Google gives Play store a facelift, as Android tweaks continue

Google today rolled out a redesign of its Play store for Android

Google today rolled out a redesign of its Play store for Android, changing the interface for smartphone and tablet users looking for apps and media content.

The new presentation is more image-heavy than previous iterations, and Google Play Group Product Manager Michael Siliski said in an official blog post that the idea is to provide a more streamlined experience.

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"Similarly themed content is grouped together so you can hone [sic] in on a magazine to read or an app to try. As you move down the page, new recommendations continue to appear so there is always more to see and explore. We've also simplified purchasing so you can breeze through checkout and get to enjoying your movie rental or other content," he said.

Users might not notice the change right away, however -- the roll-out of the latest version will take place over the course of several weeks, Siliski noted.

Google's announcement about the Play store comes hard on the heels of the leak of what may be screenshots of a new Gmail chat interface called Babel. It's possible that this purported unified messaging system will show up on Android in the new version expected to be released at Google I/O in May.

However, relatively little is known for certain about the next major Android release -- which is heavily tipped to be called "Key Lime Pie" -- so such rumors must be taken with a grain of salt. Google did roll out Jelly Bean, its last major update, at last year's I/O conference, though, and many seem to believe the pattern will continue this time.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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