Latest Play Store Update Reduces Data Usage On 3G / HSPA+

Play Store Screens AH

Each week a number of Google apps are updated and this past week was no different with updates arriving for Google Wallet, News & Weather, Google+ and Google My Business. Not forgetting of course, the arrival of Android Pay which was technically another update being rolled out for the current Google Wallet app. This week also saw an update rolling out to the Play Store app which saw its version being pushed up to v5.9 and brought with it a number of interesting features like fingerprint support and an uninstall manager.

Well, it seems as well as adding features, Google may have removed one too. Android Police have noted that the app has taken on a change to the way in which screenshots appear in the app. As most Android devices owners will know, when you click on an app listing in the Play Store, as well as the usual details and link to install that comes through, there are also a bunch of screenshots which offer a quick overview and what to expect from the app. Well, it now seems that if your device is running on 3G or HSPA+ then these screenshots are no longer downloaded automatically.

Instead, it seems the latest update has brought with it a means to try and limit what is being downloaded on non Wi-Fi and LTE signals. In doing so, the page now shows grayed out images with a download arrow. Once these arrows are clicked, the image begins to manually download. As such, if running on 3G or HSPA+ you can still view the images but you have to manually download them and one at a time. It also seems that if switching back to Wi-Fi (or LTE) from either 3G or HSPA+, the images still do not download and the page has to be refreshed before they can be viewed. Presumably, this will be a way to ensure that those on a slower signal can load the pages much quicker without having to worry about the images loading. Although, it might be a bit inconvenient for those who want to see the images while running on a 3G or HSPA+ signal. You can see an example of the change in the images below. The first image shows what happens on HSPA+ before the update is applied and all screenshots automatically downloading. While the other images show how the update changes the automatic downloading and makes use of the manual download function.

play store screens