/ android

My Hopes for Improvements to the Google Play Store


Over the past few years, the Google Play Store (formerly Android Market), has changed radically. The once super simple store with just a list and some categories of apps, has now become a massive complex (yet easily navigable) library of content ranging from Magazines & Books to Movies and Apps. Google has truly put a lot of effort into making the Play Store a true universal store of content that is both easy to use and expansive in content. But sites like this are never perfect, so how can it be improved?

In addition to the large changes that the store has undergone, Google has kindly been listening to its users over the years and has pushed dozens if not hundreds of small changes that make the Play Store just that much easier to use. Things like adding a Recently Updated section, an All section, and even the ability to install applications remotely.

There are quite a few features, however that I would love to see implemented into the Google Play Store that would make it even better.

Here are some of the things I would like to see in the future versions of the Google Play Store:

1. A Separate section for Purchased applications

This is something I’ve wanted for a very long time. I’m told the Store once had this, but has been gone for quite some time. While users have a section called My Android Apps, it does not separate the apps you’ve Purchased from the ones that were Free. Understandably, this may be a little difficult to manage since there are some applications that can start free and later change to a paid application. Regardless, it is a real pain to have to sift through an immense list of previously installed applications in search of one that I purchased.

Another reason this would be useful is in those times that you may have purchased an application and subsequently found a “better” alternative or simply uninstalled it hoping for better features in the future. Being able to look back at the apps you’ve purchased to see how they’ve grown is a boon for developers and consumers alike. It encourages users to look back at the hard work of the Developers (though not consciously looking at it that way).

2. Remove Apps from the “My Android Apps” list using the Web Interface

The Web Interface of the Play Store is one of its greatest advantages giving the user the ability to browse applications in a much faster and content rich environment and then immediately install apps remotely to their devices.

Despite this, for users that install a lot of apps, and subsequently uninstall them, the My Android Apps list starts to become extremely cluttered after a while. Going back through this list and trying to find an application you used to use on an old device is a pain when this list is so overpopulated.

To be fair, there is a way to do this, but only using the mobile app. I would really like to see this ability implemented into the Web Interface of the Google Play Store.

3. Sorting

Maybe this is a bit much to ask for given the size of the store, and it will probably wreck the system in terms of application name creation, but I would really like to see the ability to sort apps. Things like sort Alphabetically, by Downloads, and Date Released (or Recently Released).

I figure this would be useful to people who recall that an apps name starts with a particular letter but don’t remember the full name of the app. It can also help with looking for the biggest apps on the Play Store by Downloads rather than relying on complex algorithms which force particular apps to rush to the “Top X” sections. Of course there would need to be some contingencies in place in the event that some of the bigger apps were discontinued or something like that. This list would be relatively static near the top while being dominated by apps such as Facebook and Twitter.

4. Lists

It’s great to have the ability to turn on a brand new Android device and have it automatically retrieve the backed up apps from your previous device. I do wish, however, that we could create lists in the Play Store that would dictate which apps to pull. Perhaps include some Smart Lists and add the ability to create other lists.

Some of the Smart Lists could include My Top Apps, which would, by leveraging app usage or install data, automatically populate a list of the most frequently used applications from a user; Apps on X Device, which would simply publicize to the user what apps were on each device associated with the account; and others that make sense.

Additionally, a Favorites list which would allow the user to populate it with their favorite applications and that list would be public (if the user so chooses) to their friends on Google+ and the Play Store.

I know a Wishlist already exists but I feel like it serves little purpose other than to store apps that you want to buy later or to have someone buy for you.

5. Sharing

Google+ is already integrated into the Play Store. Why not create a method for users to view each other’s applications and lists similar to how Spotify shares it’s users music and playlists with each other?

I think that would be an awesome way to make the Play Store way more interactive and contextual.


That’s my list as of this writing. Most of it is related to organization, but let’s be honest, when we’re talking about improvements to an online catalog, that’s kind of the more important features you’d want.

I really do hope Google sees this post and adds these features as I think they would really benefit the users.

What do you think? What other features would you like to see come to the Google Play Store?