This is happening just days after Google removed and then restored the permissions overview
Google recently removed the trusted permission overview from Play Store app listings only to immediately backtrack on the decision after outcry from users and developers. Now it looks like the company is in the process of removing another important piece of information from the app listing. For some, the app version number has disappeared, making it more difficult to understand at a glance which update you’re about to install.
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9to5Google noticed the version number omission in some app listings. As you can see in the screenshot, the version number for the Phone apps is no longer visible. However, those same listings often show you which release number is for Wear OS or other secondary platform, which can either indicate that the omission is an error that Google will fix in a while or that Google still needs the version. The number must be moved across the board.
Version numbers don’t mean as much as they used to because many big app developers have changed their strategy. Instead of rolling out changes to all users with new app versions, companies are testing a few different UI layouts and sometimes even content selection to find out what’s best for most people. Works. This means that often enough updates are rolled out via server-side push rather than package updates to your phone. Still, knowing the version number can sometimes be helpful when you run into problems, and so they can serve as an important part of troubleshooting.
Prior to this, Google has already experimented with removing the “Last Updated” section from app info pages. While it’s not always an indicator that something is wrong with an app or has been abandoned, having this type of data available helps you find out quickly if you can expect timely bug fixes. Or not. Similarly, Google is now hiding old and outdated apps from search. Google’s quest to remove details from Play Store listings may make for a less overwhelming experience, but it comes at the cost of less educated decisions. We can only hope that this trend does not continue.
We have contacted Google for comment.
Thank you: moshe