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Google Play Store tests feature letting you directly compare similar apps

The Google Play Store continues to test new features on an almost weekly basis, the latest of which is a direct app-to-app comparison called “Compare apps” option appearing for some, allowing direct feature checking between various similar applications.

Initially spotted by the team over at Android Police, it doesn’t look as though app comparisons are available widely on the Google Play Store. However, this is a really nifty little add-on that will make browsing and choosing specific applications far easier than it currently is, that’s for sure.

At the moment, trying to compare important features and functions between Android apps is quite frustrating. This new feature would mean that you’ll be able to see things such as the current rating, core features, and even control information.

In the example shared by AP, the “Compare app” section appears beneath the reviews panel. Similar apps, in this case to VLC, are then shown in a left-to-right scrollable list with information such as video codec support, offline streaming information, and control data being visible alongside average app rating and download ratios. You can see it in action below:

play store compare apps
image: Android Police

For developers, this could be a great way to highlight core features and differentiators between their apps and those of rivals. The data could easily be gathered from the Google Play Developer console or scraped from reviews left by happy (or indeed) unhappy customers too. Being able to just compare similar apps on the Google Play Store is a feature that we didn’t realize we wanted until now.

The top app charts are often dominated by the same applications time after time, having the ability to directly compare apps on the Play Store might help smaller developers gain traction on one of the world’s biggest software stores. As with all A/B interface tests, there is no word on when we might see the option roll out more widely.

Let’s hope that this option doesn’t just disappear into the ether like many of the proposed features and A/B tests we’ve seen before as it looks genuinely useful day-to-day. If you have seen the app comparison option appear on the Play Store, be sure to let us know down in the comments section below.

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Avatar for Damien Wilde Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter @iamdamienwilde. Email

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