By Stephen Schenck | November 27, 2012 11:27 AM
About a week ago, we talked about an analysis of the new Google Play Store APK that seemed to reveal the presence of quite a few upcoming changes. One of those dealt with how the Play Store connects with Google+, and the impression the APK gave was that we’d be seeing Google associate app reviews with your Google+ account. Based on your comments, the idea doesn’t sound like it’s going to go over well with everyone, but Google nonetheless appears to be moving forward with its plan, and some of the changes are already starting to manifest.
Check out the Play Store, either in its web incarnation or via the Android app, and you should see all the app reviews attributed to “A Google User”. This is presumably the first visible step in Google’s restructuring, and we’ll soon see those placeholders replaced with the names of individual users. Google’s expected to prompt users at some point to associate their reviews with their real names through their Google+ accounts, but just when it may do so is anyone’s guess.
This forthcoming change does have the benefit of giving app reviews a bit of accountability, potentially turning them into more useful tools for evaluating the apps they discuss, but the privacy issues, as well as mixed feelings towards Google+ in general, could still make this a tough sell.
Update: Sure enough, Google is now prompting you for your permission to attach your real name to any future Play Store reviews. It looks like existing reviews will keep the anonymous “A Google User” tag.