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Google announces a new Play Store for foldables and tablets

Google is making it very clear that going big is the only way forward for Android apps.

Published onJuly 26, 2023

New Google Play Store Large Screen Devices
  • Google has announced four major changes for the Play Store on large-screen devices.
  • The company will now give preference to apps that scale well, aren’t letterboxed, and support both portrait and landscape orientations.
  • There’s also a new split-screen view in Play Store search to make comparing apps easier on large-screen devices.

Google is revamping the Play Store for large-screen devices like foldable phones, Android tablets, and Chromebooks. The company first discussed these changes at Google I/O last year. It is now introducing four major updates to help users find good large-screen apps and improve the overall experience of the Play Store on big devices.

Google will now prioritize games with high-quality videos. Users will see video banners at the top of a gaming app’s listing page, allowing them to get a sense of gameplay before downloading the app. Google has also organized apps and games details pages in a multi-column layout, bringing content higher up the app listing page.

Google Play Store large screen update 1

To promote apps that look good on foldables and tablets, Google is making several app ranking changes to the Play Store on such devices. Apps that resize well across devices, aren’t letterboxed, and support both portrait and landscape orientations will rank better. Editors’ Choice and other curated collections and articles will also consider these criteria in the future. This can be viewed as Google’s way of pushing developers to make their apps better suited for large-screen devices.

Google Play Store Split Screen Search on foldables

Google is also improving Play Store navigation for big-screen devices. You’ll now see a left-side navigation rail on your tablets, Chromebooks, and foldables. This puts menu items closer to your thumbs and makes them more accessible, especially when holding a large-screen device in landscape mode.

There’s also a new split-screen search experience that makes it easier to discover and compare apps from within the search results page on the Play Store. Users will see search results and app details pages side by side. This prevents them from switching back and forth when searching for new apps.

These changes will begin rolling out over the coming weeks, and with them, Google is making it very clear that going big is the only way forward for Android apps.