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A guide to the Google Play Console

To reach an audience on Google Play, you may have utilized the Google Play Console to submit an Android app or game, generated a store listing, and pressed publish. However, you may not understand that the Play Console has a lot more to offer, particularly for those looking to improve the quality and profitability of their app.

Join me on a tour of the Play Console, where I’ll go through each feature and refer you to some resources to help you get the most out of it. After you’ve gotten to know the features, you may use user management controls to provide your teammates access to the features or data they require. Note that when I mention “app” in this piece, I’m referring to either an app or a game.

Jump to a section:

  • Find your way around
  • Dashboard and statistics
  • Android vitals

Find your way around

If you’ve been asked to help manage an app or have previously uploaded one, you’ll see something like this when you go to the Play Console:

I’ll presume you have an app for this post. Take a look at the launch checklist if you’re just getting started with your first app. Later, I’ll return to the global menu selections (games, notifications, and settings).

When you select an app from the list, you will be brought to its dashboard. A navigation menu () on the left-hand side provides rapid access to all of the Play Console’s tools; let’s take a look at each one individually.

Dashboard and statistics

Dashboard and statistics are the first two elements on the list. These reports provide you with an overview of your app’s performance.

With summaries of installs and uninstalls, top installing nations, active installs, ratings volume and value, crashes, Android vitals, and pre-launch information, the dashboard answers critical questions you may have about your program. For more information on each summary, click explore or view. You can choose from seven different views: seven days, thirty days, one year, and the app’s lifespan.

Hopefully, your software is succeeding with high install rates and few crashes, as evidenced by the summary. A short peek at the dashboard can reveal if anything isn’t working as it should. Keep an eye out for increased uninstalls, crashes, a sliding rating, and other metrics that aren’t performing well. If things aren’t working out as planned, you or your engineers can get more information to figure out what’s causing the problems.

Statistics allows you to create a customized view of the app’s data. You can plot two measures simultaneously and compare them to a previous period, in addition to displaying data over any date range. In a table below the graph, you can see a detailed breakdown of statistics by dimension (such as device, country, language, or app version). Some statistics provide hourly graphs for additional in-depth analysis. Events (such as app launches or sales) appear on the graph and in the events timeline below it, allowing you to see how they influenced your numbers.

For instance, suppose you’re promoting a new software in Brazil. To obtain a clear idea of how your promotion is going, arrange the report to show installs by nation, filter the country list down to Brazil (from the dimensions table), and then compare the data with that from a previous campaign.

Android vitals

The quality of your app, as assessed by its performance and stability, is the focus of Android vitals. Last year, an internal Google research looked at one-star ratings on the Play Store and discovered that 50 percent of them referenced app stability and issues. You can improve user satisfaction by fixing these concerns, which will lead to more users submitting favorable reviews and keeping your app installed. Android vitals can offer information about five areas of your app’s performance when there is enough aggregated data: battery life, rendering (also known as jank), stability, startup time, and permission denials.

The first two indicators — sticky wake locks and frequent wakeups — show whether the app is reducing battery life. The reports highlight instances where the app has asked a device to stay on for an extended amount of time (an hour or more) or has asked the device to wake up regularly (more than 10 wakeups per hour since a device was fully charged).

The ANR (App Not Responding) and crash rate reports provide information on app stability. The summary contains breakdowns by app version, device, and Android version, as do all of the summaries in this section. You can go down into information from the summary to help engineers figure out what’s causing these problems. The dashboard has recently been improved to show far more detail about ANRs and crashes, making them much easier to diagnose and fix. Engineers can access additional information in the ANRs & Crashes section, as well as load de-obfuscation files, which increase the reading of crash reports.

The following two metrics, slow rendering and frozen frames, are related to jank, or an app’s UI frame rate that is uneven. The UI of an app judders and stalls when jank occurs, resulting in a bad user experience. These figures show the number of people who have:

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