It was only a few weeks ago that we spotted a small change in the Play Store's tab layout that would completely separate apps and games. The modification we are seeing today takes a page out of that book, but feels more like a regression than an improvement.

Instead of the multiple tabs on the Play Store, only two are left: Apps and Games. The others — namely, Movies & TV, Books, and Music — are still accessible from the side menu, but don't have their dedicated tabs anymore. And unlike the previous test where the Apps tab showed no games, this one still has them. So it's more akin to the current Home tab that we've grown accustomed to.

 

Left: All tabs including Games and standalone Apps. Right: New layout with just Apps and Games.

This being one of the thousand Play Store layouts currently tested via server-side switch, it's not clear whether Google intends to really go that route or not. Though the mere though that something like this is being A/B tried gives us pause. Are users not accessing books, music, and movies from the Play Store? Do they buy them directly from the corresponding app instead? I'd also be remiss not to point out that it could be a bug, but the facts that it's showing for a few tipsters and that Google has made some questionable choices in the past leave me dubious.

  • Thanks:
  • Brandon,
  • Himanshu Singh