Mar 21 AT 3:30 PM Dustin Earley 20 Comments

Google Play 4.0 hands-on

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Google has committed to the Holo design guidelines for all things Android, and is constantly working on tweaking and improving apps and services within those guidelines. One could argue that already, the next evolution of Holo is being established right before our very eyes. Post-Google Now Holo has a distinct look over the Holo introduced with Ice Cream Sandwich. Cards, white spaces, soft gray backgrounds and frosted transparent layers are just a small sample of recurring elements in the new Holo. Thanks to a leaked .apk, this week we’re getting a special look at how Google Play for Android is being transformed post-Google now.

Both Droid Life and Android Police have secured .apk files of the next version of Google Play, version 4.0. The most current release is 3.x, so as you’d expect, there are a ton of visual and functional changes in the new Google Play. Right now, the .apk files floating around aren’t exactly fully functional, and there are bound to be some changes before an official release (which we’re assuming will happen at Google I/O with the next version of Android), but they still offer a great look at what we can expect.

The first thing you’ll notice in the pictures and hands-on video of the new Google Play is that it looks exactly like Google Now. Apps, movies, books and magazines are all neatly organized with white cards on a light gray background. They even feature the same menu button located near the top right of each card.

Another big change is the action bar. There’s some sort of hideous texture to it (we very highly doubt this will make it into the final version), and it’s now color coded for different types of media. Before, there were just colored highlights and sometimes text. Speaking of text, there’s a much wider variety of styles used now. Big bold words, light italicized words; it directs your attention well.

As far as functionality goes, there have been some welcome changes. The post-install screen, with that annoying, “keep shopping,” button, is gone, and auto-updates are opt-out, not opt-in. Changing accounts from the, “my apps,” section is easier now too.

Overall, the new Google Play app for Android looks fantastic. If you thought that the current version of Google Play was an improvement over the old Android Market, just check out the video below. We can’t wait to see what else Google has done with Android at Google I/O.

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Source: Droid Life

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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