Google, please, let me localize Play Store to my preference


I hate Google Play. I can’t remember the last time I discovered an app just browsing it that I wanted to throw my money at. Heck I can’t remember the last time I stumbled across a free app that was worth downloading, and much of that is to do with the kind of apps that I see on the home page that are said to be “trending”.

The big issue for me is, my tastes are extremely different from the majority of the other Indian Android users. For some reason, only crap apps seem to be popular. It might be a case of Android smartphones being dirt cheap over here, and appealing to a demographic that tends to love downloading stuff that are either

(a) have some pornographic nature (there are 3 of them in the screenshot)

(b) offer features that don’t really work, but are named to attract downloads like the “fingerprint unlock” in the screenshot

(c) promise to make your device iPhone-ish.

It’s a similar thing over at Twitter, where I hate the local trends they show me. However, I can just change the settings over there to show me what’s trending in San Francisco, since I like to keep up with the buzz of Silicon Valley. I wish I could do the same on Play, too. It’s a little thing, and I’m sure you could make that happen really quickly.

Raveesh Bhalla

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  1. That’s India for you!… Blame society. :-)

    1. I would have to agree. It has to be the local populous that influences that. Don’t have the problem here in America. But I agree, you think Google could do a better job of personalizing what apps are displayed to you. After all, they are a search giant

  2. I totally agree with you, content management is horrible here.
    But i usually type the app that i want. And google please give us full access including books, music and more.

    1. I’m referring simply to discovery. About a year ago, before the big “boom” in Android devices around last summer, browsing through Android Market you’d often come across some really neat apps. Unfortunately the “recommendations” have gotten worse and worse lately, to the point that my weekly number of new apps installed has dropped down tremendously.

  3. Come on man i like you but don’t be hating

    1. Who am I hating on?

      1. The Play Store. Overall it’s a fine experience. I cannot, however, speak to trending apps in India. They’re all fine here in the USA.

        1. That’s my point. It’s capable of being really good, and I definitely enjoyed it until last year when we saw a huge growth in Android devices over here. Currently, it’s almost exclusively the filth that comes out to the top. Most of my favorite apps (ie Shush, Plug-in Launcher, Beautiful Widgets, GTasks, etc) I found simply browsing through Play/Market. I honestly can’t remember the last one I downloaded from the Play homepage.

          EDIT: wanted to add one bit. I know it’s not Google’s fault since they’ve probably got some algorithm for pushing up these trending apps. But it’s not too hard to offer a user the choice to customize their trends location. Twitter does it quite well, and it can be a good research tool even for devs to see what apps are trending in different locations.

          1. Fair enough.

  4. Market enabler.

    1. Wow! There happens to be 232 apps that show when you search for “Market enabler” wish people would include the publisher when they recommend something. This is a big problem with Android Market itself.

      1. Get the one with the highest reviews. Its not a problem for me. I have only used it to download an app my carrier blocked. The sarcasm is kind of rude.

    1. Not really, have tried it. Issue is they keep track of all apps you’ve ever installed, and suggest apps based on what’s popular with other users of those apps. I’ve probably had a few hundred installed over the past couple of years, and most suggestions go back to apps that I’ve uninstalled previously or to apps I don’t really want since I’m using something else in place of it.

      What I’m really seeing is no limelight being thrown on indie-developers, but rather on bigger names like Pocket or media houses or Gameloft, etc. I think I’d spend some time researching whether they are favoring certain companies at the expense of smaller devs.

      1. I can agree on the indie developers thing, I’d like to see more space given to them as opposed to the larger ones you have mentioned.

        I suppose something like a “popular on your device section” would be advantageous.

  5. I think you’re in the minority man. I find stuff daily with Google’s promos and top ratings etc. I go on to download and check out. don’t always keep or use them but that’s the devs fault not Google’s.

    1. Yep, probably in the minority. But I can still see changing trends location as being useful for some people who want to know what’s hot at different places, especially devs looking to research what’s doing well in a market they intend to target.

  6. I just do not like the fact I can not sort my purchased apps and have to suffer having to go through all apps I have ever installed (most I no longer care about) to find the apps I find important. True the phone legacy app has helped a lot but it only works on one of my devices.

