A brand new version of the Google Play Store is rolling out this week. One with plenty of minor changes and a decent list of new features. Overall the look and feel will remain the same, but there’s a few key new additions that should improve the overall experience.
Google’s been busy this week with updates to Google Music, Search, and Google Now, and we’re now seeing the last of many with a new Google Play Store version 4.5.10 available as we speak. Spotted and available for download from AndroidPolice, below we’ll go over everything that’s new, and what’s changed. Back in November the store got an overhaul for tablets, and today it’s all about apps, in-app purchases, and reviews.
One of the first things you’ll notice with the new Google Play Store is reviews. Each app now has a huge area where Google wants users to rate and review apps and games. This isn’t new, but taking up such a huge space in our faces certainly is. Google wants users reviewing and rating apps, and here’s how they intend to get us to do so.
As we mentioned above, the entire reviews and 5-star rating system has been overhauled. Google now has a much bigger star selector area, not to mention a slightly different color. Oh, and now users can easily find an edit button to update reviews in a matter of seconds, and save the changes. So now that HBO GO works on tablets and the Chromecast, I have no complaints, and updated my review in mere seconds. Now all we need is the app, without the monthly bill from my TV provider.
The other major change we noticed, that isn’t very easy to spot but extremely welcomed, is the notification indicator that any given app has in-app purchases. This “free-to-play” but spend $4.99 unlocking things in games these days is taking over, and Google wants to let it be known before you download the app.
We also have some visual tweaks and deeper integration into Google+. The avatar for users are now round, to match the web and Google+ pages, and there’s a new activity tracker from Google+. This shows what you’ve rated, shared, +1′d, and is attached to Google+ profiles for easy access. Which is beautifully displayed on our first image above.
These changes aren’t major, but the small refinements to things like reviews and rating, as well as IAP indicator are welcomed editions. We’re still waiting for Google to let us share those “wishlists” you can make in the Play Store, as well as an area to buy and gift apps to others. Maybe one day.