Google Play just went through another redesign, this time around on the web, and it looks stunning. If you thought that the Play Store online was the model of how to find apps, games and digital media away from your device before, then the new version will blow you away. First off, the whole website has been streamlined, using all of the tricks and tweaks at Google's disposal. Everything has been tweaked and changed for the better. Some things are different, but for the most part, the Play Store on the Web is the best it's ever been. Screenshots for instance are no longer PNG files, they're WebP images that load much faster and the code that displays them has been cleaned up. This is less of a fresh lick of paint, and more of a complete overhaul of the web portal.
As Android Police have been reporting, there are a lot of smaller changes that will affect how you use the web portal, we covered a few of them yesterday but, we're now going to take a closer look. Specifically, let's take a look at how an app listing looks in the new Play Store.
Bye, Bye Banners
Above is the banner that used to adorn the listing of Google Translate, now though, there are no more of these banners. There's no telling why Google got rid of them, we thought they were working well but, now if you head on over to the Google Translate listing, this is what the top of the page looks like:
It certainly looks slick but, the banners were a good way of developers letting potential users know some of their key features, and was "the cover" by which many judged apps. Of course, with banners gone, we may well see an improvement in the descriptions of apps from developers.
Above is the new way you get to permissions, you can only see permissions when you hit the Install button, which might seem like a strange change but, we think it's a smart move. Showing people permissions just before they install app might will encourage people to think about them a little more, instead of just making them something people can easily ignore. Still, we doubt many people are going to read these.
Screenshots have changed a lot in the new redesign, the strip of screenshots is still here but, when you press on one of them to go full screen, things get much bigger.
When you're looking at Play Store listings through a 22-inch Full HD monitor, it's nice to finally have some larger screenshots to look at. When viewing these shots from Translate, there was no loss of quality but, we can't be so sure for other apps in the Play Store.
As Android Police discovered, searching for an app has been severely limited in this new redesign. Searching for "translate" as we did above gives you a grid of 6 x 8 apps, which works out at 48 apps, with no option to go to another page. This is a very strange move from Google, it limits the amount of apps that you can find and if you're a developer with app number 52 or 56, you're flat out of luck when it comes to people installing from the web. We're hoping that this is just something Google have done to make things faster, and that they've forgotten to add a second page button. Certainly, we hope that Google aren't pulling an Apple and declaring that "48 apps to translate languages is enough choice".
The above is just some of the changes that Google have done with the new Play Store web design, overall it looks and runs a lot better but, we hope that there's some added polish Google have yet to apply to the website, such as improvements to search and more.