The Play Store has been in more discussion recently than usual, but this time it is for a positive reason. The latest version of the app suggests that Google is working on some changes to the “My Apps” section of the Play Store, including the ability for users to send the app to offline friends via peer-to-peer file sharing.
The company first began experimenting with similar app sharing between devices in 2018. File managers such as SHAREit and Files Go were among the first apps to implement support for the feature. A new tampering of the Google Play Store app suggests that Google is bringing these types of capabilities to its store. Users will start by selecting applications to share (probably not paid applications, though).
Like Near Share, the Play Store will allow users to select from a list of nearby devices. Once both users open the Play Store and choose to connect to each other, the connection will be set and transferred via a combination of Bluetooth, NFC and Wi-Fi Direct.
The process is still under development, but it already looks promising.
The My Apps section also has a few tweaks, including “managing apps and devices” on the page, and organizing it into two sections: Overview and Manage. The overview gives a quick picture of apps that need updating, storage capacity, and user reviews and ratings. The Manage tab allows users to view apps in their library and filter by various options such as those not currently installed and games.
For the most part, the changes are welcome. Those of us who like to watch the changelog may have to prepare our pitchfarks, though, because it seems that updates are getting buried and will require another tap or two to access.
Left: current design right: WIP improvements
While P2P app sharing may not be ready to roll out yet, it has the potential to be a great addition that can make Android more convenient, especially for those of us downloading apps. Live in rural areas without access to the internet fast without access to. You’ll still need friends to share P2P to work with.