To try and offer a comparison of similar apps, Google has launched a new Play Store experiment. As reported by Android Police, the hope is that this will improve the discoverability for developers.
This latest experiment marks a busy month for the Google Play Store. Lots of new features and tests have been conducted over recent weeks.
These include taking down the hamburger menu in a new UI test which has not pleased everyone. Google has also given TV Watchlist Search and Play Store integration to make finding TV shows that much easier.
Now it also looks like Google will continue the trend of making changes to the Play Store. The goal here looks to be able to give users more information on comparable apps with the hope it will help them decide which one best suits their needs.
Google Play Store launches comparison experiment
As part of this new experiment, there will be a new "Compare apps" section. This will show up on individual app listings near the bottom of the page.
It then will display other popular apps that are similar to the current listing. It will compare them on a number of different factors including ease of use and whether or not they support features like offline playback and casting.
For now, it seems to be limited to only a few popular media players hence the specific list of factors. One can only hope that if this experiment proves to be a success then this will roll out more widely. In that case, we should see a wider range of factors specific to different types of apps.
The likelihood here is that the data displayed comes from user feedback reviews. Many believe the questions Google asks you to form the basis for this comparison so it is more objective rather than something Google has come up with.
Developers likely hope that this will allow their app to rise to the top in crowded market places. It should, therefore, make user reviews more valid and as a result, allow the best app to become the most easily discoverable.
However, there is no telling when and if this test will roll out more widely like with many other Google experiments. It's been spotted in the wild on version 22.4.28 of the Play Store. The chances are that a server-side component that determines whether the new app comparison section shows up or not.
Hopefully, this proves to be a success as it should help developers get their software out there. It should also be of benefit to app users as they can better find apps that best suit their needs.