At the end of last year, Google promised a big Play Store reorganization during which the 8 existing game categories would be cleaned up and expanded to 18. Two of the categories (Widgets and Live Wallpapers) weren't even games at all - they somehow ended up there and bothered everyone who noticed ever since.

This morning, after a month of delays, the company announced that the expansion would start soon. Apparently, soon means later this afternoon, as the new categories are now live:


Having counted 20 instead of the promised 18 and having noticed that Widgets and LWPs were still in the list, I even prepared this glorious image for the article:


Thankfully, I didn't have to use it (but I did anyway because I spent 30 seconds making, damnit!). Turns out, the Widgets and LWPs categories were actually each split into two. Here they are:

From what I can tell, game widgets and game LWPs aren't actually widgets and LWPs that are games, but rather games that contain widgets and LWPs, respectively. I've reached out to Google to confirm this theory.

image image

Left: app widgets. Right: game widgets

Is this real life? Pinch me because I'm afraid it's all just a dream.

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.

  • Orkeren1307


  • anzensepp1987

    Google really doesn't give a damn about putting important things first. The Play Store is a mess in many ways and it's even less functional than it was years ago. I literally hate using the Play Store.

    • remister

      This goes for the same in the Google All Access app. No organization in the albums/singles for the artist's page.

      • anzensepp1987

        Yeah, some smart playlists would be nice also. E.g. sorted by playcount or something. It's missing some functionality that I used within Winamp years ago.

        • Shawn Cheever

          I'd like it if you can have back the old lists rather than a 2 column list of artist pictures to scroll through. Just a list of names. Simple.

    • redmafia

      The app rating should be more prominent for one. You shouldn't have to scroll down at all

    • TheUndertaker21

      Not to mention this shit Problem with most users in ME for this thing '' Not Available in Your Country''''

      I hate apple, but to be honest there is No such limitation in iTunes,

  • Mystery Man

    I went to the game widgets and game live wallpapers and saw nothing but actual games?

    • squiddy20

      Yeah, I don't get it either. Facebook doesn't have a standalone widget "app" but the Facebook app does have widgets built in. Based on just the last 2 screenshots in the article, this makes it very confusing. I go to a section that says "app widgets", I expect standalone widgets, not full-fledged apps with widgets

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

      Maybe it's stuff that has widgets? I mean, the urls are distinct now and specifically say GAME_WIDGETS. I wonder if this will just be removed later or something...

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

      I'm still confused so I reached out to Google to clarify.

  • Mohibb

    Also, movies and All access music is suddenly working here in Norway. Finally!

    • Cj

      lol, see two previous AP posts

      • Mohibb

        Ah, I got over excited! I just saw the sections when going to the play store because of this one :D

  • Cj

    That's all great in theory, but...what I hate most about the play store is the the search function is pretty sub par. It's easier to google an app on the web and get the link to the play store that it is to do a search in the play store itself

  • Mskina

    I still don't get the "Game LWP" or the "Game Widget", but maybe is just me

  • Spasillium

    Finally a category for music/rhythm games.

    • xConjo

      Just wait for DJMax Technika Q international release, you won't be disappointed

      • Spasillium

        haha that's the one game i'm really waiting for!

  • squiddy20

    So I click on the App LWP link above, and one of the first five apps listed in the Top Free section is "Maps". I have Maps already installed so I go to the live wallpaper section of my launcher (Nova) and lo and behold, don't find Maps.
    Google, please explain this shit.

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

      I think it now figures out if these apps have a widget and puts them there. Should be more like Apps with Widgets or something. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

      • squiddy20

        Except Maps doesn't even have LWPs. I think it used to, in some version before the major 7.0 overhaul, but that was a few months shy of a year ago.

        • Sorian

          I guess some of the code might still be lingering which is why its in App LWP list. Or, it is reading that it had LWP and will keep the flag even when it's removed from the code. ¯_( ツ)_/¯

  • http://twitter.com/rluik Rafael Luik

    Where's the "boring endless runner" category so 99% of the games can be properly categorized?

  • Zain Kalwani

    I know this totally off topic but I ordered a Bright Red Nexus 5 and i am so exited!
    P.S. It is the first phone i bought with my first paycheck!

    • itsgonnalast

      Well done sir


      I know this is totally off topic but "excited" is not spelled "exited"

      • Zain Kalwani

        I'm sorry, sir. English is my 2nd language. Thank you for correcting me!

    • Milind Shah

      You wrote this in droid life as well xD :D

      • Zain Kalwani

        I am just so excited that I have to spread my joy. Have a nice day!

        • Milind Shah

          Same to you man :D

    • Hunter

      haha it initially sounds like you are happy! so then you decided to leave...

  • itsgonnalast

    Interesting, no "Fighting," "First-person shooter," or "Third-person shooter" categories. Maybe Google is worried about a lawsuit.

    Fighting, racing and sports are my favorite types of games, but I think Shadowgun is a top-notch third-person shooter.

  • Al McDowall

    What I'd really appreciate would be if Google could take games out of the 'Apps' category. There are very clearly two distinct categories, which Google allows you to choose from - 'Games' and 'Apps'

    From my point of view, this implies at least a degree of exclusivity, in that a title is one or the other (I know linguistically it can be both). This is to help people narrow down their search. If you're looking at apps, you're not looking FOR games.

    Yet games is what you'll find in Apps, which I find very tedious, especially when looking through the 'Top Paid' and 'Top Free' sections. If I wanted games, I'd be looking in 'Games'!!

    • Sir_Brizz

      Yes, although my biggest complaints are about the lack of Trending in the Games section.

      • taz89

        Agree, it's a bit stupid to have trending only in apps, should be available on all categories

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/77537273@N03/ Herman

    I would actually love a widget game on my homescreen.

    F*ck me, right?

  • taz89

    Please Google Just add the option to view only purchased apps, have brought so many apps I don't even remember some that I have brought. Is it really that hard to have a option in my apps to show paid only.

    • psygone

      There's an app for that..

  • http://www.LOVEanon.org/ Michael Oghia (Ogie)

    Nice Artem :)