For some time now, Google has been whispering about an update of the user interface for the Play Store. The last time Play Store got a new look was in 2019 when the new Materials theme was introduced with a new color scheme and bottom navigation bar. While those elements have been kept, this latest redesign moves around some UI elements to make things look cleaner.
When you first open the new Play Store UI, you’ll find that the hamburger menu on the left is gone. You will be greeted with a dialog box informing you that the Play Store menu items have all been moved to your profile thumbnail. When you click on it, the compressed menu will appear. For example, the option to open the Play Books or Play Movies & TV apps has been moved to the library along with the wishlist. Payments and subscriptions have also been combined in a single menu item.
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The settings menu is also being redesigned, one that was previously discovered. Instead of listing all of the settings, they are now grouped into expandable folders that indicate where you can find specific settings. Some elements of the app search have also changed. When searching, you’ll now see an enlarged map that you can simply tap to install the app instead of launching the app page first.
Unfortunately, not all changes to the Play Store are rated positively. Some complain about how Google hides menu items and makes them harder to find:
It’s worth noting that one problem with the hamburger menu was that it was inaccessible 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 this regard and has done little to fix it. Moving the menu to a different item at the top of the screen seems to make matters worse, as tapping the profile thumbnail now seems like the only option.
Have you received the new Play Store user interface yet? What do you think of the changes?