Google’s Play Store website finally gets a much needed overhaul – see it in all its glory
The Play Store website has gotten really long in the tooth. It was last redesigned a long time ago and still looks a lot like it was when Google released the original Material design language. Some Reddit users were already pushing for a redesign two years ago, and it looks like Google is finally bringing us just that. Thanks to a tipster, we spotted a completely redesigned web experience that is much more in line with the Play Store app.
You’d be forgiven if you mistake the new design for the Android Play Store app at first glance, but it really is a web experience. The Play Store logo is still in the top left corner, but that’s about all that has stayed the same. Gone is the gray background and complicated nested sidebar, making way for a superior navigation solution that gives you quick access to the four main sections of the Play Store: games, apps, movies, and books.
When you dive into the apps or games section, you can filter by phone, tablet, TV, Chromebook, watch, and car apps, which is incredibly valuable on the website. After all, you won’t be installing apps right in your browser.
The left-aligned sidebar items haven’t disappeared, don’t worry. Google moved it to the account switcher in the upper right corner, where you will now be able to access your library and your devices, subscriptions, payment methods, order history, your activity, rewards, settings and everything in between. It’s doubtful that removing the sidebar makes the best use of the available space on the widescreen displays we all have these days, but here we are.
On the individual app pages, the redesign really looks like an exaggerated mobile view. A huge title lets you know which app you are viewing, as well as an equally huge icon on the right. A right-aligned sidebar gives you developer contact options and other app suggestions, while the rest of the interface is designed much like the mobile app, with download numbers, ratings, and more. age restrictions in view.
For games, it looks like there will be auto-play trailers. The install button is right below, while the screenshots are placed in a side-scrolling gallery next to it. Interestingly enough, the button is grayed out for us for all apps, but maybe that’s because we changed our locale to enable design (see below)
The search experience has also been redesigned. Like in the Play Store app, you’ll get plenty of other AutoComplete recommendations when you start typing queries, and you’ll also have direct access to a list of apps when you’ve typed in the name enough. In this case, you are taken to a search page which gives you additional details about the result you were probably looking for, listing the rest of the apps in question in a side-scrolling carousel. Not exactly the best way to use the big screen, but at least you won’t be overwhelmed with the sheer number of results like in the past.
The redesign is still a work in progress, as some sections are downright broken. Our tipster was unable to access his app library in the new redesign, and there are some visual inconsistencies, like old UI elements that still appear left and right in some app listings. . For what it’s worth, we can see the library very well from our side, so your mileage may vary.
While the Play Store looks a bit of a stretch on the desktop, the redesign was more than needed. It seems the interface is much better at scaling for different window sizes which was an issue in the old version which didn’t perform well when viewed in narrow windows. It also feels like the store loads a lot faster than the old version, which is nice to see. And I can’t stress this enough: If you’ve used the Play Store app before, you should feel right at home. It’s just a shame that the new design is already on the verge of being obsolete again, given that the Play Store has switched to the Material You theme, which is not active in the web experience in any way.
From what we can tell, the redesign appears to be happening via a server-side switch, although a few of us on the team and our tipster were able to activate it by switching to the Korean Play Store (https://play.google.com/store/apps?gl=kr). It looks like the redesign is also live in Taiwan, so you can try this local version as well (https://play.google.com/store/apps?gl=tw). It seems that the test is country specific, and that it is not even active for every user.
It remains to be seen whether Google will roll out the redesign more widely right away or if this is an a / b test that affects many users at the same time. Only time will tell.
Thank you: Martin
The world is full of Android phones, but these are the best
About the Author