Near the end of last year, we wrote about how the Google Play Store on the web was set to receive a massive visual redesign, making it much more beautiful and clean. At that time, the new layout, which featured gameplay trailers as landing page headers for games, a minimalistic UI for browsing books, and more, had only initially become available in Taiwan and Korea.
I clicked a Play Store link from a YouTube video this morning and realized that the interface looked completely different to me. Not wanting to get too excited, I realized that I had saved the Taiwanese storefront as a PWA on my Chromebook in order to drool over its gorgeous design, so I made sure to double-check that all of the apps, games, books, and more were listed in English instead.
Sure enough, I could install games, access my account information from the top-right of the screen, and peruse at will without encountering any Korean or Taiwanese books, movies, etc. It’s official – I live in the United States, and I’m now seeing the brand new Google Play Store web app redesign!
To refresh your memory, this update ditches the left-hand sidebar in favor of top navigation. It also has a lot of extra negative space or padding around everything, which gives each listing its own place to shine without feeling cramped. While this may sound geeky, my absolute favorite aspect of this entire rollout is that everything from screenshots, to book covers, app and game icons, and so on all have rounded corners instead of squared-off edges! I can’t tell you how much this simple change brings Google’s storefront into 2022.
I’m curious to know whether any of you reading this have also received the new Google Play Store PWA redesign, and if so, whether you’re in the UK or elsewhere! I think we’ll one day see the company ditch the downloaded and installed Play Store app on Chromebooks in favor of the web app, but this is just an assumption. Since Android is baked into ChromeOS, it has all of the dependencies it needs to download apps, but if that’s the case, and the store is just a frontend, then there may be no reason to remove it as it probably won’t matter. Let me know what you think!
As a final note, I wanted to point out that the new design does something I’ve wanted for years – it separates your wishlist items based on their type. Previously, your store Wishlist was a big jumble of books, movies, games, apps, etc. Now, as you can see below, everything is easier to browse and pick from – hooray! Sadly, while viewing your Library, your Play Books and audiobooks are redirected to the old, ugly store design, while movies and TV, apps, and games all display beautifully in the new layout.