06
Sep
PlayStore-Thumb

When it comes time to pull the trigger on a new app, the reviews are typically what make or break the decision. If the app's instable, laden with malware, full of bugs, or is generally all-around janky, the reviews give us a heads up. The only problem is that it's difficult to sift through all the reviews to find the ones most relevant to our needs. This used to not be a problem, but the ability to filter reviews went the way of the dodo following the Play Store's relatively recent redesign. Now they're back.

PlayStoreFilters

For those who aren't already familiar with the Play Store's review filters, you have the choice to select from three drop-down menus: Rating, All Devices, and All Versions. The first lets you filter between newest reviews, the highest ratings, and which reviews were considered by other window shoppers to have been particular useful.

The "All Devices" tab lets you filter for users who happen to have the same devices as you do. This menu might be useful for owners of a phone like the Nexus 4, but good luck finding another person running a rooted Nook Color to have written a review on your app of choice.

Lastly, we have the "All Versions" filter. This option is the least thorough, as it only gives the option to show all reviews or just the reviews on the latest version. Nevertheless, it might just be the most useful of the three, especially following a recent app update that may or may not wreak havoc on an otherwise solid app.

Now that the filters are back, hopefully Google will take the time to expand on the options available. I would love the ability to see reviews across specific versions, getting a feel for the change in quality of the app over time. This would give me a better idea of how seriously the developers take the app.

But that's me. What filters would you like to see?

Thanks, Manish Sahai.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. He now lives in the City of Bridges, adjusting to the presence of actual snow. His phone of choice is the HTC One.

  • Phillip Maiden

    I'd like a Location and Age filter.

    • jammer

      I won't start harping on your apparent age discrimination bias, but as long as we're requesting filters I would like one for stupidity.

      • Phillip Maiden

        Maybe a moron filter here would be useful too.

      • Justin W

        That would eliminated 90% of reviews and leave you with the ones that actually explain why the app is good or bad. I like your thinking.

    • Brian Utne

      Why would you need these? Are you letting your children download apps on your Android devices by themselves?....I'd think an adult would be able to distinguish a children's puzzle game from something like Sudoku...

      • Primalxconvoy

        Unless it's anime with adult content.

  • Kcls

    I think this is Google's new way of doing things. Release a new redesign with none of the good previous features, then make users happy when they update to add those features back in.

    • http://mondegreen2.blogspot.com/ Erik Neu

      It does seem a bit like that...taking offline away from Maps was a shocker.

  • Elislurry

    Obligitory "I would love a filter to sort my paid apps!" post.

    • Brian Utne

      Omggggggg I can't see all my paid appssssssssss. waaaaaaaaah, Oh wait...*Looks at google wallet account*...THERE THEY ARE.

      • Paul_Werner

        Yeah, mixed in with any other Google Wallet purchase. Filtering in Google Play for paid apps only would be much better than seeing my apps along with my grocery store purchases

      • Elislurry

        Yeah, that's convenient. Go to google wallet, dig through non alphabetical list for apps thats buried with everything else you have purchased, then open Play Store and search for the app to install it. You are right, just a filter would be ridiculous.

        • Brian Utne

          Meh, people complain too much, why not just make a list of them as you buy them?...Like in Keep or something. Can't please everyone I guess.

          • Justin W

            Because there's already a list of them in Google Play. The only thing that needs to be added is a small filter, which based on my experience, would be about one to two lines of code.

          • Primalxconvoy

            Brilliant! We could carry small notepads around with us, with little pencils, too.

            Ooh, iknowiknow, how about also buying real products, like a map book, kodak camera, mp3 player etc from Amazon? That way, we could keep a real list of real things and not have to bother poor, hardworking google for such complicated features as "apps" and "installed apps" lists to compliment them.

          • Qliphah

            Why buy the mp3s when you can buy the CDs and see a physical stack of what you own!
            /sarcasm

          • Thatguyfromvienna

            You're aware it's 2013, are you?

          • Brian Utne

            It is? O_O

          • squiddy20

            So you make a separate list of all the things you buy with your debit/credit card in case you ever need to go back and look through it? Oh wait, that's what the bank statement is for! -__-

            Same deal, different topic.

          • Javier Maria Casares

            Because it was there before the update?

          • Qliphah

            You're saying I should keep a ledger.... right.

      • squiddy20

        Someone either doesn't spend a whole lot, or likes to do things the hard way...

      • http://www.impulsivestudios.com/ Justin Myers

        You do realize that people use Google Wallet to buy things other than apps right?

    • IHATEHIPSTERSSS

      still catching up to ios

      sad really

      • Elislurry

        LOL WTF are you talking about? This is a feature they already had and took away. Every new IOS feature is stolen from Android. Go troll elsewhere hipster.

        • IHATEHIPSTERSSS

          android is an IOS copy
          sad really

          • Elislurry

            Successful troll is successful.

