A journey to continue in 2020

Google Play December 2019
Thank you note from Play leadership
As we ring out another year, I would like to take a moment to congratulate all of you for an incredible year. Thank you for continuing to inspire us with the outstanding and delightful apps and games you build on Android and Google Play.
This year we focused on modern Android development—to help you be more productive and efficient; and modern app and game distribution—the powerful and customizable tools supporting your success on Google Play. You embraced these tools, innovating rapidly and reaching broader audiences.
In 2019, we also doubled down on our commitment to creating an ecosystem that is safe for and trusted by both users and developers. With 116 billion apps and games downloaded on the Play Store, we have a joint responsibility to keep the ecosystem safe for everyone. We appreciate your partnership in this important endeavor, and are committed to working with you in an open and transparent way to make Google Play and Android better platforms for billions of people around the world and for you to build successful businesses. We look forward to your continued success in 2020.
From everyone on our team to everyone on yours, best wishes for a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year.
Purnima Kochikar
Director, Google Play Apps & Games Business Development
Modern Android development
Modern Android development
Recommended tools for fast and easy development:
Build UIs the declarative way with Jetpack Compose, and benefit from code that is more intuitive and concise. Built using a Kotlin domain-specific language, Compose makes it easy to build beautiful, native apps. You can switch at your own pace, thanks to seamless compatibility with the existing UI toolkit. To get the developer preview, download the latest Preview build of Android Studio.
Download the canary version of Android Studio 4.0. Included are Compose Live Preview, Code Completion, and a full Compose app example. There is also a new Motion Editor, Java 8 Language library desugaring, full support for KTS files, Kotlin live templates, and more.
For those of you looking to learn Kotlin, the recommended language for Android, the Developing Android apps in Kotlin course is a great place to start. For those who have already embraced Kotlin, the Advanced Android in Kotlin course will help you grow your skills. And, for those who are already experts, we’re offering the Android Developer Certification in Kotlin, available at a discount until early 2020.
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Modern app and game distribution
Modern app and game distribution
Many of you have switched to the Android App Bundle: over 315K app bundle apps and games are now in production, representing nearly 30% of active installs. Those that switch have seen size savings and more efficient releases as a result.
We improved tools which make it easier for you to work with app bundles and adopt the advanced features which it enables. You can now:
Share app bundle test builds which can be installed in seconds with internal app sharing
Speed up build times and engineering velocity by modularizing your app with dynamic feature modules, which are now easier to build and test offline
Get more users on your latest release with improved in-app updates
Track your app’s sizes, compare yourself to peers, and get optimization recommendations in the app size report
Upgrade your app signing key’s cryptographic strength with key upgrade for new installs
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Protecting the ecosystem
Protecting the ecosystem
In 2019, you helped us make Google Play even safer, building user trust in your apps and Google Play as a whole. Thanks to your hard work, users are not only safer, they also feel safer when they download apps that request fewer permissions. This year, we have:
Made Google Play safer for children and families by ensuring apps and games for children have appropriate content, show suitable ads, and handle personally identifiable information correctly.
Reduced access to sensitive data by restricting SMS and call log permissions to apps whose core functionality needs them, resulting in 98% fewer apps accessing this sensitive data.
To help you protect your apps, we’ve improved our ability to detect impersonators, repackaging, bad content, and other forms of abuse. Additionally, we’re investing in resources like policy-focused Play Academy courses to help you better understand and navigate our policy changes.
Because the threats are always changing, it’ll take all of us working together to keep users safe and our platform secure. Thank you for continuing to work with us on this.
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Best reads and views of 2019
Best reads and views of 2019
There has been some great content created in 2019 to help you grow your business. Here are some of our favourites:
Playtime keynote Playtime keynote
Play Academy e-learning courses
App quality overview
Pre-launch testing and best practices for games
Optimize your app for sustainable business growth
Medium articles
Rethinking your game monetization strategy—5-part series
A KPIs guide for Google Play Apps and Games: Intro to metrics—4-part series
How to scale the happiness of your users: Lessons on long-term engagement from MyFitnessPal
FEATURED 2019 VIDEOS
Netflix reduced app size by 33% with Android App Bundle and dynamic features
Netflix reduced app size by 33% with Android App Bundle and dynamic features
LATAM developers growing successful businesses
LATAM developers growing successful businesses
Hyperbeard builds a successful indie games business on Google Play
Hyperbeard builds a successful indie games business on Google Play
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