Ever since the current major iteration of the Android Play Store design rolled out, one aspect of it made me want to claw my eyes out and curl up in a fetal position - reflections. And we're not talking about small, harmless reflections. We're talking giant, tall, ugly ones, for the most part filled with gray pixel mud. They waste a ton of valuable space that can be taken up by another app, and in some cases several ones. Here, take a look:

shot_Mar_22_2012_7 Screenshot_2012-03-23-00-00-30

Every time a reflection appeared in the Play Store, a kitten died somewhere. Considering that the design of Google Play overall wasn't so bad, I was appalled to see that they kept appearing month after month after month. At one point Liam, one of our more design-savvy writers, even went as far as creating a full Play Store redesign. The first item on the agenda was chucking the reflections - everything else kind of fell into place after that.

It looks like someone at Google finally listened. Or maybe they realized how heinous such a crime against design was and the fact that they could now plug all the newly available space with moar apps. In any case, reflections are gone. Kaput, adios, do svidanya. And the best part is - you don't need to update your Play Store app - all changes are server-side.

Ahhh, so much better:

SC20120626-165304 SC20120626-165351 SC20120626-165413

Screenshot_2012-06-26-17-05-34 Screenshot_2012-06-26-17-06-22

Thanks, PhilNelwyn!

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • Tania N

    To be honest, what really bothers me about Google Play is the fact that apps that you delete still stay in google play in the "ALL Apps" list. I wish they'd get rid of that! :(

    • Guest

      Agreed. I liked the other way they had it much better.

    • Blah

      The "All apps" is entirely and retardedly useless. It doesn't offer any kind of sorting, filtering or searching. If you tap entry #342 and then go back you'll be at the top of the list again. Get your act together, Google.

      • Joshua Barta

        Unfortunately I must agree... and the "My Android Apps" section of https://play.google.com/apps isn't much better- no sorting/filtering, no details on previous app purchases, only 12 apps per page, and everything past 20 pages gets truncated.

        • http://www.dailyplacebo.com/ jeadly

          And it's alphabetical.  At least give me a sort or search.

      • NemaCystX

        Its serving as a history of what you downloaded. It serves useful if you want to quickly download those previous apps or other ones you forgot about directly on another device since you can pull it up on any device you are signed in on.  I don't see it as useless

        • Thomas

          If they should that proper they should make 2 sections one for purchased apps (And quite possibly include free apps where you have made in-app purchases) and then one for free apps, preferably sorting by time installed so you can pretty quickly see the big major apps you've used a lot.

        • http://funsurf-blog.blogspot.com/ Satyajit Sahoo

          We must be able to clear our history. Shouldn't we?

          • GazaIan

            It's a transaction history, not exactly something you want to clear, even if the apps are free.

      • Dexter Dyall

        I agree! The worst part about android is no doubt Play. You should be able to create categories, favorite, sort, search and filter.

        The idea of seeing a download history ain't useless, but it's implementation certainly is

    • RampageDeluxe

      For real. I with that they would have an "installed" and "purchased" tabs instead. I hate wading through a ton of useless apps to get to what I purchased. I have to do that or go to Google Wallet's website and look up purchase history. I buy a lot of apps. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/gregori.gualdron Gregori David Gualdron

      yesss ! thats pretty annoying..  They should dissapear from there, and an installed apps history would be better.. 

    • http://twitter.com/rdlf2048 Rodolfo Ferreira

       You used Google Play to get an app installed, have you tried using it to uninstall an app as well? If you do, the uninstalled app will disappear from your installed apps category on Google Play Store, but that does not go for those apps pre-installed on your device, only for its updates.

      • Jasonc07

        You have missed the point. All apps (including UNinstalled ones) show in the "all" apps list. You can see what you have installed currently or everything you have ever installed (payed or free). I think most people would like this second list to show all items you have payed for (installed or not) and not include all free apps you have downloaded in the past (or at least be able to sort to show only payed).

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    I say, Woot!

    I wonder if this is in preparation for another upgrade to the Play Store that might improve some other aspects of the UI and functionality.  A guy can dream, right? :)

  • http://twitter.com/PCSievers P.C. Sievers

    Now they just need an easy way to see apps I have purchased without some ridiculously OTT method that is harder work than just filtering my gmail account for receipts. It used to show them underneath the installed apps, but no longer.

