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Searching for an Android app? Play Store bug 'hides' apps you are searching for.

Can't find an app on the Google Play Store? It's there, the Play Store just isn't showing it to you.

Published onDecember 6, 2019

REDMAGIC 3S play store

If you head to the Google Play Store and perform a search for an application, you expect the search results to feature that app. However, there appears to be a bug related to “hidden” Android apps on the Play Store right now that prevents you from finding certain apps and games.

In other words, you can search for an app that definitely exists on the Play Store, but the search results won’t show you that app.

As an example of this, head to the Play Store and conduct a search for the mobile game “Deliver The Duck.” You’ll get a whole slew of duck-related search results back, but none for the app for which you are obviously looking.

That game exists on the Play Store — here’s the link to prove it. For whatever reason, though, Google isn’t showing it in your results. Even if you search for the full title of the game exactly, “Deliver The Duck Water Game,” you won’t see the game in your results.

Interestingly, you can find the game if you search for “Deliver_The_Duck.” Even then, though, the game isn’t the top result.

Related: How to fix common Google Play Store error codes

This isn’t an isolated problem. Here’s a Google thread filled with hundreds of comments from many big-name developers saying they are also facing the same issue.

It’s not quite clear what the problem is in this situation. At first glance, it would be easy to assume that this hidden Android apps problem is due to Google hiding the apps from users intentionally for some reason. However, the fact that you can find the games with some search trickery leads us to suggest that this is an algorithmic change that isn’t giving the desired results.

We reached out to Google for a comment on this problem, but the company didn’t get back to us before press time.

In the interim, you might need to search extra hard on the Play Store if you’re having this problem with hidden Android apps. Chances are good the app you’re looking for is there, you just need to dig, unfortunately.

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