The Google Play Store is getting a redesign soon, but the focus is on improving app recommendations and embracing new platforms, such as “wearable devices, virtual reality headsets, and Google’s Chromebook laptops,” according to Reuters.
Reuters’ report doesn’t go into specifics beyond stating that Google will inject machine learning into the Play Store to improve app recommendations. The Play Store will also begin accepting other forms of payment, though it’s unclear what to expect. We have reached out to Google for comment.
Half of American smartphone users don’t download an app a month, and the stagnant state of apps is forcing Google and Apple to improve the way apps are advertised to users. Games is still a primary focus for the Google Play Store, and Reuters reaffirms Nintendo is working on Super Mario Run for the mobile operating system.
Reuters says Google’s machine learning teams have been collaborating for three years now, and last year the company struck a deal “with Google Brain, a cutting-edge research project.”
When we’ll see the effects of this update is unclear — Android Police recently reported some design changes on the Play Store for select users, but these are mostly cosmetic. The search bar is gone — you need to tap the search icon to start a search; the Entertainment section has been renamed as Movies, Music, Books; and there’s a new look for the carousel.
The search giant is testing these cosmetic changes, so there’s a chance they may never go live. We’ll update this post when we hear back from the company.