Of all of Google’s major Android apps, the Play Store is perhaps the one seeing the most redesigns, with most of them coming without warning. Long before Gmail and Calendar even embraced it, the first Android app marketplace began to incorporate material design elements and principles, sometimes not to user satisfaction. Google Play Store is getting a new overhaul, perhaps in the name of cleanliness and visual simplicity. Unfortunately, it might actually be heavier to use with everything behind groups and menus.
The biggest change users will see when the new Google Play Store opens is the demise of the so-called hamburger menu, the three horizontal bars that have become synonymous with a side menu. Google is kind enough to draw your attention that everything is now in the profile menu, but that’s as far as it goes. Everything else is to be discovered.
Everything that was once hidden on the side is now hidden in submenus. Your apps and games, where you’ll go to update them, are clearly labeled. However, your Wish List and Movies & Books shortcuts are now located in the Library menu. Gift codes and budget are now also grouped under Payments & Subscriptions.
However, it’s not just the sidebar hamburger menu that’s being revamped. The general settings are also undergoing an overhaul, a slight overhaul. Instead of a single scrolling settings page, users will see four main groups which can be expanded or collapsed as they see fit. You can even expand them all if you want, but they revert to their collapsed default form when you exit the screen.
The unexpected redesign seems intended to make the Google Play Store look sharper by hiding the details, but at the expense of taking more pressure to get to where they want to go. The change appears to be a server side push, as some with the latest version of the app still don’t see the changes.