Over the past year, Google Play — and other app stores — have worked to increase curation through editorial content and top lists. A concurrent trend has been letting users beta test apps and games ahead of launch in a move that also helps developers find bugs. The Play Store is now working on a loyalty program called “Play Points.”
About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.
Google Play Points
Strings “Introducing Google Play Points” first emerged with version 11.5 and later 11.6 of the Play Store. Users will be prompted to sign-up for this loyalty program and have to explicitly join before earning points with every Google Play purchase. This service will feature a tilted square icon that uses the four Play colors, as seen in the header image above.
Current phrasing suggests that buying music, movies, TV shows, and books — in addition to Android apps — will also accumulate points.
<string name=”loyalty_signup_interstitial_title”>Introducing Google Play Points</string>
<string name=”loyalty_signup_interstitial_body”>Earn points on everything you buy. Use points for special in-app items or Google Play credit.</string>
<string name=”loyalty_signup_error_dialog_generic_text”>Something went wrong. Try joining Play Points again.</string>
Meanwhile, a localized string from version 11.6 details how the feature will work in the Japanese Play Store, with every ¥100 spent earning one point.
<string name=”loyalty_signup_interstitial_body_jp”>Earn 1 point per ¥100 on everything you buy. Use points for special in-app items or Google Play credit.</string>
This loyalty program features “Levels,” with each increase in rank incurring undetermined “Level Benefits.” There are five Play Points levels marked by a different medal, while a “Points History” section will help users keep track of their progress.
<string name=”loyalty_level_benefits_menu”>Level Benefits</string>
<string name=”loyalty_points_balance_content_description”>You have %1$d points</string>
<string name=”points_history”>Points History</string>
<string name=”points_history_empty_view_description”>This is where you can track the points you earn and use</string>
<string name=”points_history_empty_view_title”>Nothing here yet</string>
Points can be redeemed for “special in-app items or Google Play credit,” with an expiring balance.
<string name=”loyalty_home_points_expiry”>Exp %1$s</string>
<string name=”loyalty_home_points_expiry_content_description”>Points expire on %1$s</string>
Meanwhile, for the past several versions, the Play Store has been working on a “VOTE” feature. Version 11.5 finally includes descriptive strings that suggest how users can vote for apps. This could be part of a broader curation effort where users help rank the top apps.
<string name=”voting_dialog_cta_title”>SEE OTHER GROUPS</string>
<string name=”voting_remaining_number_of_votes”>You can vote for %1$d more</string>
<string name=”voting_thanks”>Thanks for voting</string>
Account page redesign + Rewards tab
The Play Store is also preparing a new redesign for the Account page. In testing for the past several months, it features a carousel of tabs at the top of the screen instead of a menu list. Users can quickly navigate between these sections.
There is also a new Rewards section where users can redeem promo codes, as well as find “special deals and free items.”
We do not post APKs to download directly given the legal challenges associated with copyright and possibility of removal. Meanwhile, that model moving forward is perilous given upcoming system-level changes from Android App Bundles and Google Play’s Dynamic Delivery.
Thanks to JEB Decompiler, which some APK Insight teardowns benefit from.
Dylan contributed to this article