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New Google Play Store UI kills the hamburger menu, for better or for worse

Google Play Store 2021 Ui Redesign
Google Play Store 2021 Ui Redesign (Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google's new Play Store UI is rolling out now on Android devices.
  • The updated UI removes the hamburger menu and moves it to the profile thumbnail.
  • The redesign is already a point of contention for some.

There have been whispers of Google working on a UI refresh for the Play Store for some time now. The last time Play Store received a new look was in 2019 when it rolled out the new Material theme with a new color scheme and bottom navigation bar. While those elements have remained, this latest redesign does move around some UI elements in an effort to make things look cleaner.

Source: Derrek Lee / Android Central

When you first open the new Play Store UI, you'll notice that the hamburger menu on the left side is no longer there. You'll be greeted with a dialogue telling you that the Play Store menu items have all been moved to your profile thumbnail. Clicking it will bring up the menu, which has been condensed. For instance, the option to open the Play Books or Play Movies & TV apps has been moved to Library along with the wishlist. Payments and Subscriptions have also been condensed into one single menu item.

Source: Derrek Lee / Android Central

The settings menu also gets an overhaul, one that was previously spotted before. Instead of listing out all the settings, they're now condensed into expandable folders that indicate where you can find certain settings. Some elements to the app search are also changed. A search will now pull up an enlarged card where you can easily tap to install the app instead of first launching the app page.

Unfortunately, not all the changes to the Play Store are being bet positively, with some complaining about how Google is hiding menu items and making them more difficult to find:

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It is worth noting that one problem with the hamburger menu was that it was unreachable thanks to the increasing size of the best Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. Google's gesture navigation in Android is often unreliable in that regard and did little to resolve that. Moving the menu to another element at the top of the screen seems to make matters worse because tapping the profile thumbnail appears to be the only option now.

Have you received the new Play Store UI yet? What are your thoughts on the changes?

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

23 Comments
  • That looks like a dumb way to make navigation even worse. I don't understand why it was never a navigation item on the bottom anyways. It just makes sense to move key items to the bottom. Also naming options "x & y" is also a terrible way to find what you are looking for. Especially when it doesn't really make much sense. And if you separate Games and Apps on the bottom navigation, but not in the profile navigation (where you also see that its reversed to Apps & Games), you just know its a terrible solution. I also don't see why Movies&TV or Books are still part of the Play Store. Either make it into a hub that the user then navigates to those specific apps or remove those. On top of that I also wonder how many people are really using that vs removing those entirely and just have a "Library" option that quickly allows you to navigate to the point where you can update all apps because auto-update is still terrible in doing fast updates. Sure for ****** mobile connections it could wait, but when I'm on wifi for the entire day, just auto-update already
  • What, having navigation on the bottom is the worst way of all to do things in your typical app, especially since that's where your phone navigation usually is. Good lord.
  • I have notice this option coming and going for the last few weeks.
  • Hamburger menus have always been AWFUL
  • This update eliminated my constant stutter that I've had on my last 3 phones when opening the app so it's a welcome for me
  • I don't mind so much that it's under the profile icon, even if it's not intuitive. What I don't like is that it's on the other side of the screen now. It was easiest to get to using my left hand, where my phone normally is. Now I either have to use 2 hands or learn to use my right hand. To make matters worse the icon is on the right but the menu still opens on the left!
  • I'm so sorry, you should be able to use your left hand... How terrible... Google really should have consulted with you first for approval. Priority one is to ensure you specifically are delighted with your experience on the play store and can use your damn left hand!! ... /S Also, the menu doesn't still open left, not sure what you're talking about... Pops straight open in the middle
  • You're right. Clearly I'm alone in not liking the new design. /S
  • Couldn't care less about the design or who likes it or hates it, just poking fun at the ridiculousness of your complaint about it... Have fun, best of luck 👍
  • They made a UI change and I complained about how this user interfaces with it. Where's the ridiculousness? Cheers. 🍻
  • The complaint itself is ridiculous. That is all.
  • Left hands matter 😆
  • It takes about 5 seconds to adjust to it, then you're fine.
  • I don't like it. I liked swiping from the left to access the menu better than having to reach the top of my big S21 Ultra. I understand why they did it, because everyone is using iPhone ripoff gestures. I personally use the Samsung gestures so I liked side menus. Oh well.
  • I prefer the hamburger menu, this new stuff is trash
  • Hardly noticeable. Nothing to get excited about
  • They will receive massive complaints as it is no where near intuitive to go to your profile picture to update apps!! I also agree left side is better. A71 5G has new awful UI and BlackBerry BE KeyOne still has former. I guarantee Google will change it back or as noted move it to the bottom of the screen where it should be.
  • love the new ui
  • I don't like it but I also don't care. I use a shortcut on my home screen that opens right to "my apps" page. And that's the only page in Play Store I need.
  • Same. It makes things so much easier.
  • Nope didn't like it when it was being tested on my Nokia 6.1 now it's on both of my pixel phones
  • I hate this change! It is just terrible and ugly!!
  • Can't stand the new ui. I NEVER had any issues with the old hamburger menu. Now I have to go digging to find what I need which makes it take longer to get anything done. As usual, Google "fixed" something that wasn't broken and causing a problem with their "fix".