Google’s been present at the annual Game Developers Conference for a while now, and we’re expecting big things from their looming “Gather Around” announcement, but first up they’re planning to woo some developers.
The first day of GDC has been christened Mobile Developer Day by Android’s owners, and the company has announced a few additions to Google Play to make developers’ lives easier — or more exciting, if that’s how you roll.
First up is the expansion of Play’s pre-registration system for games. This allows developers to put a “coming soon” page up in the Play store, and lets users click a button to get notified of the game’s (or app’s) availability. Previously limited in availability, now Google’s allowing any developer to use this feature.
Google is also changing size limits, with apps over 150mb now being considered “large” (this us up from 100mb). This means users won’t be prompted to wait for wi-fi on what are – these days – comparatively small downloads. The company is also suggesting that wider adoption of the Android App Bundle packaging format (which allows Play to only send the assets needed to run a particular game on your device when it’s downloaded) in development tools means app downloads are getting smaller and Google Play Instant is gaining adoption.
We’re on board with smaller downloads (although that’s a tough sell at the same time as redefining “large”) but have never seen a Google Play Instant app that’s not an Australian real estate search app. Still, roll on.
Finally, developers running A/B tests for their Play store listing will have access to some better statistics to assess conversion for their audience. Google’s also allowing developers to create country-specific app pages so they can make a better go of promoting their app in specific markets.