Hot on the heels of the recent iOS-like Play Store UI tweak, Google also appears to be rolling out (or at least testing) a further change. Today several of us here at Android Police have received a new bell indicator that pops out of the profile photo icon in the corner, indicating pending notices in the "notifications & offers" subsection, together with a tooltip that describes the feature. A similar notification and animation for Play Points is also appearing.
Above: Tooltip indicating the new notification indicator (left) as the bell icon and number in the gray oval to the left of the profile picture and (right) as the Play Points icon and numerical point count. Below: The full animation cycle.
The new bell indicator pops out from your profile photo after launching the Play Store, set in a slightly contrasting oval and swinging side to side a few times to grab your attention, with a number next to it indicating how many pending notices you have in the "notifications & offers" sub-menu accessible from the profile photo menu. After it has shaken its little bell booty a few times, the indicator fades away, replaced by a voice input icon and the search box's text. The Play Points animation is similar, but with your Play Points count and icon instead. In both cases, tapping the animation doesn't do anything or take you to the relevant section.
The first time these new animations appear, a tooltip describing the feature is also visible. In the case of the notifications animation: "view your notifications and offers here."
At least one of our readers claims to have had the feature previously, so it could have been part of an A/B test that is only now rolling out more widely, though we can report it is newly landing for several of us at Android Police at the same time today.
The new indicator may actually be handy. Some of our readers probably aren't even aware that there is a "notifications & offers" section in the Play Store, though its lineage dates back to 2017, and some of the things it shows are actually handy. In addition to firing off notifications for deals and apps you've pre-registered for, it also notifies you about billing changes if you have subscriptions through Play. Mine is warning me about the Disney+ price increase, for example, and it can also show you promotions you might qualify for:
The two tabs in the "notifications & offers" section.
Some of these same notices spit an actual system notification as well, but not all of them seem to.
In short, it's actually a pretty useful spot that can have both important notices and freebies, so grabbing your attention when there's something new in it isn't a bad idea. (The Play Points indicator is probably a little less useful.)
We're also getting a new Play Points animation/indicator that's similar to the notifications & offers bell. Our coverage has been updated with that information.