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Google Play Store Gets A Subtle Design Tweak Ahead Of I/O, No Longer Wastes Space With Dreadful Reflections

Ever since the current major iteration of the Android Play Store design rolled out, one aspect of it made me want to claw my eyes out and curl up in a fetal position – reflections. And we’re not talking about small, harmless reflections. We’re talking giant, tall, ugly ones, for the most part filled with gray pixel mud. They waste a ton of valuable space that can be taken up by another app, and in some cases several ones.

Here, take a look:



Every time a reflection appeared in the Play Store, a kitten died somewhere. Considering that the design of Google Play overall wasn’t so bad, I was appalled to see that they kept appearing month after month after month. At one point Liam, one of our more design-savvy writers, even went as far as creating a full Play Store redesign. The first item on the agenda was chucking the reflections – everything else kind of fell into place after that.

It looks like someone at Google finally listened. Or maybe they realized how heinous such a crime against design was and the fact that they could now plug all the newly available space with moar apps. In any case, reflections are gone. Kaput, adios, do svidanya. And the best part is – you don’t need to update your Play Store app – all changes are server-side.

Ahhh, so much better:



Google gives developers a voice, they can now reply to reviews on Play Store

Feel like you’re talking to the walls when you leave that constructive criticism on an app on Google Play Store? That won’t be the case anymore, because Google is making some big changes on its app store. You’d better be good at both dishing it out and taking it back, though. Those seemingly faceless app developers can now reply to your reviews – good or bad.

As you can see on the screenshot below taken from an Android Developer console, developers will be able to reply directly to customer’s reviews, and their replies will appear below the original comments on Google Play for the public to see. We don’t think there’s a notification system to let you know if a review has been replied to or not, but we could be wrong on this one.



For now, the direct reply feature is only available to a select few, namely those with a “Top Developer badge”. A full rollout for all developers can be expected in the future.

You have to remember that having the ability to respond to reviews and comments doesn’t mean that the developers are obligated to do it. But we’re sure some developers are more than willing to set straight some misinformation that certain users write on their reviews or help troubleshoot problems when running certain apps.

This new level of interaction will hopefully have some positive impact on both developers and customers: we’ll have apps that run better and more satisfied customers, who in return will keep supporting their favorite developers.