  • BrianLipp

    i knew the store looked more packed full of stuff, but i couldnt figure out why!

  • MrWicket

    much cleaner! ahhhh that's nice!


    It's amazing how little I care about whether or not a panel can fit another product to sell me...I'm more upset that you even took the time to write/share this when you could have been doing something productive like taking a dump.

    To the guy who said All Apps is entirely useless and retarded...well, yeah it's sort of retarded but not useless. I don't remember all the apps I try/buy...oh hey now it has a purpose.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      And what if I said that I wrote it while taking one?

      • Wayne Randall

         i'd have to ask which device you instinctively reached for to write this piece..

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          My laptop, of course - I maintain that tablets are devices that make you unproductive, and phones... you'd have to be a masochist to write articles on your phone.

      • Fixxmyhead

        haha sick ass

      • Gspida

        Google Play needs a Toilet Paper app

    • http://profiles.google.com/mechanizedapathy Shawn Brandel

      You gotta get rid of that mouse that makes you click on things you don't care about. It'd make the web a whole lot better for you.

      And us.

  • jjrudey

    Never even noticed. 

  • http://twitter.com/rdlf2048 Rodolfo Ferreira

    For those of you wanting some content, calm down and wait until tomorrow morning when Google IO kicks off. Now, I don't see much changes for Play Store New Apps Screen. Every app has a rectangle space, OK; but what's the difference between featuring a SINGLE app using a 2x2 space (that's the space that FOUR apps could take) and using a giant picture of 2x1 and the other 2x1 as a reflection? That's the case of Big Win Soccer, four more apps could be using that space.

  • Clint Webb

    About time.  Those reflections were an embarrassment.

  • fixxmyhead

    Honestly I still don't even see the differences can someone point them out

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      The gigantic reflection is gone...

  • Not enough minerals

    i'll be honest, if the front page of the play store only had a small search button in the middle of black screen it would not make a difference to me.

  • patapongirl

    FINALLY! The stupid reflection is my only gripe with Play.

  • Knlegend1

    I still don't see it lol

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      You don't see what?

    • http://twitter.com/havens1515 Randroid

      I agree. I don't see a difference. At all. No idea what this article is talking about.

  • Himmat Singh

     Yay it's gone...always hated it.

  • Deaconclgi

    It kinda looks like WP8 with pictures and detailed tiles.

    I almost want to miniaturize the one that says "POP FROM $3.99" with Beiber...or atleast rearrange/move it to the bottom...so I can forget to scroll down. A long press and move is all it takes...I don't buy music from the play store so it would be nice to move it OR have a toggle so I can toggle it off.

    A guy can dream right? No? ;)

    I like it better now though, I was looking at the on of the reflections today, not realizing it was a reflection and thought it was another app....

    All Play needs now is Asphalt 7...

  • Kyoraki

    I'm still really annoyed at the great big gap where 'Music' should be.

  • Tim Sheppard

    Still awful, needs live what's new on access and a live 24 hour trending as its too static currently

  • http://www.facebook.com/Daniturn Daniel Turner

    wish google would make it more to individual as alot of the apps on the main pages ive used or have why cant they make it so if an app is installed something or different replace it 

  • http://twitter.com/Bazar6 B Azar

    To be honest I didn't even notice the reflections, because as soon as the home page loaded up I was in the search box...

  • Ken Wolf

    Well it's good to see that Google is making changes to Play Store that appeal to most people.  Personally, didn't bother me that much if the app had reflections or not.  Didn't get in my way, but then again I am on a 10" tablet. 

    What I want to know is when will they do something about their crappy Google+ app for  android?  That is about one of the ugliest apps I have every had the displeasure to use. Makes accessing Google+ too painful.  If I want to check Google+ while on my tablet I use a web browser (Opera or even the stock) and view the site as a desktop browser.
    If the Google devs want to do something really useful, fix their Google+ app.

  • Alan

    I've also noticed that the horrible black square where play music should be is gone from the UK store

  • bse88

    I should be able to hide the paid apps if i dont have a credit card associated to my google account

  • Bas

    Never really noticed those reflections! XD