Thanks to a sharp-eyed user on Reddit, we have some screenshots showing what appears to be an updated user interface for the Google Play Store when users visit it using a web browser on the desktop. Since the new interface only appears to be available for a small subset of users, it seems likely Google may be conducting some A/B testing before rolling this update out. The new interface takes some cues from the card design concept that is part of Google’s Material Design and brings it over to the desktop.
Currently visitors to the Play Store are presented with small cards for items when they are at the top two levels of the store. However, when clicking through on an item, like an app, the format changes to a more traditional web page layout with all of the information being presented against a background that essentially fills the whole window.
The new format when used for an app takes the information and puts it into a card that hovers, per Material Design, above the background layer. As presently designed, all of the information about an item is included in that single card – images, reviews, what’s new and description info, and basic info. The layout of the information in the top section has also been tweaked some.
In a move that may be welcomed by developers, the new card format means Google can deploy a second column in the form of additional cards. Google has used this on the right-hand side of the page to list similar apps followed by a section on other apps from the same developer. Currently those additional apps are only discovered if a user scrolls down to the very bottom of the page. This increased visibility should help developers grow their customer base.
There is no word on when this new user interface will actually start rolling out to general users or whether it will remain in this format. However, it seems likely Google will want to implement something like this as a way to continue to present a consistent user interface across platforms and devices.