Google Play Store Improvements Rolling Out on Android: Here's How to Get Them Right Now
If you have an Android device, you most definitely have the Google Play Store. It's the main hub for finding and downloading apps, games, music, movies, and more, as well as updating them. It's where all the magic happens, but you're not getting the full effect unless you're running the latest and greatest version of the Google Play Store app.
Google is slowly rolling out an update (version 4.5.10) for the Play Store app on the Samsung Galaxy S3 and other Android devices, but it could take weeks until you have it. Who wants to wait that long? Especially with all of the new features built into this new version, which include color-coded review stars, indicators for items with in-app purchases, and an activity feed.
To install the latest Google Play Store version right now on your GS3 or other Android device, just download the 4.5.10 APK file. You can download it to your computer and then sideload the app over to your GS3, but I would suggest downloading the file directly to your device—it's much easier—and it's what I'm doing.
Since this is an app from outside of the Google Play Store, you'll need to enable Unknown sources to complete the install. Just head to Settings -> Security -> Device administration and check Unknown sources.
Once that's done, you can begin installing the APK. Just open it up from the Notification tray or from your Downloads folder and choose your desired installer. It should be noted that this will replace your current Google Play Store application.
The new Play Store has a couple features that help make the app more social and easier to use. Google+ integration is more prevalent, and users can edit or delete reviews they've made using the new edit icon, among other things.
They've also added an indicator for apps that have in-app purchases. It's always good to know if you are downloading something that may require or need in-app purchases later on. Below, you can see the differences between 4.4.21 (left) and 4.5.10 (right).
Review stars are color coded now, as well. Apps and game reviews will have a green star while music will have orange stars. These stars now correspond to the colors of each app section.
You may also notice that the profiles next to reviews have lost their edge. To keep in line with Google+ profiles, the new Play Store features circular profile icons.
There is now an activity feed which can be accessed from the slide out menu. The activity feed will have your recent reviews and recently shared activity. Moreover, recommended apps will have your Google+ friends recommendations as well.
That's pretty much it; not many updates, but a few really great ones that make it worth getting right now. What do you think of the new design? Love it or hate it?