For the past several years, Google has hosted a developer event called Playtime centered around the Play Store and apps to share best practices and new tools. At this year’s Playtime, Google announced a number of new tools for developers, including a Security Reward Program, as well as some new features for the Play Store.
Games are a big focus of the Play Store, with Google hosting a number of events every year to honor indie games. To further boost those efforts, the Games section is seeing a redesign that adds nested tabs. The rest of the Play Store is also getting this new design as seen by last night’s rollout.
Similar to the Home tab for other apps, the first Games section is called “For You” and features recommendations based on recent activity. The carousel of game trailers has been moved up, while a “Premium” category for paid games and a “New” section is coming soon.
Meanwhile, certain app listings will soon feature a “Try it Now” button that launches the Android Instant App variant for quick demoing. Users can try this now by heading to this initial collection of apps that should feature the new button.
Google is also launching a new Play Security Reward Program to encourage security researches to find vulnerabilities in both Google’s apps, as well as popular third-party ones. The process involves researchers contacting the app maker directly with the latter party then informing Google to issue a reward after the problem has been resolved.
Meanwhile, the Google Play Console is adding more Android Vitals to track app performance and enabling pre-launch reports that find app crashes, security bugs, and other issues for all developers. App testing is also adding the ability to launch alphas or betas only in specific countries, while other regions get the production version.
On the subscription front, developers will now earn more from customers who have subscribed for more than a year. Google Play will be lowering the fees its collects in those cases beginning in January of 2018.
Lastly, Google is publishing a new “State of Play” report that will be updated yearly with new developments and efforts.