The app section of Google’s Play Store can be like the Wild West at times, what with the barely disguised adware, clone infestation, and plain-old poor quality apps. The low barrier of entry for apps in the Play Store has made possible a rich and varied ecosystem, but we wished Google did a better job at improving app discovery, especially since Google is so good at search in general.
Now Google has taken a step towards improving the app search experience with the addition of a ratings-based filter. You can now limit search results to apps that have a 4-star rating or higher, which, in theory, should weed out most bad or exploitive apps.
It probably won’t remove all poor quality apps, for a couple of reasons – this may not catch some new apps with just a handful of reviews, and, second, apps with tons of fake reviews will still go through.
Nevertheless, this small new feature will weed out most blatantly bad apps and is a good addition to an area where Google still has lots of room to improve.
For now, the ratings-based filter is only available in the web version of the Play Store, but Google will probably waste no time bringing it to the Android app as well.