Google Play strives to treat developers fairly and equitably whether big or small, third party apps or first party Google apps. For example, all apps are subject to the same set of rules and policies and all apps are promoted in the Play store according to the same principles.
Google Play has millions of developers with different needs and goals. In order to meet those needs, sometimes Google Play will make available features and functionality to some but not all developers.
For example, just like how Google Play offers developers the ability to beta test their apps with a subset of users, in some cases, we add new features or capabilities to Google Play that are available to a subset of developers, third party and first party. For example, we may run an early access program to test and get feedback on special app release features or custom store listing targeting features.
Further, our ability to share some data outside of Google or make features widely available to all developers may be limited due to legal, privacy, security concerns, to protect Google’s confidential, proprietary information, or other business considerations.
For example, in limited cases, some Google apps may have access to information not shared with all developers.
- Some Google apps may have direct access to their own apps’ aggregate data (such as installs, uninstalls, store listing visits) to undertake custom analysis. We endeavour to make as much of this data available to developers via the Google Play Console, in downloadable formats, or via APIs, but it may not be in the same format, or to the same granularity.
- Some Google apps may also have access to aggregate data about the Google Play ecosystem that cannot be shared with all developers due to the fact that such data is Google’s confidential, proprietary business information and is thus commercially sensitive. For example, Google apps may have access to total spend in a specific market or total installs for a given category of apps. We are constantly working to extend the number of ecosystem insights available to third parties in the Google Play Console and through programs run by our business development teams.
- Lastly, some Google apps may have access to Google Play features that differ from what is available to other developers due to a variety of business considerations and security concerns. For example, in a few limited instances, some features of Google Play’s billing system are only available to a small number of Google apps. Movies and TV content as well as books sold on Google Play and in the Google Play Movies & TV and Google Play Books apps, for instance, can be pre-ordered, but such capability is not available to all developers due to scalability challenges. Google Stadia subscriptions can be billed to a family form of payment in the Google Stadia app, but since the definition of a family/group may differ from app to app, this capability has not been extended to other developers. Further, Google streamlines the distribution and updates of Google Play Services for AR and certain payments libraries when users install apps whose features may depend on this software. User trust concerns limit our ability to make such capability widely available. Finally, Google Play allows some Google apps to access new unreleased Google software or test their apps with Google employees in ways that are not available for third party apps because of security concerns or commercial sensitivities.
In all instances, Google listens and works hard to ensure that all developers have the tools and capabilities they need to successfully grow their businesses.