Everything you need to know about the new Google Play Store

by: Joe HindyApril 12, 2013

Google Play Store So in case you somehow haven’t noticed, there is a new Google Play Store rolling out to everyone right now. Some people have gotten it and others have not. My Nexus 4 received the roll out automatically but my Galaxy Note 2 sits with the old version. So what’s going on with this new version? Is it everything the media is making it out to be? Does it really look that much better? These questions and more are what we’ll be answering in our review of the new Google Play Store. As always if you’d rather watch it than read it, the video is posted at the bottom!

Google Play Store 1

New features

First let’s take a look at the new features. Despite the looks receiving a mammoth overhaul, the Google Play Store actually received a surprisingly little amount of new features. Pretty much all the core functionality is still there. You can search for apps via categories. There are still top new paid, top new free, and trending lists to choose new stuff from. If you were to open up top new free apps, the list would be identical in the new one as it is in the old one. So the experience is still very much the same.

There are a couple of small features that we’d like to mention, though. That annoying Keep Shopping page is now gone. When you download an app, a window pops up showing you the app permissions. Click the download button and you just go back to the app screen. That’s one less step in downloading applications. For people who download a lot of applications, this can be a huge time saver. Good riddance, we say, because that Keep Shopping page wasn’t overly helpful at all.

The other feature is each app listing now has a 3-dots button. This isn’t anything big but you can now download apps without being required to actually visit the app page. It’s a nifty little feature if you’re looking to download something really quickly. Most people probably won’t notice it and that’s their loss. It can make downloading a long list of apps a really easy task.

Google Play Store 2

New design

The biggest change over the old Google Play Store is the new design. The front page is no longer a garbled mess, the dark theme has been replaced by a light theme, and the whole store looks more organized. Gone are the days where everything is cluttered together in a glob of content. One would think that adding a little space wouldn’t matter so much, but it really does. Everything is much easier on the eyes and much easier to focus on. Things like day to day sales and promotions are easier to absorb since it isn’t being huddled together with everything else.

The other really big design change is the switch from tile views to card views. Most lists are now in card format like you see in Google apps as of late. There still some tiled views but even they seem retain the card format. All the app listings are now larger too. So you won’t see a couple dozen app listings on the screen anymore but more like four to six or so. This is also great for easier digestion of content because gazing over a few apps and then scrolling is easier on the eyes than squinting at a bunch of apps then scrolling.

Google Play Store 3

The new Google Play Store wrap up

If you were coming into this article hoping for some major changes, you’ll be both happy and disappointed. The new design is a lot easier on the eyes and what few features the new Google Play Store brings to the table are welcome. However, when you get right down to it, you won’t be using the Google Play Store any differently than you were before the change. The same apps adorn the tops of each list. Even the categories like music, movies, apps, books, etc keep the same color scheme. Books are still blue, Music is still orange, and Movies are still red. The front page still holds all the deals of the day. In the day to day operation of the Google Play Store, very little has actually changed.

The design overhaul is a welcome change, though. The dark themed, cluttered Google Play Store is gone, replaced by something a little more colorful, elegant, and easier to use. That, in and of itself, could be considered a feature. The new card views for apps is a welcome change as it’s easier to take in information. All that extra space is also welcome for the very same reasons. People can now go into the Play Store and actually see what’s going on. No more dark themed, cluttered magazine views.

Overall, we really like the design change. While Google didn’t really change the experience, the new design changes how we experience it. Instead of being eye blasted by cluttered content, we’re now treated to the same deals but in a more readable format. Instead of having a tiled list full of apps, we’re given lists four to six apps at a time for easier consumption. This should help people go into the Play Store and actually want to check back for new content.

If you haven’t gotten it yet, just be patient. It seems to be randomly rolling out to devices so yours should update on its own naturally. If you absolutely can’t wait, there are a multitude of places online with the APK that you can download and install manually.

  • zzz

    I can’t find the Refund policy for apps before pulling the trigger anymore. Where is it?!!

  • Mike A

    I like the wishlist option. Maybe I just missed it before, but I’ll use it a lot now.

  • android


  • It would be quite altruistic of them to offer the option to block out foreign apps in searches. Just because it’s been translated to English (quite loosely half the time, as we’ve all seen), doesn’t mean it is appropriate for our region.

  • steve

    The buttons are all so small now…I mishit quite a lot more :-(

  • Mr na

    better is always shit

  • Ja Koe

    It SUCKS, as usual. No thought put into the change. It’s worse than before. It doesn’t separate out installed vs. uninstalled apps. WTH!!!!

  • Ja Koe

    It’s listing uninstalled apps as installed. IT’S BROKEN!!! Put it back the way it was. It still appears they haven’t figured out a way to remove unwanted, previously installed apps from your list. Pathetic! I’m really pissed off about this. Why does Google always make things worse instead of better.

  • Ja Koe

    Where’s the “Uninstall”? Morons at Google.

  • Ja Koe

    I’m so ready for an alternative to Google.

  • Ja Koe

    The reviewer states it easier to read. Not so! They layout is horrible! Things are too big and too small. It’s like a first time attempt and lazy. Add a “How TO” section for developers. Shrink “Similar” and “More from Developer”. Use Bold type font for headings. Jeez, incredible how bad this is. But really . . . please fix what is installed on my phone.

  • hexhog

    Before the change ‘My Apps’ was useful, now it is pointless. I have two android devices and it doesn’t separate them anymore. I uninstalled some of these apps yet they show up as installed. The area to uninstall the apps has disappeared. The Icons are huge and I would need to look through more pages to find my app now if there was a point to looking at it though this mess they made of ‘My Apps’. You folks are beginning to be as brainless as Apple or MS.

  • Richard Grinman

    You forgot : The reviews are hilariously terrible, especially the 1 star ones. They read kind of like Ja Koe above me here.

  • mlorika

    If you want t search by permissions, visit http://www.appscrawler.com
    . There are lot of Android apps what are pointing to Play Store. One of
    the advantage of the site is the ability to search by permissions.

  • dharmaraj rupakheti

    I have public Google Play store and need Private Channel , may i again pay charge for this service