Google Play App Store Optimization

Keeping Your Google Play Android Vitals Healthy

3 min read
Genie is the Marketing Manager at App Radar. She drives exciting in-house campaigns and collaborations to get the word out about app marketing and growth strategies.

Google Play puts your Android app’s stability performance into consideration too. Naturally, they don’t want apps filled with bugs and crashes to show up first in their Play Store search results. However, Google won’t leave you guessing about how they’re judging the quality of your app. In your Google Play Console you have Andriod Vitals to keep you informed on what performance aspects needs further improvement. 

The Core Metrics of Google Play Android Vitals

There are a few core metrics that Google looks at when scoring your app’s stability and performance. Your Android Vitals dashboard will highlight them as the following: 

  • crash rate
  • ANR rate
  • excessive wakeups
  • stuck wake locks

Google recommends that all Android developers keep an eye on these metrics. Bad behavior in them will result in not only bad ratings and reviews from users but also lower Google Play rankings. 

Crash Rate

Crashes interrupt users while they’re in your app and cause a lot of frustration. You definitely want to avoid having a high crash rate. Apps that crash to often will be uninstalled by users and receive negative ratings and reviews. 

The popup below will show up on the user’s screen if a crash were to occur.

Google Play crashed app popup. You should avoid crashes as they frustrate users and harm your Android vitals
Google Play crashed app popup 
Source: Google Play

 

Crashes can occur even if the app is not running anything in the foreground. Android Vitals will help you identify crashes when you are unaware of them. Google will consider the rate too high and penalize your rankings when: 

  • Your app exhibits at least one crash in at least 1.09% of its daily sessions.
  • Your app exhibits two or more crashes in at least 0.18% of its daily sessions.

ANR rate

ANR stands for the Application Not Responding error. When the app is running in the foreground, the user will get the following message.

Google Play ANR message. Too many ANRs will have a negative impact on your Android vitals
Google Play ANR message
Source: Google Play

Users will be able to force quite their app. You want to avoid this situation as best as possible. Users will be annoyed that their app experience has been interrupted, especially if they were in the middle of an important task such as, booking a hotel. 

Google flags your ANR rate as bad behavior when it reaches: 

  • at least one ANR in at least 0.47% of its daily sessions.
  • 2 or more ANRs in at least 0.24% of its daily sessions.

Excessive Wakeups

Wakesup allow your app to set an alarm that wakes up a user’s Android device at a specific time. Using this function too often will drain the user’s device battery. People tend to delete apps that eat up too much of their phone’s energy in order to make their device last longer throughout the day. 

The best way to limit excessive wakeups is to utilize them only in user facing tasks, such as notifications. For all background tasks, Google recommends implementing WorkManager instead. 

Stuck Partial Wake Locks

Partial wake locks will keep the CPU running even after the user has turned off their device screen. They can drain a device’s battery when they become stuck, meaning the partial wake lock remains active after an extended period of time. They should only be used when necessary and turned off as soon as they’re no longer needed. 

Your Android Vitals will show a stuck partial wake lock when: 

  • At least either 0.70% of battery sessions as a whole

or

  • At least 0.10% of battery sessions while running only in the background.
Android Vitals showing partial wake locks. Having too many of these will lower you Android vitals
Android Vitals showing partial wake locks 
Source: Google Play Apps & Games on Medium

Other Android Vitals to Pay Attention to

The above metrics are the ones Google consider core, meaning they’re going to highly affect your Google Play ranking. But, don’t forget about the other Vitals as well. These include: 

  • Slow rendering
  • Frozen frames 
  • Permission denials 
  • App startup time 

Any negative behavior in these metrics will also drop your ranking. That’s because users don’t enjoy using apps that are slow and lag. They also will uninstall apps that ask for too much data permissions. Data security is a big topic right now. 

By keeping your Android Vitals healthy, you ensure that your app is not only well-liked by users but also ranking high in Google Play

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Genie is the Marketing Manager at App Radar. She drives exciting in-house campaigns and collaborations to get the word out about app marketing and growth strategies.