Google recently updated the design and feature set of its Play Store portal on smartphones and tablets, bringing it in line with its design guidelines and adding a seemingly infinite list of content to its main page and various categories.
The redesign was met with some criticism, but was mainly seen as a consolidation of ideas that include Google Now, Gmail and many other Google services. Now, the search engine giant has turned its attention to the web, giving the Play Store portal a similar content-focused overhaul that combines books, movies, games, apps and magazines. Much has been made of Google’s increasingly accurate recommendation engine, which attempts to throw content at your feet, hoping you’ll step on it with your wallet. The location- and topic-based guidance doesn’t always work — see the two-star TheStar app in the picture above — but it gets better the more you download.
It also appears that Google is spending more time curating lists, such as Apps to Watch, and Scary Movies for the Summer. This is something Apple has done well, spurring downloads of relatively unknown apps and bringing back old favourites that may have been forgotten. With the Play Store approaching a million apps and many thousands of books, movies and magazines, avoiding the slog of searching endless lists is often a relief, especially if the query yields successful results.
Users can now add apps and other content to their Google-synced Wishlist, and the What’s New and Description sections contain more information and are easier to access, as they are all on one page.
Overall a nice update, and certainly better for finding content. Check out Google Play.