Google tests a helpful app comparison feature on Google Play – ProWellTech
Google is testing a new feature that could improve discovery for Android apps on Google Play. The company confirmed that it is experimenting with a “Compare apps” option that would allow Google Play users to quickly and more easily understand the slight differences between otherwise similar apps by comparing specific characteristics and metrics, such as star ratings or total downloads, for example. example.
The feature was first spotted by Android Police, who found it at the bottom of a single app listing page for a media player on the Play Store (ver. 22.4.28).
Google has confirmed that the feature is active but only as a small test.
After users scrolled through the app’s details and reviews, the page offered a comparison table that allowed users to compare the VLC Player app to other media players through aspects like “Ease of use”, support for offline playback and various media player specific features – such as visual quality (HD, SD, etc.) and controls (gesture control, playback, scrubber, etc.).
The feature could leverage the data that Google gleaned from questions it asked app reviewers, though this is unclear at this time. It also pulls out other data that it already has on file, such as the aggregate star rating and the number of downloads the app has seen to date, for example.
Typically, instead of the comparison table, Google Play provides a list of “similar apps” at the bottom of the listings page. This is similar to Apple’s “You May Also Like” app suggestions and is common in app stores. The idea with “similar apps” is to help users who search for other apps of the same kind. However, determining which one to download often requires reading app descriptions and user reviews, which can take a long time.
With a comparison table, users could more quickly figure out which app suited their needs best, instead of wasting time searching or downloading multiple apps to install only to find that they didn’t offer a particular feature the user wanted.
Google confirmed to ProWellTech that this is a “small experiment” currently underway, but says it has no immediate plans for a larger launch. It’s a shame!