How do I get a feature on Google Play?

Mobile app promotion is probably one of the most painful issues for developers and publishers. There are many specific cases and general tips, however, so far the most reliable way to get the most downloads is to get a feature from the app store. How do I get it on Google Play?

Google does not seek to disclose secrets. Just last month, she changed the policy of her behavior at third–party conferences: from now on, company employees cannot tell a large public about the Google Play device – only during personal meetings with partners. However, at their own event – Google I / O – the veil of secrecy was lifted after all – Dan Galpin and Ian Lewis, the so–called “defenders of developers” (developer advocates) gave several recommendations, observing which, developers can increase their chances of getting into the slot “Editors’ Choice”.

1. The application must support high resolution (at least 720 pixels). In addition, it is not recommended to use Compatibility Mode on Honeycomb Android – when you zoom in, the images may lose clarity.

2. Do not remove the default Android buttons from the screen and do not reduce their brightness so that they are not visible. Follow the principle of minimal intervention. For example, the Back button: if you press it, for example, during a game, the game should be paused and offer the user several options for further actions, and if you press it in the main menu, the application should close.

3. Think about users and respect their lives. For example, the application should not spontaneously start and make some sounds when the Android device is not active. Accordingly, you can not even hope for a feature if the application itself manages Wi-Fi settings, reads / changes contact and calendar data, or sends /receives SMS messages (in this case, developers may try to withdraw money from the user’s account without his knowledge).

4. Test the app on as many devices as possible. Google will not promote if the application is “buggy” on different devices or, for example, does not provide user-paid content.

5. Localize applications into all possible languages. If the studio does not have the means to do this, Google recommends focusing on English and Korean, because according to its data, it is Koreans who especially like to play games on the Android platform.

In addition, Dan Galpin and Ian Lewis noted that the application will never receive a feature on Google Play if it:

– uses a third-party billing provider,  NOT Google;

– downloads another application (“Google Play is an app store, not a place to distribute other stores,” Galpin noted);

– bribes users with in-game rewards for a 5–star review of the application (i.e. asks users to rate it, but you can’t demand it or reward for it).

“According to the editorial board, the last point is the grossest violation, and a developer whose game gives bribes for positive reviews may not even dream of promotion,” Dan Galpin added.

Google employees stressed that all this is not a set of mandatory rules – they just tried to tell what criteria influence their opinion when evaluating an application.

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