Google Play had a massive year when it came to digital downloads on e-readers, smartphones and tablets. There were over 116 billion app downloads on Google Play, which sets an all-time record. The other big thing that occured in 2019 was the release of Android 10, which was built around three important themes. First, Android 10 is shaping the leading edge of mobile innovation with advanced machine-learning and support for emerging devices like foldables and 5G enabled phones. Next, Android 10 has a central focus on privacy and security, with almost 50 features that give users greater protection, transparency, and control. Finally, Android 10 expands users’ digital wellbeing controls so individuals and families can find a better balance with technology.
One of the big things that Google rolled out for app developers was reduced access to sensitive data by restricting SMS and call log permissions to apps whose core functionality needs them, resulting in 98% fewer apps accessing this sensitive data.
Here are some other changes to Android in 2019
- Google Play got a visual refresh which improves app discovery and accessibility for the wide diversity of store visitors.
- App tags improve discoverability, enabling you to describe the content and functionality of your game with up to five tags.
- An app’s rating is now weighted towards your most recent ratings, instead of a lifetime cumulative average, so that it better reflects your app’s current state.
- We expanded our buyer support so you can now sell apps and games to people in Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Iraq, and Turks and Caicos. We also welcomed many new developers to the Google Play Store’s family with Seller Support, with more than 35 additional countries launched this year. Find out more.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.