Using Google’s Play Store on the web has felt outdated for years, mainly due to it reflecting a look from 2014, back when the Nexus 6P was the Google smartphone of choice.
According to 9to5Google, however, Google has recently been rolling out a refresh to the Play Store on web browsers to finally reflect the latest look and feel of recent Android releases.
The company used to showcase this feature as a way of installing new apps to your Android device without laying a finger on your smartphone, but in recent years it’s felt a bit neglected, having gone without a mere mention in Google’s I/O keynotes.
But with Windows 11 enabling Android apps, both through official and unofficial means, it asks the question of why… and why now?
A foundation for the future?
The new design mirrors what you see on a Chromebook. If you follow this link you may come across the new design if you’re signed into a Google account, although it looks as though it’s being switched on for random users for the moment.
The new layout brings in separate tabs for Games, Apps, Movies and Books. Every landing page to a product on the store displays well, regardless of whether you’re viewing it on a 1440p monitor or an iPad mini.
But that begs the question, why has Google made this change now?
If you’ve recently upgraded to Windows 11 and you use an Android smartphone, you’ll have probably noticed that you’ll soon be able to use some of the apps that you use everyday, albeit via the Amazon App Store..
But, with unofficial methods allowing the full Google Play Store to be used, the new look of the Play Store on the web could encourage Windows 11 users to stick with Google’s Play Store on the web, rather than using the competing Amazon App Store.
Microsoft and Google have an opportunity here that goes beyond the Amazon App Store. Being able to run any Android app on your Windows 11 device is going to be a tempting prospect to many.
There’s around 60,000 apps available on Amazon’s Store, compared to over three million apps on the Google Play Store. With games, media apps and other categories available to download compared to what’s on Amazon’s Store, it may convince both Microsoft and Google to allow users to install more content through the Play Store, and through the web version.
Combine that with being able to download apps from a web version of the Play Store, and it only makes sense to see an agreement between the two companies in the coming years.
Microsoft and Amazon have laid the groundwork for Android apps in WIndows 11, but it’s now time to see how Microsoft and Google can really open the gates for the Play Store to arrive for Windows users.