The latest version of the Google Play Store, version 5.5.12 is now available for download. It is not currently being pushed by auto-update but you can sideload the 5.5.12 APK if you have root access on your phone and just can’t wait for the official update. Be aware that there could be a few hiccups or glitches as Google has not officially released this version to the masses yet.
To install this latest version, you will need a rooted Android device and a link to the Google Play Store 5.5.12 APK. After that, you simply download the APK, enable unauthorized APK installation on your device, and then install it. Now you should be running the latest Google Play Store and you can get back to downloading all those apps.
As with other Android apps that have been receiving cosmetic facelifts, the Google Play Store has undergone some changes so that its closer in spirit to Google’s Material Design philosophy. Many of the icons and transition animations have been changed to conform to the Material Design aesthetic, mostly with a more minimalist, flatter and simpler look with strong colors. Overall the app looks cleaner and lighter with better organization and usability. The most popular opinion tags also now appear above app descriptions so you can get a quick feel for what the masses think of that particular app.
It’s very possible that there have also been some performance tweaks or improvements with this release though it’s hard to say until the official Google release happens. When it does, they will surely outline all changes that have been made to the Google Play Store app. Google is ramping up its update schedule to prepare for the wave of wearables and the need for various Android devices to communicate with Android Wear devices and apps.