Android 12, Google Play updates, new features on TikTok and Instagram, and other news
It’s a monthly column with news from the app industry — we have collected the latest updates and intriguing numbers. As always, in a few words.
Android 12: new design, privacy settings and integrations
Let’s start with the main thing: on May 18, the Google I/O conference for developers took place online, where the beta version of the new Android 12 operating system was released. The biggest change is the radical design update in Android history. A new adaptive language, ‘Material You’, has been introduced, thanks to which you can fully customize not only your lock screen, but the system colours too. Yes, you will be able to create your color palette matching your wallpaper. You can check it out here.
What else: new privacy settings, integration with other devices so you can use your smartphone instead of a TV remote or even to unlock your car. It was also mentioned that Android 12 now uses 22 percent less CPU time.
More numbers from Google I/O conference: now, there are over 3 billion active Android devices worldwide.
You can try the beta version on devices from Asus, Google Pixel, OnePlus, Oppo, realme, Sharp, Tecno, TCL, Vivo, ZTA and Xiaomi. We’re waiting for the final version in the fall of 2021.
Google Play: reduced commission, new SDK console and Safety section
There is news on Google Play from the same conference too. The most expected piece of news is that Google has finally reduced the service fee from 30% to 15% for most developers, and it will offer new ways of monetization in the near future.
A new SDK Console has been introduced which will let you find out about problems with SDK versions. A bit later this year, Google will launch a public website with important information about popular SDKs to help you choose the proper SDK for your app.
We also learned that Google Play will announce a ‘Safety’ section in which developers will have to disclose information about the data an app collects and shares.
For marketers. App campaigns on Android will be expanded in desktop versions of Google.com and the Google Display Network. Plus, the work with deep links will be easier and more efficient.
TikTok against bullying, Clubhouse on Android, Drops feature on Instagram
For example, ‘Collection Ads’ may be launched. It will allow brands to combine their product catalog listings and branded videos — it’s very similar to YouTube’s product listings on videos.
Meanwhile, Facebook is trying to keep up with TikTok and has also started live shopping streams. It’s a temporary campaign until mid-July. Brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, Clinique, Sephora, Dermalogica and others are participating.
There is a new feature on Instagram, Drops, which helps to sell products and create buzz in advance. You can make purchases directly in the Instagram app and for now it’s free for businesses. Instagram helps companies to recover from the last year of COVID-19, but it’s only a matter of time when Instagram starts collecting fees.
India has created an alternative to Twitter — the Koo app. It seems to be a response to Twitter’s refusal to block accounts that criticized New Delhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Spotify can be downloaded on Apple Watch — you can listen to the music without your phone. Spotify is also planning to make offline listening available for Android Wear. We can hardly wait. Oh yeah, if you’re still on Clubhouse, it is available on Android now.
Numbers: WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, and games
Games. Mobile game revenue and downloads soared in 2020. You can check the big report to see which countries, regions, and genres experienced the most significant growth and what trends will grow the most over the next few years.
ASO news: new ad slots on the App Store
The App Store search tab now has an ad slot.
Also ASO-specialists are preparing for the Google Play metadata policies update. It is planned in the second half of 2021. What’s going to change:
- The name is limited to 30 characters long.
- Keywords related to achievements (awards, number of installs) and the words ‘best’, ‘free’, ‘top’ — both in the name of the app and in the icon — will be prohibited to use.
- The use of emoji will be banned in the app’s name and short description, as well as the use of Caps Lock (only if it is not an acronym, abbreviation or unique brand name).
- Call-to-actions such as ‘update now’, ‘download now’, ‘play now’ or ‘try now’ will also not be used.
We’ve shared a case study that you can use. We told how we’ve increased views in search for the app ‘Invest-Uchebnik’ from Tinkoff Bank on Google Play by 63% and installs by 70%. All this thanks to Google Play’s international SEO indexing.