As of now, this appears to be an A/B test among a small group of users. But once rolled out widely, most users surely won’t appreciate this change. By hiding information on when an app was last updated, Google is making it impossible to know whether the developer is actively supporting the app. Many Android developers abandon their apps on the Play Store due to various reasons. If an app hasn’t received any update in several years, it will pretty much be useless or unsupported by newer devices. So, by simply looking at its “last updated” date, you can avoid downloading it. But now, Google will not let users see this information, making them download useless apps.
The decision by Google to remove the public display of dislike counts from YouTube has angered both creators and viewers. Despite widespread condemnation from all corners of the globe, the business appears to be planning to remove yet another valuable piece of data, this time from the Play Store. Google is reportedly planning to eliminate the “last updated” element from Play Store app listings, according to Android Police. This information is completely missing from the app’s description, according to multiple users on Reddit. This change has also been noticed by the AP staff on certain of their devices. The Play Store’s web version still displays when an app was last updated.
As AP notes, this could also be a bug though. Not just the “last updated” section, but the changelog and the app description were also missing for them on some devices. It better be a bug rather than an intentional change. Google is seemingly making another unnecessary change to the Play Store. Google frequently makes UI changes and tweaks to its first-party apps. The Play Store has undergone multiple redesigns in recent months. But not all of those UI revamps make things better or easier for users.
Now, by removing the “last updated” section from app listings on the Play Store, Google is once again unnecessarily trying to fix something that isn’t broken. Unless it’s a bug, we hope the company is listening to the feedback over its decision to hide dislike counts from YouTube and will decide against this proposed change. Perhaps decide against the bizarre move of removing the public display dislike counts from YouTube as well. We will keep you updated.
The last major Play Store redesign, which rolled out in May this year, unnecessarily complicated things. The new layout requires users to dig deeper to access the list of installed and recently updated apps. This followed an update last year when Google removed notifications for finished auto-updates. It forced users to open the app if they want to see the changelog.