Google on Tuesday gave a major facelift to its Google Play web site, a place where you can download Android apps as well as access streaming TV shows, music and ebooks through either PCs or Android devices. Meanwhile, Google’s Play store has started supporting Google Glass through an an app called MyGlass.
Google Glass Support
The new site follows an announcement at the recent Google I/O Conference that Google would revamp Play. Now, signs are pointing clearly toward the inclusion of Google Glass support.
Earlier today, screen shots appeared online of “Google Glass 1″ showing up in a drop-down list of devices for an app called “MyGlass” on the new Play Store site (although these words were greyed out so that users couldn’t actually select Google Glass). Google presented the message, “You have not opened the Google Play Store app recently on this device. Please open it and try again.” Since then, Google seems to have removed the greyed out verbiage.
However, the developer has these words to say as a description of MyGlass: “MyGlass allows you to configure and manage your Glass device. If you don’t have Glass, then downloading this will be a waste of time. Sorry about that. But if you swipe the screenshots to the right you’ll see there’s a picture of a puppy in pajamas. So not a total waste of time after all.” (For expanded views of the screenshots at right, please click on the images.)
Updated to version 1.5 on July 16, the app requires Android 4.03 or up. The app has been installed 10,000 to 50,000 times, and its file size is 2.5M, according to Google. Early users are giving Google Glass a rating of 4.8 stars (with 5 stars being the best).
Look & Feel of the New Google Play Site
Borrowed from the Android version of Google Play, the new Google Play web site features a tile-based UI which allows you to search by categories such as Movies and TV Shows, Music, Books, and Magazines, as well as by device.
Google has enlarged the screenshots on the Google Play site. The new UI takes up the whole screen. For many items in the store, you can now view sets of multiple screenshots all on the same page, instead of needing to scroll to the right to see some of them. You can now read more reviews in a single glance, too.
Users can also view charts which which show new releases, top apps, and review ratings by other end users, for example. In descriptions of TV shows and apps, you can still click on “read more” to get more info. Google has done away with the previous tabbed interface, however.
For PC users, Google streams movies and TV shows directly to the computer. In the Music category, users are redirected to the new Google Play All Access service, where 30-day free trials are available.
Some content in each of the categories is free. For example, free books right now include classic novels like H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, L. Frank Bacon’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.