Google Play earlier this week disabled Android app and game searches for COVID-19. That’s still the case today, but the Play Store is now offering a curated list of apps to “Stay informed” about the coronavirus.
Visitors of the primary “Apps” tab today are encountering a “Coronavirus: Stay informed” card that offers a list of six applications. Google has been leveraging this type of editorial content for the past several years, with this particular collection offering “Helpful apps.”
As cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to be confirmed, these apps can help you stay safe and informed.
The contents are personalized by country, while placement in the Play Store feed also vastly differs. For example, our Dylan Roussel in France has the teal card close to the top, while in the US it’s five full pages down on Android.
Stateside, applications include the CDC, First Aid – American Red Cross, Doctor On Demand, News 360, Medical ID (Free): In Case of Emergency, and Twitter. Some of those apps are shared between regions with sources of information localized.
This list comes as searching for “coronavirus,” “COVID-19,” and related terms returns a “no results found” message. We speculated on Tuesday that this could be an attempt to cut down on terms being gamed, as well as making sure only reputable apps are offered.
Google might want to cut down on apps gaming SEO for the popular query and make sure there’s no misinformation. Terms that still work show several niche apps with hundreds to tens of thousands of downloads offering news about the coronavirus, while a handful of games are mixed in.
Today’s curation effort suggests that this is the case, and not too different from YouTube turning off ads and monetization on all videos talking about the coronavirus.
More about coronavirus:
- Google cancels ‘physical’ I/O 2020 due to coronavirus concerns
- Google making premium Hangouts Meet free for G Suite to help combat coronavirus
- Google cancels in-person Cloud Next ’20 for ‘Digital Connect’ conference due to coronavirus
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