Google Play Introduces More App Categories

Apps are everywhere and can do almost anything. Although software development has existed for decades, new platforms make it easy for a developer to write a single app for a phone, TV, watch, and car dashboard. This opens up numerous opportunities to create a compelling user experience, many of which were previously not conceived. The Google Play store has tried to help connect developers to users by allowing apps to be placed in a particular category. However, as apps gain new use cases, the categories also have to change.

The Android Developers Blog announced yesterday that more app categories are being added to the Google Play Store. The new ones are:

  • Art & Design
  • Auto & Vehicles
  • Beauty
  • Dating
  • Events
  • Food & Drink
  • House & Home
  • Parenting

As you can see, they are more clearly defined.

Additionally, there are a few other updates to the categories:

  • Transportation is being renamed to Maps & Navigation
  • Media & Video is being renamed to Video Players & Editors

These updates should make the category more clear. Many of these categories contain ampersands, meaning that both developers and users get a good sense of what is being offered in that category without making it too specific.

What doesn’t seem to be supported yet is multiple categories. There are definitely some apps that exist in a middle area between more than one. Is Instagram a social app or art & design? Is Google Maps a Maps & Navigation app or Food & Drinks since you can find restaurants? In each case, there is an answer that’s more right than the other, but it’s easy to see how one app can fit in several. Hopefully developers will be able to use one of these new, more specific categories and not worry about this limitation.

These changes will be visible within the next two months, so developers have some lead time to pick better categories for their apps and update their store listings to better reflect the category. Many apps in these categories can also have compelling use cases on TVs. Parenting & Nest fit in well together on a TV. Home improvement videos could be great for TV. Beauty tip videos have also been popular.

What do you think? Are there any other categories that should be added? Let us know in the comments below.

Nick Felker

Nick Felker

Nick Felker is a student Electrical & Computer Engineering student at Rowan University (C/O 2017) and the student IEEE webmaster. When he's not studying, he is a software developer for the web and Android (Felker Tech). He has several open source projects on GitHub ( Devices: Moto G-2013 Moto G-2015, Moto 360, Google ADT-1, Nexus 7-2013 (x2), Lenovo Laptop, Custom Desktop. Although he was an intern at Google, the content of this blog is entirely independent and his own thoughts.

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