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Google Play Store's New App Quality Guidelines: What Developers Need To Know

Ameer Hamza
Ameer Hamza

With Google making it mandatory for all apps to be tested by 20 testers, independent developers have a big problem at hand.
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With over 3.5 million applications available on the Google Play Store, there has always been a question about the quality of most of these applications. As a significant portion of these apps are published by independent developers using their own personal accounts, questions arise about how well these apps have been tested. A large number of these applications are dysfunctional, buggy, or unresponsive, leading to decreased user trust in the application store.

In November 2023, Google introduced new guidelines to ensure the quality of apps published on the store is improved. These guidelines impose major changes for individual developers. According to these guidelines, all applications being published by a personal developer account must be tested by 20 testers before they can be released. While this requirement may seem a bit strict, the aim is to ensure that the application being published has been thoroughly tested for bugs and performance before it becomes publicly available on the store.This new change is part of Google’s ‘closed testing’ policy, wherein developers can make their app available to a controlled group of users for testing purposes.

Google now requires at least 20 such testers to be opted in the closed testing process for a minimum of 14 days continuously. Developers are not allowed to publish their application without fulfilling this criterion. Additionally, Google requires developers to document the testing process they followed when they publish the application.Within the developer community, this new change in policy has caused quite a stir. For many, finding 20 people who are willing to actively participate in the application’s testing is a challenge. Most people around us, like friends and family, aren’t usually tech-savvy enough to properly perform the role of a tester. While it is not expected of them to be trained QA Testers, they certainly need to have some knowledge about how testing is generally done, what flows are important, how to spot a bug, and how to report it back to the developer. Application performance factors such as crashes, response time, and data consumption might be areas that most of these people are entirely unfamiliar with.

This poses a major challenge for the developer in finding these people, training them to fulfil the role of a tester, and keeping track of everything that these people report back. Quash can be a helpful tool in this situation. The developer can simply plug in the Quash SDK into their application while it is in the closed testing phase. With Quash, the testers won’t really have to do much - they would simply use the application and every time a bug or crash occurs, they can easily report it through Quash. To report a bug, all they need to do is shake their device, and crashes would be automatically detected. This way, anyone who knows how to use a mobile application can be a tester, while also ensuring that the developer gets all the information they need to make improvements.

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