Hands-on: Android TV’s new Play Store brings fresh air to the platform

The Google Play Store on Android has seen some major redesigns over the past few years, but since 2014 the same app stays on the same design on Google’s Android TV platform. Now Google is releasing a new Play Store for Android. TV and we briefly looked at everything it brings to the table.Modern Design with Better SearchThe Play Store on Android TV has been functionally well since its debut a few years ago, but since then the platform has evolved significantly, making the Play Store feel outdated. Worse yet, the original design was never good at coming up with new applications, and as the store grew, the problem got worse.

With the new Play Store, Google is focusing on these two issues. In terms of design, the update is great. Transparent UI elements, app ‘bubbles’ and color gradients give the store a unique look on Android TV right now. The Play Store now looks like an extension of the home screen and is very nice.The “home screen” of the new Play Store is the most important part of this redesign. At the top, there are several applications that allow you to upload a video to your design and display the video without audio in the background.Below that, we start dividing the app into different categories. This category is adjusted by activity, but often includes entertainment, fitness, sports, and more. What was interesting was the “free TV and movies” highlighting apps like Xumo and Pluto.At the bottom of this list are app categories on Android TV, including entertainment, music, video players, tools, lifestyle, sports, news, productivity, fitness, and more. In a simple test, most of these categories have many related apps, but less common ones such as “communication” are rare.The design goes on to a cleaner app list with larger titles and clearer app screenshots. Call-to-action buttons for installation and other tasks have become much clearer.One of my big complaints is that the description section is easily truncated and there is no clear indication of how to expand the section. Personally, I would prefer if Google moved all the information below the store screenshot instead of pressing all other buttons.If much of this scrolls down, we’ll split the category and expand it into the games section of the store. This part highlights a bit of an issue with Android TV games because many lists are quite old.In addition to the design, Google has improved the functionality of this new Play Store on Android TV. One way to see this is the new “My Apps” screen. It still shows a list of apps waiting to be updated and everything installed, but there’s also a new section for apps installed on other devices. But what I can tell is that it is only taken from other Android TV devices, not the smartphone connected to the accountPerformance issues Thenew Play Store for Android TVs is a much more information-dense design, and still feels less chaotic than its competitors, and is a big improvement over the past. But I’m a bit worried about the performance aspect.Set-top boxes like the Nvidia Shield TV or Xiaomi Mi Box shouldn’t have any problems with this new design, but the Hisense TVs we’re testing are reviewing soon and are struggling with animation while scrolling. Not terrible, but this new design obviously requires more resources.Is there a difference?Android TV as a platform is getting more and more apps. However, there are still noticeable differences with respect to the app. Roku or Fire TV has many products that are not yet on Android TV. Will this redesign Play Store make a difference? Hard to say However, the search for new apps has been significantly improved, so it’s now much easier to find what’s hidden in stores, and new apps can spread even more in stores.Fortunately, we hope to encourage more developers to bring their apps to Android TV.Now the new Google Play Store for Android TV will be widespread for all users. If you don’t see the update yet, you can force it to update.

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