What you need to know
- Google announced new enhancements for its Play Store for large-screen devices.
- Some of the features were first introduced at Google I/O 2022.
- The changes include gaming apps getting high-quality video previews on Play Store.
Google is finally bringing promised changes to its Android app store that were first unveiled at last year's Developer keynote. It primarily includes a revamped Play Store for large-screen devices, including Chromebooks, tablets, and foldable phones.
The search giant says it has seen an increase in people opting for large-screen devices like Android tablets for daily work and playing, as noted in an Android Developers blog post. Since apps and games play a critical role, the company is redesigning the Play Store for the aforementioned devices.
The redesigned Google Play Store primarily includes refreshed app listings, ranking and quality improvements, streamlined store navigation, and a split-screen search experience.
Google is refreshing app listing pages for high-quality apps. Games with high-quality video previews will be showcased as a banner on the top of the app listing. It will give consumers an idea of what they are getting into before installing a particular game.
Google adds that it has also "reorganized apps and games details pages in a multi-column layout, bringing more of your content higher up the page."
The ranking improvements coming to the Google Play Store mean apps and games that adhere to Google's large-screen app quality guidelines will rank higher. Among the criteria are apps that resize well, aren't letterboxed, and support both portrait and landscape orientations.
The new criteria will first be delivered to Play Store's Apps and Games home pages. Later the Editors' Choice and similar curated app collections will likely join the list. Additionally, warnings will be visible to users for apps that don't match the large screen quality requirements.
To provide consumers with a preview of the app experience and assist them in deciding whether or not to install it, Google is introducing new content-forward formats. They incorporate form-factor-specific pictures, videos, and descriptions. As a result, the apps with large screen assets that adhere to content quality guidelines will have richer formats and take up more space on the Google Play Store homepage.
Google has further shared some best practices for the large screen assets:
- Upload separate screenshots for each form factor. Demonstrate the actual in-app or in-game experience, focusing on the core features and content so users can anticipate what the app or game experience will be like.
- Use high-quality images with the proper aspect ratio.
- Avoid overloading screenshots with text or time-sensitive copy that requires frequent updates.
- We don't recommend including device imagery, as this can become obsolete quickly or alienate some user groups.
Since large-screen devices like the Pixel Tablet are most likely used in landscape orientation, the Google Play Store's navigation rail has moved to the left pane as part of the design change. Users can easily access the menu items with their thumbs making them accessible in the landscape orientation.
The other notable differences include the relocation of the Top Charts and Categories sections to Apps and Games home. On tablets and Chromebooks, the Kid's experience is made as the primary tab since children often share a household tablet.
Lastly, Google Play Store is finally getting a split-screen search experience to "discover and compare apps" on the search results page. For users who search for an app in landscape mode on a large screen, the results will showcase two formats side by side: one comprising search results and the other giving users app information.
All the promising and welcome changes to Google Play Store for large screens will be rolling out in the coming weeks, and the app warnings on the app details page will start showcasing in late August.
The Pixel Tablet isn't just an Android tablet; it also doubles as a smart home hub for controlling your devices around the house. Thanks to the included dock, you don't need to carry the tablet around with you all the time for it to be useful.
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Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.