The last time Google changed its Play icon was back in 2016 when its signature interlocking triangles took on a new brighter look. However, six years later, The Google Play store and its icon remained largely untouched, donning its outdated UI and icon. At the same time, the rest of the apps in the Google ecosystem transitioned into what is now called Material You.
Things look to be changing now as it has been spotted that “Material You” touches are being added to the Play Store on Android tablets and Chromebooks, as well as the Play Store icon itself in some places. We knew of the proposed “Material You” redesign as it was unveiled by Google back in October for I/O 2022. However, we are just now seeing parts of the new promised look appear in bits and pieces. As spotted by 9to5Google, the Play Store icon is showing up in GPay and Google Pay with a more material-looking icon that flattens the colors and removes the shadows, resembling the current Google colors more accurately.
Additionally, following the UI update on phones back in October, the Google Play Store on Android tablets and Chromebooks is picking up some “Material You” components. The changes include a navigation drawer, instead of a bottom bar, in landscape mode. Additionally, the shape of the search bar has changed from a rectangle with rounded corners to a pill-shaped field.
Other subtle changes include how dynamic color and highlighting are applied to these fields and how the accent color changes from green to blue. However, that’s as much “Material You” you’ll get to see so far. Unfortunately, I could not see this change applied on my Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3, perhaps since it is still stuck on Android 9, unlike Chromebooks that are eligible for Android 11 using ARCVM.
As for the icon redesign, there is no clear indication if or when it will be made public since it only appears in a couple of odd places. My guess is that the icon will be unveiled once the tablet version is fully converted to the new Material You redesign. Even though this design is already present on phones, Google may be holding on to the announcement until the look of the app is more cohesive on all devices that support it, or perhaps, this is a treat that we will get once Android 13 comes out of Beta. We will have to wait and see what happens.