          • Niels

            I don't think he's trolling. He really believes what he's saying...

          • Daniel

            thinking android is an iOS copy

            sad really

    • hangalho

      there's an app called "Play Legacy" that can do that. I know it's not ideal, but better than nothing

  • Thatguyfromvienna

    Yay! At last!

  • Marcellus1

    I love that they brought these filters back!

  • remister

    I think they should bring back where you could see what updates are available for apps/games per your linked devices and remotely update them.

  • unhappybirthday

    Reverse sort too, please! And a page index to skip ahead.

  • Javier Maria Casares

    It's still a useless site after the update and these little changes are too little too late. They need to bring back all the features it had previously. I don't want to see applications I tried as "installed". I want to know which apps I have purchased of those I have in my account.

    I'm still not happy. I will be happy when I see everything I had and more, not less. ;)

  • Simon Belmont

    Now bring back the app interest trend chart. I loved seeing that.

    Many might think it was a small thing, but I think it was helpful. C'mon, Google.

  • kabloink

    The sort by rating is still lacking. Give a way to easily see the lower rating reviews on apps with a large number of reviews.

    • Sk Vader

      I agree 100%. That Google removed the "filter by rating" feature in the first place is incomprehensible! Now that they have restored it there is still a problem: You can only sort reviews by rating in the order "high to low". Result - if you want to sample the one star ratings you have to spend an endless amount of time loading the 5-, 4-, 3- and 2-star ratings screen by screen. It is so impractical that it is difficult to escape the conclusion that Google have done this deliberately to keep users away from the 1-star ratings. What other explanation could there be?

    • jeffrock

      These guys have a few more filters. Not perfect but nice try

      http://en.knicket.com/#!/overview/android/55/ryo/69/-1/apps

    • uniquename72

      I buy far fewer apps since they took away 'sort by rating.' The Play Store is now the least useful app store for Android.

  • br_hermon
  • mr_panda

    the UI still feels tablet-y and lacking essential options/cards.

  • sweenish

    It's almost like the Play Store was a massive redesign and they needed a little more time to build on the new foundation. This is classic engineering mentality. The foundation is strong, so it got pushed out. It's now being iterated with bells and whistles.

    Meanwhile, the internet raged.

    • Primalxconvoy

      No they didn't. They just got even and sideloaded for free from Aptoid and other similar alternatives.

  • Leif Sikorski

    I still miss the most important thing - a way to see the reviews of a different language. In the old web store we had a language selection at the bottom, but since the re-design it's completely gone. I'm from Germany and often new apps don't have german reviews yet, but there are a couple of reviews in english or other languages. Before the re-design I could simply switch to english and read those reviews but now it's impossible.

    • Primalxconvoy

      Google are bar-stewards for that. Remember when most of their sites and services had auto detect language via geo location? Even now ,the Play Store app does this (the front page, anyway, which is why I hardly bother visiting the play store and only land there after clicking web links)

    • Mike

      Add "&hl=en" to the end of a Play Store listing, and you'll get the English version.

      For example: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox&hl=en

  • Guest

    Wreak* havoc

  • http://www.marklaflamme.com/ Mark LaFlamme

    Nifty.

  • Petar Penev

    This is Nice and everything but I want to sort my installed apps by device and update(install/uninstall) from the Play Store like before. This is the function I miss most. Come on Google give us that option back!

  • vgergo

    Give us back the device filter already. The current "new" play store is completely useless for anything.

  • hangalho

    Thanks God it's Friday

  • krishna

    I want play store bcoz this is very latest software

  • james kendall

    About time they restored that functional regression. Now fix the darn my apps list as the new list sucks the old one was way better.

  • j¤n Gårrëtt [5,000+]

    I wish I could download my apps to my PC so I could have a hard copy of my .apks. Ive purchased hundreds of apps and Id like hard copies of them. I do this from my device with an app that saves the apk of apps I install but Id like this from my PC as well.

  • http://mondegreen2.blogspot.com/ Erik Neu

    Okay, you can sort by rating but that really isn't very helpful. It's often the 2- and 3-star ratings that are most helpful--they give you guidance as to whether a generally 5-star product may not be so good for a particular user or use case. If you match those--avoid. If you don't match--be happy and install/buy.

    • uniquename72

      Seriously. I don't care about 5-star ratings at all. Ever. I want to know what people DON'T like about an app, not just glowing praise.

      Google really screwed this up.

  • http://mondegreen2.blogspot.com/ Erik Neu

    Oh, and searching reviews is an obvious must-have. I use *all the time* over on Amazon.

  • IBWT

    I don't see this in the Google Play Store. I can sort by Free, Paid and All Prices, but not by rating or number of downloads. For example, now I am looking at free ringtone makers. There are hundreds, and I have to look at each of them individually or research them elsewhere to make any kind of decision. I have to be missing something - this is basic functionality anywhere else.