Google Lets the Play Store Go Full-Material Design

October 9, 2014 - Written By Phil Bourget

Drop everything, Material Design fans!  Recall back to the big storm of oohs and aahs that came about when Google gave us a slight taste of Material with the Play Store update/version 4.9.13?  And then how this week they updated the Play Newsstand app to Material Design (I personally think it was showing off, but it probably wasn’t)?  Yeah, there’s an update to a completely Material Play Store, version 5.0.31, and it’s wondrous.  But what’s new besides the amazing new aesthetics?

Well, for starters, there’s the ‘What’s New’ section of an app’s description.  See, that makes sense, right?  But it used to be the last thing above the version number, file size, and that type of boring stuff.  Now if you have an app update, the new things will show in a green box at the top of the Description section for easy glancing.

Next, there’s the animations.  Yes, it’s aesthetics, but hear me out.  When Google rolled out that Material color-tuning of Google+ earlier, it completely Material-ed the Photos app that comes along with it.  The three bars for the hamburger menu on the left rotate clockwise from a set of lines into an arrow letting you know which way to drag the menu to close it (hint: left).  Now, that menu where all things within the Play Store went a few versions ago has that same little animation.  It’s small and everything, but it’s a sign of the commitment to the continuity of the Material Design, especially after Google’s choice to leave holo blue things in the Kit Kat settings app.

The first thing you’ll notice though is the app is now also Material (which makes sense, again).  And lo and behold, the icon matches the many Android L and Material icon packs floating around the Play Store as of late.  The good news is that it look nice, and isn’t super bright or neon like the red (movies and tv), orange (music), blue (books), green (apps and games), or purple (newsstand) are; it’s a nice shadowed, two-toned grey color.

We’ll wrap up with some interesting things.  First, I’m not sure if it’s me and my eyes or Google’s doing, but the purple in the Play Newsstand app and the label for it/color in the section don’t match.  Might be me, but it’s hard to compare without two devices next to each other.  Next, there’s the Play icon in the center of the new Material-ed icon.  It looks like it used to, not the multi-toned blue we saw in some icon leaks, and also not a Material version of its former self.  Interesting if you ask me.  All in all, I think this update will be very eagerly and well-received by the Android and Material-loving public.  If you have the update, what do you think?  Does Material’s future look good?  What do you wish they had changed in the new version of the Play Store, aesthetically or functionally?  Let us know down below.

Download: Google Play Store v5.0