Hamburger menu

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

Source: Derrek Lee / Android Central

What would you like to know

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

There have been rumors that Google has been working on a UI refresh for the Play Store for quite some time. The last time the Play Store got a new look was in 2019 when it rolled out the new Material theme with a new color scheme and lower navigation bar. While those elements have remained, this latest overhaul shifts some UI elements in an effort to make things cleaner.

Google Play Store user interface redesign 2021Google Play Store user interface redesign 2021Source: Derrek Lee / Android Central

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

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Google Play Store user interface redesign 2021Google Play Store user interface redesign 2021Source: Derrek Lee / Android Central

The settings menu is also getting a redesign, which had already been spotted before. Instead of listing all settings, they’re now condensed into expandable folders that show where you can find certain settings. Some elements of the application search are also changed. A search will now display an enlarged map that you can easily tap to install the app instead of launching the app page first.

Unfortunately, not all changes to the Play Store are betting positively, with some complaining about how Google hides menu items and makes them harder to find:

It should be noted that one issue with the hamburger menu was that it was inaccessible thanks to the growing size of better Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. Google’s gesture navigation in Android is often unreliable in this regard and hasn’t done much to resolve this issue. Moving the menu to another item at the top of the screen seems to make matters worse as tapping on the profile tile seems to be the only option now.

Have you already received the new user interface from the Play Store? What do you think of the changes?

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