Remember that hefty leak from a few weeks back that pointed to a dramatic redesign for Google’s Play Store Android app? Well, in case you were still unconvinced, Google has confirmed that just such a facelift has been in the works, and that the new 4.0 version of the Play Store app will start rolling out to devices running Android 2.2 and newer some time today.
It would seem that Google’s big goal with this new redesign was to bring the Play Store in line with other prominent Android features — ever since its last major facelift, the Google Play Android app has been swathed in blacks and greys, with color highlights corresponding to different content types breaking up the visual monotony. At the time the shift in design made sense — Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich featured a colder, darker aesthetic than previous versions of Android and also relied on light blue UI flourishes. Services like Google Now and apps like Google Search have gone in a drastically divergent direction these past few months though, and the now the Play Store doesn’t look like the odd one out.
Much like what you’d see in Google Now, individual apps, songs, and books now live in discrete cards, and there’s a much greater focus on big, eye-catching images. Those dreary colors have been given the axe too in favor of a much lighter design that helps make all that content stand out even more. According to Google Play group product manager Michael Siliski, Google has also sought to improve the process of discovering Play Store content by lumping books, tunes, and apps into themed groups. Interestingly, that zeal for a better Play Store experience isn’t limited to the front-end: some 60,000 apps of dubious quality were removed from the Google Play Store back in February, which points to (among other things) a more concerned effort by Google to emphasize quality over sheer Play Store size.
Sadly, the update hasn’t hit any of the Android geegaws floating around my office, so this early demo video of the 4.0 release (courtesy of Droid-Life) will have to hold you over until then.