That's precisely what dozens of independent studios have been complaining about since late June, claiming their average daily downloads inexplicably dropped by as much as 90-percent. Google acknowledged reports on the matter but has yet to issue an official response to the development.
Recent reports also pointed to the emergence of another Play Store bug that prevents users from viewing all apps from individual developers, though that issue isn't global in nature either. Google's latest major update to the world's most popular Android app marketplace launched late last month in the form of simplified subscription management.