Google will display reviews for Play Store apps by device type

For example, if you’re a tablet user, you won’t be able to see Play Store reviews left by smartphone users, and vice versa, as Google tries to address the problem of reviews not reflecting the user experience.

Given the huge discrepancy between the number of smartphone and tablet users, it’s no wonder Android app developers are investing a lot more resources in optimizing apps for the former. So if you install a highly rated app from the Play Store on your tablet, chances are good that you’ll be misled by the mostly positive reviews left on your smartphone. Until now, Google didn’t differentiate between device categories, the strategy was to simply aggregate all the reviews received, with the overall ranking decided by the majority, regardless of the needs of individual users.

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The downside is that under the new review filtering mechanism you’ll see far fewer reviews if the app in question has few users using your type of device. For example, tablets are less frequently used, but Android app installs on smartwatches are even rarer. Probably only smart TV users will feel entirely justified, as their numbers and affinity for certain Android apps help centralize relevant reviews.

The new approach to the review system is signaled by displaying a “verified” symbol next to the rating given, signaling that the score is generated based on devices similar to the one you’re using, as well as taking into account your geographic location.

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