Back when the Google Play Store was just for phones and tablets, there was no need to filter app and game installs because clicking install would simply place them on the device you were on. If you were performing this process through the web-based version of the store, it would show you a list of compatible phones and such and that package would be remote installed instead.
With the introduction of the Google Play services and apps on ChromeOS, Google has historically done a poor job of showing users which titles were installable and optimized for their laptops, but has since changed that with several updates that isolate large screen and peripheral-driven experiences.
Since then, many non-phone devices have been added to the company’s hardware ecosystem, and WearOS is coming back from the dead with the release of the upcoming Pixel Watch. Add to that the fact that Google TV dongles like the new Chromecast have taken the world by storm, and it’s clear that something needed to change for how app discovery was handled.
In a multi-device update today, Google is now adding a tailored Play Store experience for non-phone Android devices to better cater to users who are searching for things to install across other hardware form factors. This comes as a package deal with the recent overhaul of the store’s design.
By clicking the “Other devices” tab at the top of the store, you can see smart chips for your “TV”, “Watch”, or “Car” and choosing one of these will re-flow the store front to show you relevant apps and games that work in those contexts.
In addition to a dedicated home page for your watch, TV and more, a new device filter and remote install options are being rolled out so that you can target whatever you want when choosing to get an app or game. I’m pleased with all the changes that have come to Google Play over the past year and over the past few months, and especially how these changes have affected other apps like Play Books.