For the better part of 2018, the Google Play Store on Android has been testing revamped navigation. Organizationally, it is simpler and cuts down on duplicity, but is somewhat of a departure. As of this evening, the Google Play redesign is more widely rolling out on Android.
We first spotted and enabled the new look back in April with version 9.7 of Google Play. Since then, the design has matured, but the underlying principles are still there. The navigation drawer is now dedicated to apps and games, with shortcuts to open the other media stores removed.
While users can still quickly open the dedicated Play Movies & TV, Books, and Music apps from the nav drawer, they can no longer quickly jump to browsing or buying media. In fact, these new shortcuts have been moved to underneath Account, Payment methods, Play Protect, and Settings.
The only way to access those content stores is to return to the homescreen and swipe to the respective tab just underneath the search bar.
Meanwhile, the app bar in “My apps & games” is now stark white — matching Google’s broader design language — with the previous green accent only present to note what tab you’re currently viewing. Search is frustratingly gone from the upper-right corner, while there is now a back button in the top-left, instead of a hamburger menu.
This is likely intended to simplify navigation by encouraging users to first go back to the homescreen to initiate a new action. Additionally, “Wishlist” is now grouped with “Notifications” and “Subscriptions” in the nav drawer.
This white app bar is also present in the Account menu, which now leverages tabs instead of a main list. The Preferences tab deals with emails, followed by Rewards, Order history, and Family. The Play Store’s Settings menu also gets the stark white treatment, and looks very much like the Google Material Theme.
12.6.13 is the current stable version of the app, but this Google Play redesign for Android is rolling out via a server-side update that’s hitting more devices this evening. If you don’t have it enabled, try closing the Google Play Store from the Recents menu and reloading, or clearing data in system settings.
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