Google redesigns Play Store for larger screens

Google announces a revamp of its Play Store that will prioritize high-quality apps for devices like foldables and tablets.

The search giant has announced four “major” updates to help users capitalize on all that extra space on their larger screen devices – something the company advertised it would do during its developer conference last year.

The redesign of the Play Store follows the release of Google’s Pixel Fold and Tablet devices, with one of the key changes including promoting apps that “resize well, aren’t letterboxed, and support both portrait and landscape orientations.”

Apps and games that adhere to Google’s large screen quality guidelines will be ranked higher in search and store home screens, and those that do not will be subject to reduced visibility, the company said in a blog post.

Users about to download an app or game that doesn’t meet Play Store’s technical quality bar will see a red-lettered warning if it is likely to crash on their device.

Google also updated app listing pages with a multi-column layout which prioritizes games with high-quality videos to allow users “to get a sense of gameplay in an immersive way.”

For a more “seamless browsing” it is also moving the navigation rail to a left side on larger screens. “This puts menu items closer to users’ thumbs and makes them more accessible especially when holding a device in landscape mode,” Google said.

Finally, the Play Store on large screens will also have a split-screen search, displaying search results and app details pages side by side for a more streamlined discovery process that “prevents users from switching back when exploring new apps.”

Google said it will start rolling out these changes in late August.