Google Play Store removes install button from some search results

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Google has been testing a new design for its Play Store app that makes it harder to install apps from the search results. The company has removed the install button from some of the apps that appear when users search for a term, forcing them to tap on the app name and go to the full app listing page to download it. This change seems to be random and inconsistent, as some apps still have the install button while others don’t.

Why is Google doing this?

It is not clear why Google is experimenting with this new layout, as it seems to add an extra step for users who want to quickly install an app they found. Some possible reasons could be:

Google Play Store removes install button from some search results
Google Play Store removes install button from some search results
  • Google wants to encourage users to read more information about the app, such as its description, ratings, reviews, screenshots, and permissions, before installing it. This could help users make more informed decisions and avoid installing low-quality or malicious apps.
  • Google wants to increase the visibility and engagement of its app listing pages, which could benefit both developers and advertisers. By making users visit the app listing page, Google could show more ads, recommendations, and related apps, as well as collect more data on user behavior and preferences.
  • Google wants to test how users react to this change and measure its impact on app downloads, retention, and satisfaction. This could help Google optimize its Play Store design and algorithm for better user experience and revenue.

How can users install apps faster?

For users who are annoyed by this change and want to install apps faster from the search results, there are some possible workarounds:

  • Use the APKMirror Installer app, which allows users to download and install APK files from APKMirror.com, a reputable source of Android apps. Users can find the latest version of any app on APKMirror.com and use the APKMirror Installer app to install it on their device. This app also supports split APKs, which are becoming more common on the Play Store.
  • Use the Google Assistant app, which can perform various tasks by voice commands. Users can say “Hey Google, install [app name]” and the Assistant will open the Play Store app and start downloading the app. Users can also say “Hey Google, open [app name]” and the Assistant will launch the app if it is already installed or take users to the Play Store app listing page if it is not.
  • Use alternative app stores, such as Amazon Appstore, F-Droid, or Aptoide, which offer different selections and features than the Play Store. Users can browse and install apps from these sources without having to go through the Play Store. However, users should be careful about the security and quality of these apps and sources, as they may not be verified or updated by Google.

What do users think of this change?

The reaction of users to this change has been mostly negative, as they find it inconvenient and unnecessary. Many users have expressed their frustration and confusion on social media platforms such as Twitter and Reddit, as well as on the Play Store feedback section. Some of the comments are:

  • “This is so annoying. Why do I have to tap twice to install an app? It’s not like I’m going to read all the details anyway.”
  • “This is a terrible design decision. It makes no sense to remove a useful feature that saves time and clicks.”
  • “This is a sneaky way of forcing us to see more ads and recommendations. I don’t want to see other apps when I search for something specific.”
  • “This is a bug, right? Please tell me this is a bug and not a permanent change.”

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