At Google I/O this year, Google revealed that 65 billion apps were installed in the last one year by Android’s over 1 billion users. That’s a mind-blowing number. It not only shows how far the Play Store, which was once called the Android Market, has come but also how apps have come to define the age we are living in and the kind of interactions we have with our mobile devices even in the wake of reports of an “app fatigue” plaguing as.
With such an explosion in apps on Google Play, it becomes hard for users, especially newer ones either getting on the Android platform for the first time from other platforms like iOS, Windows or BlackBerry or from a feature phone. In a bid to make things easier, Google has announced that a total of 8 new categories are being added to the Play Store to make app discovery a bit easier.
The new categories are also reflective of the changing times. In Kenya, for instance, there is an explosion of taxi-hailing apps from various players starting from global brands like Uber to local players like the Safaricom-Craft Silicon venture Little Cab. And that’s not all for the wind of change sweeping across the transport and auto industry. Programs like Google’s ‘Android in the Car’ have resulted in Android Auto and as such a whole new ecosystem of apps that are also optimized to play nicely on car dashboards. These and others will now be accommodated in a new category that is among the 8 that Google is introducing: Auto & Vehicles.
The rest of the categories are as follows:
- Art & Design
- Food & Drink
- House & Home
Google is also making some changes to the names of existing categories so that they better reflect what one will find. For instance, with the new ‘Auto & Vehicles’ category eating into it, the Transportation category will be renamed ‘Maps & Navigation’ to reflect the sort of apps like HERE that one will find there instead of using a blanket name that could be misleading. ‘Media & Video’ will become ‘Video Players & Editors.’
The addition of new categories is just one of several updates that Google has introduced to the Play Store in the last few days. Just recently, Google announced that going forward, users would no longer be subjected to huge app updates as they would only be downloading the changes made by a developer instead of an entire app all over again.
These changes are currently rolling out and should be available to all users by the end of the next two months according to Google.