Google Play updates with personalized recommendations

Lewis Leong

Lewis Leong

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google play iconThere have been many criticisms about the Google Play store in the past but Google is working hard to improve its app selection and usability. App selection has definitely improved on Android, but browsing for apps definitely leaves something to be desired. While there are sections for Editors’ Choice and top lists, it can still be hard to find apps (especially if an app has a generic name).

Google is trying to make your app browsing experience better by adding a ‘Recommended For You‘ section. This section will show up when you navigate to the ‘Apps’ section of Google Play. Google has yet to roll out recommendations for books, music, or movies/TV shows. It’s safe to assume that Google is working on it.

How well do these personalized recommendations work?

google play recommendations web

If you’ve been using the website version of Google Play, you’ll feel right at home on your Android device. Personalized recommendations have been on the web version of Google Play and now Google updated it into its Android app.

Clicking on the recommended apps section will give you a long list of apps it thinks are relevant to you. There aren’t many options within the list and it can be a pain to sift through every app. There is no ability to categorize recommendations by type. The only option you get is deleting an app from the list, which will prevent it from being recommended again. It’d also be nice to see a wish or watch list to save apps to download later.

In use, I found that it recommended many apps that required root permissions as I had downloaded many years ago when I had a rooted T-Mobile G1. The recommendation engine didn’t take into account that I haven’t downloaded an application that required root for years, and my Galaxy Nexus isn’t rooted.

Google Play recommended for you

The biggest problem with Google’s personalized app recommendations is that it will monitor and take into account EVERY app you’ve ever downloaded, whether or not you actually liked the app. This is a problem as I’ve downloaded hundreds of apps and have since uninstalled them because they weren’t very good. This causes apps that aren’t relevant to me to be recommended.

What features would make Google’s ‘Recommended For You’ app better?

Lewis Leong

Lewis Leong

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