Google Play is starting to warn users when an app is riddled with issues

What you need to knowUsers will see Google Play’s new app performance issue warning. This warning appears when other owners of a similar Android model as you have had a series of problems with an app. When an app’s crash rate is over 8% on a specific phone model, any owner of that phone will see an alert to potentially steer them away until the issue is resolved.

Google seems to have taken extra steps to warn its users about apps that just don’t cut it.

Mishaal Rahman tweeted about the emergence of this new alert about apps that may stop working on your phone (via Android Police). The new warning to users is based on data collected by Google about an app’s technical performance on devices similar to yours.

Also, it looks like Google had plans to roll out this new alert system for the Play Store back in October. According to a post on Android Developers Blog, Google introduced the quality bar per phone model because some apps work fine on some Android models but not others. This created a “bad behavior threshold” that Google hopes developers will drop their apps under.

The threshold was set at 8% for user-perceived crash rate and user-perceived ANR rate. Anything beyond that triggers the alert via the app on the Play Store that appears for some users.

Some users report that Google Play tells them “recent data from similar devices indicates this app may no longer work on your device.” I’ve never seen this before, so I think it might be relatively new. Screenshot Credits: Felixlix45 via Telegram March 2, 2023

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Using frustrating apps is never a good thing, and it seems like Google is trying to rid its store of such stupidities. It also gives the user the option to decide whether or not to download an app, provided they have this useful information beforehand.

Google has also stated that it would also prevent a sick app from appearing in certain Discovery sections if it’s tagged with a technical warning.

However, app developers should hopefully be able to nip problems in the bud before they exceed the small 1% user-perceived crash rate on all Android devices. Google has provided developers with a Play Console tool that can be used to monitor an app’s core functionality and show the areas that need fixing in an upcoming patch.

Holding the developer accountable for the product they place on the Play Store is becoming the new normal. In July 2022, Google swapped out the old permissions list (before saying it was coming back) with the data security section. This was a way of making the user fully transparent about what data is being collected and how it is being used – although the amount of information provided is still left up to the developer.