Google just gave the Android Play Store this new look

Google Play on Android phones gets a navigation bar at the bottom and separate game and app tabs.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Google has rolled out an update to the Play Store on mobile with a new look that shifts the navigation bar to the bottom of the screen. 

The new look interface to the Google Play Store – which gets two billion visitors a month – brings it in line with the company's Material design scheme with a navigation bar at the bottom of the app on Android phones and a new left navigation on tablets and Chrome OS devices. 

Previously the navigation bar was at the top of the screen in green, requiring users reach up to the top. The new navigation bar has tabs for games, apps, movies & TV, and books.  

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Google notes there are now two separate destinations for games and apps to help users find the right content. The app also displays more information at the top of the page for each app.  

Users can expect to see more rounded edge icons and the company is encouraging developers to conform with its new icon specifications. Previously it allowed multiple shapes for icons, but its new specs make rounded edge squares the standard, much like Apple has on iOS. 

Google has also removed the music tab but music can still be found from the hamburger menu in the search bar at the top of the screen. This appears to be in preparation for Google's plan to merge Google Play Music with YouTube Music. 

The new design places more emphasis on games and making it easier to explore games, which is why apps and games now have their own tabs. 

"Once users find the right app or game, the updated store listing page layout surfaces richer app information at the top of each page as well as a more prominent call-to-action button. This makes it easier for users to see the important details and make a decision to install your app," wrote Boris Valusek, design lead of Google Play.

Better information about games and easier access could help Google take advantage of the growth in games revenues on mobile platforms. According to a July report from Sensor Tower, mobile game spending reached $29.6 billion in the first half of 2019, and while iOS accounted for $17.6 billion of that, game spending through Google Play grew faster, up 17.6% year-over-year compared to the App Store, which grew just 7.8%.  

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