A number of changes are coming to the Google Play Store its parent company announced Thursday.
Usually the unchanged bastion of the Google ecosystem, the Play Store will finally receive a much needed nip and tuck. As for an implementation timeline, the company remained as mum as ever.
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Nevertheless, sifting through the latest Google Developers Blog post, here are three standout interface and functionality tweaks heading to the Play Store sometime before the world ends.
Revamped Editor’s Choice
Vineet Buch, author of the post and Google Play’s director of product management, noted that a revamped version of Editor’s Choice is now live in 17 countries.
At the time of writing, it doesn’t seem that South Africa was on that list. The current version of Editor’s Choice still showcases highly irrelevant apps to South Africans, like JobKorea, or KWeather — both, obviously, Korean apps.
Why oh why Google?
Nevertheless, the new version of Editor’s Choice is set to fix this and will feature collections, showcasing apps in their specific categories, like fitness, photo editing and language learning.
And while we can access said collections by visiting their links directly, they aren’t yet listed on Google Play Store app itself.
Arguably the biggest update heading to the Store is the debut of Instant Apps.
Instant Apps was previously piloted by Google for developers, but is now coming to the Play Store for its big consumer debut.
In short, it allows users use an app without installing it. This not only helps users find what they’re looking for amid the mire, but also guards against installing the wrong app, and being forced to accept its slew of requirements.
For low-memory devices, not having to install another app also has its advantages. However, the feature is only supported from Android Lollipop (5.0) and upwards, so your older device will be incompatible.
Although there are only six apps currently listed, this bouquet is set to grow as more apps are re-developed to support it.
It’s also not yet available in South Africa, so stay tuned for its introduction.
Google Play Store Games
In a smaller interface tweak but notable for mobile gamers, Google will add two new sections to its game listings.
One will focus on “new” and trending titles to hit the Store, while the other will showcase “Premium” games.
Buch didn’t shed much light on this update but he did note that trailers and screenshots will also be coming to its game pages.
South Africa hasn’t yet felt these changes.