User reviews for apps and games should give you an idea of whether the game is challenging, fun to play, or a buggy mess, or apps are worth the money the developer is charging. But up until recently there’s been a problem with reviews for Android apps that you saw in the Google Play Store: they weren’t necessarily written by people using the same type of device as you.

Now they are. Sort of.

As promised last year, Google has rolled out an update so that you’ll see reviews that are posted by other users who are:

  • In the same geographical region as you
  • Using the same type of device (tablet, Chromebook, wearable, or smartphone)

That way if an app runs great on phones, but looks horrible on tablets, you’ll likely see a higher average rating if you view the reviews in the Play Store from an Android phone than you would using a tablet. And if users find an app is less useful in the the Middle East than it is in North America due to geographic restrictions on content, for example, then users will see appropriate ratings.

What Google isn’t doing is showing reviews specific to the exact device you’re using. So apps that run better on flagship hardware than they do on budget devices may still suffer from an average rating that may not be reflective of its actual performance on the device you’re using.

via @MishaalRahman

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  1. I Hate The Update That Completely Got Rid Of The Play Store Menu !!! They Should Have Just Left The Play Store Menu ALONE !!! Now Instead Of Simply Going Into The Play Store Menu I’m Texted To “Tap On Your Profile Circle” Which Doesn’t Work !!! Doing That DOES NOT Take Me To Play Store Menu INSTEAD It Takes Me To My Main Google Account !!! There Was Absolutely No Reason For This App ,{At Least The Menu}, To Be Screwed With … HELLO It Was Never Broken In The First Place !!! I Used To Love Using The Play Store Menu And Now I Can’t Because It’s Totally Gone !!! This Makes Me So Aggravated !!! Am Guessing To Them Customers Are Complete Worthless Idiots !!!

    1. Well, in a way, yes. Google’s real customers are the corporations who buy advertising space and promotions from Google. Google’s users (that is, you) are not the customer. You’re the product.

  2. Alternatively, instead of forming the expectation that programs should run differently or not at all depending on what device they’re run on, one might expect all programs written to run under a particular version of Android to work on all devices with that version of Android installed.

  3. You’ve always been able to see reviews according to your specific device (first choose to see all reviews then I’m the spring options there’s three choice to see according to your specific device.

  4. Well, that’s sort of useful, but ultimately not very compelling when they keep deleting reviews of software that reflect people’s genuine thoughts on the software and associated services but would lower Google’s ESG score if left up, even when then software shows up on their phones when completely uncalled for and can’t be removed.
    Looking at you, Massnotify.