As we move closer towards Android L’s impending announcement, more and more core Google apps are getting the Material Design treatment. Google’s Material Design update for the Play Store leaked a few weeks back, now it seems that Google is ready to unleash their latest rendition of the Play Store upon the masses. Version 5.0.31 began rolling out to devices this evening and as you would expect with a big version bump, the update focuses on Google’s new design language and user experience.

The most striking new element is the use of bright, bold colors from the Material palette throughout the app, from the labels for the media categories (apps, movies, etc.) to the header menu and the various sub-categories.


The color of each media category carries over to its interface, so the Music section, for instance, features an orange color scheme, while Books is blue, and so on. Everything is flatter overall, with no visual delimitation between menu items; Google also abandoned its “folding crease” motif, in favor of an all-flat esthetic.

First things first, the Play Store icon itself has been updated to a more flatter design. In material Design Fashion, the entire Play Store sports newly colored categories that align with Google’s Material Design color palette, which are incredibly bold and bright. The What’s New section for apps is now highlighted and front and center when you tap ‘Read More,’ meaning there’s no need to scroll furiously to the bottom to read the change log. You’ll also notice a new hamburger menu icon (with an awesome animation I might add) on the side as well as a newly designed sidebar with flatter icons

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Another big change is the new “hamburger” button, which is bigger, spaced off from the left edge, and no longer has a category icon. Clicking on it opens up the side menu, and the icons turns into a back arrow with a smooth little animation. The side menu is different as well – the top options now feature gray system icons, while the bottom options (which had icons before) are now just plain non-capitalized text.

Besides the cosmetic changes you see above, the Google Play Store 5.0 update feels very snappy and flows quite nicely. Of course a lot of that feel could come from all of the new animations and transitions that are flowing freely through the app.

Finally, one small, but important change is the refresh of the Play Store icon, which is now flatter and less three-dimensional, though it lacks the hard 45-degree shadow we’ve seen on other updated Google icons. For a trip back memory lane, Kirill Grouchnikov, one of the engineers in Google’s Play team, shared this graphic:

Play Store 5.0 will automatically hit your device in the coming hours or days, though with over a billion devices to update, you may have a lot to wait. You can try to speed up the update by tapping on the version number in Settings, though tapping repeatedly won’t trigger an update. If patience isn’t your forte, the folks over at Gapps Early have the Play Store apk file for download.

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