Google Play removes version numbers from Android apps

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In response to user criticism, Google Play is bringing back the app permissions list, but another odd Store change sees version numbers being removed from the App Info section.

In the past, you could find the version number by opening the About This App section of a listing and scrolling down to App Info, where it was the first line.

Starting today, “Version” (or “Compatibility for your active devices” in the phone section) will no longer appear there, and “Updated on” will appear at the top. This information has disappeared only for the phone version of applications. Oddly enough, it stays for Wear OS and Android/Google TV apps.

Version numbers are still appearing on the Google Play website. This issue is not related to (or only affects) apps that only say “Varies by device”.

To us, this feels more like a mistake than an intentional removal. There’s no point in getting rid of the phone-only version and not smartwatches or TVs. Maybe Google just tried to remove one of the two instances but accidentally removed both.

Whatever the reason, it’s not ideal for users to have to use the OS-level app info page, nor is it possible to see a version number before updating (in the case of buggy versions).

We first noticed the distance yesterday with the latest Google app beta. Gone is the version number with version 31.6.13-21 of the Play Store, which is also responsible for the broad rollout of the new Google Play icon.

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