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The Google Play Store is nagging some users to get rid of old apps

Published May 12th, 2019 2:08PM EDT
Google Play Store
Image: Google

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There have been a handful of updates to the Google Play Store’s operation that garnered headlines in recent days, such as the news that apps’ rating calculations will start being more heavily weighted toward the most recent user ratings. Meanwhile, some users have started seeing something new from the Play Store — a notification gently reminding them to remove apps they may have downloaded years ago and long since stopped using.

The folks at Android Police note that the reminder is reminiscent of the Play Store’s uninstall manager from back in 2016. The way this new reminder shows up is as a notification in the store’s notification section, which you can then tap to see a list of apps that haven’t gotten used for a while. Decide which ones you want to axe, and then you can also see how much space it’s freed up.

It doesn’t appear to be a notification that’s showing up across the board yet, which makes sense especially if you don’t download many apps and don’t, you know, need this reminder in the first place.

This news comes, as we said, at a time of change for the Play Store, with Google confirming at I/O in recent days that the change to app ratings will manifest itself come August.

“Many of you told us that you want a rating that reflects a more current version of your app, not what it was years ago — and we agree,” Google Play project lead Kobi Glick explained in a company blog post. “So instead of a lifetime cumulative value, your Google Play Store rating will be recalculated to give more weight to your most recent ratings. Users won’t see the updated rating in the Google Play Store until August, but you can preview your new rating in the Google Play Console today.”

Meanwhile, as we reported here, Google also in recent days booted one of the biggest app developers from the Play Store (and removed their apps) after a BuzzFeed analysis found that several of them may have been sharing data they collect with the Chinese government.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.