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Google Play Store preps new tools for app discovery (APK teardown)

'Interests' would track the types of apps and games you're interested in most.
By

Published onJuly 8, 2024

Google Play Store logo on smartphone stock photo (5)
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Google appears to be working on an “interests” system for Play Store app discovery.
  • Settings will let you control your interests by clearing previous selections.
  • We expect to see the Play Store’s recommendations begin appearing in your For You view

When you’re running an app store, the name of the game is “discovery” — you want to always be introducing your users to the best, most useful new apps for them. Doing that well means getting a lot more personal than just highlighting top-10 lists of popular software, and successful app stores work their hardest to recognize user interests. Now it looks like the Play Store may be getting a bit more explicit about how it does this, as we spot Google testing a new “interests” setting for app discovery.

An APK teardown helps predict features that may arrive on a service in the future based on work-in-progress code. However, it is possible that such predicted features may not make it to a public release.

So far, we only have a loose sense for how this might work, but there’s still some clear evidence as to its nature. Looking into version 41.7.16-31 of the Play Store app, we discovered new options coming to the general settings tab that let the user manage saved interests. The app explains how these control “what you want to see on Play,” with separate settings for apps and games. Users would also be able to turn interests off if they don’t want to use the feature.

Maybe the bigger question is what this discovery tool will look like in the Play Store UI itself. We caught the briefest glimpse of it while browsing games, but the Store has not been eager to resurface it for us. We believe interests is likely intended for the “For you” tab. For now, the strongest evidence that it even exists lies with these options in the app’s settings.

We’ll be keeping an eye out for how Google Play intends to implement these interests, because the idea has a lot of potential, especially if Google empowers users to clearly communicate the sort of software they’re most excited about exploring. Will the Play Store let you manually spell that out? Or will this be more a case of the algorithm trying to divine what you want? Hopefully we’ll have the full picture on interests soon.

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