Google Play in-app reviews

Kamal Faraj
Ideas by Idean
Published in
3 min readJan 14, 2021

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Illustration from idean.com

The Google Play Core Library adds support for in-app reviews, allowing users to submit ratings and reviews without leaving your app or game.

Through the Notepad app study case, this article will show you how to implement this feature on Android and how it can impact your visibility on the Google Play Store.

1. Declare dependencies

Add the following dependencies to your project:

Please note that in-app reviews only work on the following devices:

  • Phones and tablets running Android 5.0 (API level 21) or higher that have the Google Play Store installed.
  • Chrome OS devices that have the Google Play Store installed.

In other words, it does not work on Android TV or Wear OS.

2. Integrate in-app reviews

Basically, simply add the following lines to your Activity:

It will create the ReviewManager, request a ReviewInfo object and finally launch the in-app review flow.

Actually, it might not always show the review dialog, because the user has already reviewed the app or the quota has been reached for example. Thus, it is important to determine the best possible moment to request a review and always continue the normal user flow once completed, no matter the result.

In the Notepad app, the review is requested every 28 days after creating a new note. This ensures that the quota is not reached and that the user has performed a positive action, which might result in better ratings and reviews.

3. Test in-app reviews

The easiest way to test in-app reviews is to use internal app sharing.

Doing so will let you quickly test your integration without deploying your app to the internal test track. With internal app sharing, you do not have to increase the version number or sign your app with your production key. However, reviews cannot be submitted and the button is disabled in the review dialog.

In-app reviews with internal app sharing

4. Deploy in-app reviews

Once you are ready, deploy your app to production.

The rollout of the Notepad app started on December 12 and after a few days, the number of ratings increased significantly.

Number of ratings

With a lot of 5 ★ ratings, the lifetime average rating also increased slightly.

Lifetime average rating

Even better, the rating shown to users on the Google Play Store is calculated based on the most recent ratings only, which increased from 4.3 ★ to 4.7 ★ in only a few weeks. This improves the ranking in search results and thus, the visibility on the Google Play Store.

5. Next steps

Always take the time to reply to your users. When you respond to negative reviews, users will be more likely to update their reviews and leave better ratings.

The Google Play Core Library also adds support for in-app updates, keeping your app or game up-to-date on your user’s devices will ensure that they benefit from the best possible user experience.

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