    1. This is the #1 thing I wish Google would fix. Having to scroll through hundreds of apps that I tried once and didn’t like is so aggravating. I don’t even want to try new apps any more because it just clutters up my list further. There needs to be a way for users to manage the apps attached to their account and clean out all the old junk.

  7. I agree with you wholeheartedly. The trending or most popular apps generally have very little appeal to me and seem to be targeted at/consumed by an audience with very different interests. The option to discover apps in another broader way would be highly welcomed.

  8. You said it! Couldn’t agree more! The new: recommended for you page isn’t that great either. New apps I download are those that are shown on phandroid or over at xda

  9. Garbage article….you lost me at (c) promise to make your device Ipaperweight-ish……

  10. >implying he doesn’t like pronz… lost me.

  11. You might try an app called Fake GPS. It allows you to set your location to anywhere in the world. Then, the play store might recognize you as in San Francisco. I’ve not tried it myself, but you might give it a shot!

  12. And the point of this article is what? You just felt like complaining I suppose? Personally, I prefer articles with some semblance of substance…
    Not to hear the rants of someone using Phandroid as there personal soapbox.

    So you have any news that’s actually relevant today?

    1. This is more or less an editorial. Is it opinionated? Yes, that’s what editorials are. Is the topic of discussion raised by the author relevant to Android? Yes. Is it worth discussing? Yes, it is. I, for one, would also like to be able to tweak the app trending feature, and a way to clean up the My Apps list. Also, another thing I want : the ability to create a list of apps you will not want to be updated ever. App Brain has this feature. I wish Play has it as well.

  13. I don’t have a problem with trending apps, but it doesn’t remember my language preference, and every time someone links me to the store, it is in German for me which is a huge turn off (I live in a part of Switzerland where people do NOT speak German). Sure, I only have to scroll to the bottom and pick English from a drop-down… every time!

  14. I agree with the problem, but I don’t think Rajee’s proposal will solve it. Google should make the Play Store automatically tailor itself to our tastes, just as Google tailors the ads in our search results. This could be an opt-out or opt-in choice, but it’s desperately needed.

  15. Play Store still needs a lot of work. How about Google (the search company) fix the Google Play search feature? It’s quite hopeless.

  16. I cant even remember the last time I opened the home page and got a decent app. Mostly its from friends or websites. Being an Indian also , I simply hate the amount of crap apps people download in India. Since we love the concept of free , an App which is pornographic and free does well even if it just doesnt work and there goes recommended for you section also.

  17. Have you tried appaware?

  18. India shouldn’t exist. They have millions of outsourced American jobs and now they make a mess out of the Android market. Stick to cooking Curry; it’s what you do best.

    1. I have a number of Indian friends and they are smarter, harder working people than many Americans. Maybe you should stick to drinking your Budweiser. And by the way, it’s American corporations that outsource the jobs to India and other countries because they get tax breaks, ask Mitt Romney about that one.

  19. The worst problem I have with the play store is when you are going through your endless list of apps to reinstall after flashing to a new rom or looking for some apps you had installed in the past or whathaveyou, once you view any of the apps you are stuck with going back to the very top of your list again

  20. I have exactly the same problem. Live in Hong Kong and the only apps which get recommended are in Traditional Chinese. As there is no way to customize what apps get shown, it becomes very difficult to find anything new or interesting that appeals to me.

  21. I’m good with Google play, you all expect too much.

  22. I agree, most website allow users to choose the preference they want. At least allow me to choose what I want to download.

  23. There are 4 things that really irritates me when using the play store:
    1. Only 1 payment method in my country (creditcard)
    2. That I can only see comments of users in the same country (There are a lot more comments in the us version than the dutch (my country) version).
    3. I can’t see my paid apps separately (This was possible in the previous android market)
    4. A menu item to see the permissions of an app (this was also possible in the previous android market) .

  24. Yes, you said it correct. The Indian Play Store shows only low-quality apps which trigger errors as soon as you install them on your smartphone.

    I’d like if I could see what’s trending in USA, what people are downloading in USA, etc.

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