The Google Play store has been the subject of constant change over the years. What started out as the Android Market with only a few apps, is now the Play Store, which has apps, books, magazines, games, music and movies to offer to its users.
While the Play Store’s success can be seen in the number of apps that are available for download – over 700,000 apps and games at last count – there is a feeling that Google could spruce up the UI to get it in line with the design of the company’s other services. Currently the Play Store’s landing page looks cluttered and busy.
However, an update is in the offing. Discovered by Droid Life, the Play Store 4.0.16 looks much more polished with the image-heavy front page being toned down to a large extent. More importantly, there are no more highlighted or featured apps being pushed on to the front cover. Instead, one gets a plain and simple stacked button layout where you can select whether you want to browse through apps, games, music, movies, books or magazines sections of the store. The fonts have been changed slightly too. And there’s a lot more breathing room for objects in the new layout.
Underneath this stack is a section called ‘App Focus’, which will seemingly feature a bunch of apps from a single developer. This is perhaps Google’s way of giving more of the spotlight to the top developers. App recommendations catered for you follow the App Focus section.
Inside each section too, the Holo theme is very apparent. Google has decided to brighten up the UI considerably and where grey accents were generously sprinkled in the old Play Store, the new version of the app brings a more sunny disposition. Category section titles get new fonts and inside each category, the items for sale get bigger images. Each item is stored in a separate Google Now-style thumbnail card.
The layouts of most other pages, including search results and settings, remain largely the same with a few aesthetic changes. The search results are laid out with more space between each app and results from each section are shown here, beginning with apps. Each section’s results can be expanded and under the title bar there’s a dropdown menu, which should allow users to easily navigate between sections. Overall, there is clearly an effort to bring some eye candy to the Play Store with each app or song or game getting a larger placeholder for its picture.
Another change is seen in the details section of each app; where once an “Allow automatic updating” checkbox was, now there’s a “Do not auto-update” checkbox. This could mean that Google might be enabling automatic update for all apps unless the user chooses otherwise. The website put up a video with a detailed look at the new Play Store.
There is no saying when we will be seeing the new version of the Play Store roll out, but it’s a safe bet to say that with a leaked APK floating around, the official version is not far off