Google announced today that it would be rolling out a new set of changes to the Google Play Store targeted at slow apps that are a drain on your phone’s battery. If the apps don’t perform well and waste a lot of your phone’s precious and often scarce battery life they will be ranked lower than apps with minor bugs and performance issues.

The goal of this is to make sure that higher quality apps are being promoted which should, in turn, lead to higher engagement and app usage.

The impetus for this change came after Google realized that around half of the 1-star reviews on the Google Play Store were about app stability problems.

Google has long had a problem with poorly performing apps whether it be the now infamous Facebook Home or your standard Candy Crush knock-off filled with auto downloading apps and bookmarks. The issue is not something that can be solved easily but if Google starts knocking down apps who are having performance issues it will likely lead to an increase in performance as developers will work to improve their apps.

This new ranking algorithm will now force developers to squash bugs in their apps or to be penalized and this is something that the Play Store has needed for quite some time.

Google says it’s looking at a variety of “quality signals” related to an app’s performance to determine its new ranking. For example, it will take into consideration things like app crashes, battery usage, and how many uninstalls the app has, among other things. The company declined to share specifics on this signals – like how many crashes or uninstalls, for example, could cause an app to be downranked.

 Google found in their testing that users who had installed better performing apps would use those apps more and be less likely to uninstall them (duh). Of course, the connection between how likely you are to use something if it works vs when it doesn’t is quite obvious it’s important to know it’s the responsibility of developers to maintain their apps appropriately or maybe in the future, Google will begin to take other measures.


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