Developers told to let images speak for themselves
Google has had a chance to tease the Pixel tablet this year, whether it was at I/O 2022 in May or the Pixel hardware event earlier this month. That hardware is only part of the company’s overall commitment to redesigning Android’s interfaces for tablets and foldable devices. One of the software components of the strategy is making the Play Store more user-friendly for large screens. Well, we now have a good understanding of what’s changing, as Google has outlined a number of choice features coming to the app store on tablets, foldable devices, and Chromebooks.
The company shared a single (low-resolution) image highlighting the changes coming to the Play Store for tablets and foldable tablets in 2023. This would be a major upgrade over the current Play Store design for tablets, which still seems to rely on the blueprint of its smartphone counterpart.
Google calls this a “content-forward approach,” where the description, screenshots, and videos related to the app are provided directly from the Apps and Games home screens. The company clarifies that this is just a visual change and does not affect an app’s promoteability in any way. The screenshot shared by Google also reveals the presence of a special section for children, which is located at the bottom of the left sidebar with games, apps, books and offers.
Using Android apps over ChromeOS is also getting some love as part of the wider changes coming to the Play Store. Google says app developers can now upload Chromebook screenshots through the Google Play Console. Developers are advised to use 16:9 screenshots with sizes up to 1080-7690 pixels – perhaps adding some indicative leeway to what future Chromebook displays will be able to do. A total of eight screenshots can be uploaded.
Google also provides developers with some resources and tips to get the best out of their apps. That means taking as many screenshots as possible for different form factors, while avoiding using device images when promoting the app or game. Promotions should also rely heavily on images rather than words. If words are needed, they should be able to hold up without frequent updates.
It’s likely that the Play Store revamp for large-screen devices will line up with the release of the Pixel Tablet early next year or maybe even the Pixel Fold that’s expected to arrive in late Q1 2023. We could hear more about this in the coming months leading up to the arrival of Google’s flagship tablet (and foldable).
In the meantime, there are currently some affordable Android tablets on the market that are definitely worth checking out. After all, these changes to the Play Store are for them too.