An additional tap is now required to Search in the Google Play Store app

Even the Google Play Store is entitled to a UI refresh every now and then. Per 9to5Google, in the latest change, Google is removing the Search bar found at the top of the app storefront’s Games and Apps tabs. But fear not, Play Store fans. While you will have to add an additional touch to the screen to search, Google is adding a Search tab at the bottom of the screen. You might recall that Google tested this look back in December.

Tapping on the Search tab opens a page with a search bar at the top of the display and two sections consisting of chips lined up two across with headings that say, “You might like” and “Explore games.” The former features 12 chips that are preset to search for:

  • AI apps
  • 3D games
  • Offline games
  • Car games
  • Shooting games
  • Photo editor
  • Horror games
  • Cricket games
  • Racing simulation games
  • Mobile payments apps
  • Photo albums
  • Vehicles games

The other heading, as we already pointed out, is titled “Explore games” and includes eight gaming subjects that can be searched for such as:

  • Action
  • Simulation
  • Puzzle
  • Adventure
  • Racing
  • Role Playing
  • Strategy
  • Sports

The space where the Search bar used to reside on the top of the screen in the Games and Apps tabs is now blank. Where the Search bar used to be, you’ll see the Play Store logo on the left and your profile icon on the right. 

It should be noted that not all Android users are seeing this new UI which indicates that Google is disseminating it via a server-side update. The new Search tab does not appear yet in the Play Store on my Pixel 6 Pro running Android 14 QPR 3 Beta 2. This is far from an earth-shattering change and, as we already noted, it does add an additional step that needs to be taken when you’re conducting a search from the Play Store.
You can quickly determine if you’ve received the update by opening the Play Store on your Android phone. Look at the bottom of the screen for the Search tab; if you see it, congratulations as the update and the dubious honor that goes along with it are now yours.

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