Mar 21 AT 3:30 PM Dustin Earley 20 Comments

Google Play 4.0 hands-on


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.

new-google-play13 new-google-play23 new-play11

Source: Droid Life

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

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  • Said Tahsin Dane

    Anyone provide a download link?

    • adil1231

      nice application


    I think we better wait for 5.0, 4.0 seems like a waste of everybodys time, just sayin

    • Mikes_phone_and_tab

      A waste of everyone’s time? It requires no time of yours and there are improvements. Please expound on that comment.

      • Jon Garrett

        its a useless update if you still cant find the apps you’re looking for. the most frustrating thing about the play store is how you type the name of an app you know to be in the store and the search results turn up nothing–this is very very frustrating.

        • Morten Ulveseth

          There are cases where apps are not available in your region etc (which truly sucks), but it has nothing to do with the search.

    • Max.Steel

      Heisenberg disapproves of this comment.

  • aranea

    Looking forward to it!

  • YMS123

    I like it. I’m looking forward to this update.

  • Nate B.

    So much better looking. I hope KLP looks more like this with this theme & I hope developers take to this. Slowly more apps are looking better but Android has a long way to get these developers to update & beautify their apps. It frustrates me sometimes when all is looking good & you see that one unattractive icon or UI that doesn’t match.

    • dcds

      Me too, I hope klp has something like that. On a side note, this seems like the bleeding edge in Holo design, I mean, if you take a look at the Google plus communities that talk about it, you will see a lot of of app redesigns that are using that approach… That is, better use of color branding, soft gray backgrounds, more use (and abuse!) Of the cards ui.

      Funny is tthat is just a step forward for Holo. The original design standards recommended a color palette, but only recently people are trying those things instead of the now omnipresent Light Holo blue color.

      One of the reasons is the fact that stock Android does not provide a “switch” to change the color theme of an app, you have to redesign every widget (the actionable components of the app, like button, check box etc.) to provide the new color. However, recently, tools for automating that cumbersome task surfaced on the Internet and started to become more used by designers. That is starting to show… I bet klp and klp-themed apps will provide an even more engaging visual experience. Think of Holo principles with more diversity.

      And I’ll try to update my app asap. Hopefully most developers will do the same.

  • Co1e

    All this nice new stuff is making me think I need a new phone! Must be strong!

  • HeadDoc

    Want. Now.

  • anon

    thanks for the link looks awesome……..

  • donger

    Looking forward to this.

  • Bilal7DMK

    Google must remove the “device compatibility check” (on free apps) and regional limitations,Clicking on an app you like just to see the “incompatible device” error is really heartbreaking,Almost 90% of the android smartphones are rooted,so the device compatibility just makes no sense on free apps.

    • Jakob

      Where do you get that 90% from? One billion activated devices does not equal 900 million rooted users. Most people just buy the a phone because they need it for apps, texting and calling. Rooting won’t make any sense to most users.

  • Android VND

    if you cannot download app on Google Play, you can download free app at AndroidVND

  • Manny

    Is that a white Nexus 4 he’s using???????

  • MrZackarius

    I’m liking the new quick install/add to wishlist button.