After a major redesign of the Play Store app for Android, Google has revamped the web version of the store to align the look with the app: it also changed some things under the hood to make it a faster experience.

As with everything new at Google these days, the Play Store also gets a lot of cards and once again the design is much cleaner than the last iteration. Navigation buttons are hidden now and the Play Store is noticeably faster thanks to this update. Android Police says Google has been using AJAX (asynchronous JavaScript and XML) to make page loads faster, so the Play Store doesn't have to completely reload each time a link is clicked.

The new Play Store

The new Play Store

The landing page has the editor's picks, recommendations, top charts and new releases. The categories are neatly stacked on the left, and when one is clicked, the others hide away, only to show up when you mouse-over. The My Apps page is now a long scrolling list of all your apps, which we reckon will slow up loading times if you have a ton of apps on your various devices. However, overall, the UI is a lot simpler.

App listings have also got a change and the app icon is larger and more front-and-centre. This was also one of the changes seen in the mobile app. Permissions no longer have a separate tab, but show up when you click on Install. When you do install apps, the new Play Store will show you the last time you used the app on your device. There are other changes too, like the way reviews are shown. You can no longer filter good or bad reviews, which probably isn’t a good thing if you are a developer just browsing through lots of reviews.

Google also changed the file format and UI for screenshots of apps. The pictures are bigger and if you click on one, the image viewer fills your screen space with it. Another change is that if you are using Opera or Chrome, the images will be displayed in WebP format, which was first talked about by Google at I/O. This means images are about 10 times lighter than PNG images. If your browser (IE, Firefox, Safari etc) doesn't support WebP, the Play Store falls back to PNG.

What do you think? Does the new Play Store make it easier for you to find apps or do you still prefer the older version?

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