Report: Google to add new developer features to Play Store, including A/B testing

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Derek Walter

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Google has a new plan to help developers cash in with the Play Store. According to The Information, Google will announce at its I/O conference later this month that developers will be able to test their apps with by rolling out different features or pricing to different users.

It’s called A/B testing: They would be able to determine if one version with a certain set of features sells better at $1.99 than another edition at $0.99. Some users may get a red app icon with their download, others a blue one. They could then optimize what they offer in the store depending on the app purchase and use metrics.

A/B testing may be only one of a host of new developer-friendly features for the Google Play store announced at the coming Google I/O conference, as Google has been trying to make the Play Store just as lucrative as Apple’s App Store. The company has tossed around other ideas like app trials, all in an effort to increase how much Android users spend on apps.

Why this matters: The more developer-friendly Google can make the Play Store, the greater the chances more apps will make its way to the platform. Along with the always-desirable quest for more revenue, Google is probably trying to reverse the trend of seeing apps launch first on iOS and then eventually come to Android. Such was the case with Meerkat, which just launched in beta after a couple of months on iOS. Twitter has also yet to bring its competitor, Periscope.

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