Google Play Store to have tablet-optimized interface

Google announced earlier this year that it would improve how the Play Store works on non-smartphone devices, first by highlighting apps optimized for the device you’re connecting with, and now with interface optimizations to help tablet users.

While the proliferation of large-screen phones hasn’t taken tablets out of the equation altogether, tablet users face a dearth of well-optimized apps, with many of the selections available in the Play Store coming with smartphone-only optimized interfaces, this shortcoming could be addressed by Google introducing a new “Other devices” tab reserved for non-smartphone apps such as Smart TVs, Chromebooks, smartwatches, and tablets.

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Another change is to the Play Store interface itself, which will be optimized for more efficient use of larger screens like those offered by tablets. Some of the tweaks that are in the works already appear in the latest version of the Play Store app (32.5.16-21), even if they’re not very trenchant. The buttons are still on the left side of the screen, and the tabs and search bar are still at the top. The Google Play logo at the top left is now displayed without the “Google Play” text, and the selected buttons are enclosed in a small oval, not a long pill. The PlayStore dots section, notifications, and profile button are also at the top-right of the screen.

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The main change is the way screen space is used, with the new version of the interface reducing white space by using slightly larger buttons spread out across the screen.

With a still-familiar look and feel, the tablet-optimized interface could debut in final form no later than the upcoming Pixel tablet launch, expected next year.

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