Following initial testing during the Android 12 Beta period last May, Google Play will now show the progress of new app installs right on your homescreen. This behavior mimics iOS and was previously limited to restoring from a backup on Android.

After tapping the green “Install” button in the Play Store, you’ll notice that a black-and-white version of that requested app will appear on your next open homescreen with a progress ring and “Downloading…” — unsurprisingly truncated — label. This only works for new app installs and not updates.

At any time, you can press to open the Google Play listing directly and cancel. Once that phase is complete, it switches to “Installing…” and the full icon will appear.

As usual, the Play Store can only download one app at a time, but “Pending…” apps are quickly added to your homescreen, though not the main app list. One nice touch lets you immediately rearrange icons the moment they appear.

This is especially useful for large downloads and/or slow internet connections. Users with a lot of alerts are more likely to notice this homescreen indicator versus the regular notification.

Play Store install progress looks to be fully rolled out on Android 11+ devices (both Pixel and non-Google phones) we checked today (h/t Artem Russakovskii on Twitter). There were some reports of more users starting to see the capability a month or so ago, but wide availability only occurred in recent days. 

More on Google Play:

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: