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If you own an Android device, you are aware of the massive importance the Google Play Store has to your phone or tablet.

This app store is home to all Android applications and services required to run the device accordingly.

Google usually experiments with some minor changes to the interface of the Play Store and in most cases, these changes often come discreetly. While Google users are accustomed to seeing updates being mentioned in Google blog posts or in the app’s update notes, the latest update of this application, just like many other subtle changes that Google makes to the app, has not been highlighted anywhere.

Latest Play Store has a more compact display of the app rating system

The latest update in the Google Play Store sees the 5-star rating system of Android apps take a new shape as far as the design is concerned. The same changes have also been effected on the game listings of the Play Store and they can easily be noticeable from the home page as well as in searches.

As opposed to the old full 5-star graphic design that featured in the previous version’s design, the new update features a single icon with a numerical value, which is actually a new and more compact design. Google has not mentioned a word about this update just yet and there is also no confirmation that the update will affect a certain set of users. As a result, some pundits feel that this might just be another of the many limited A-B tests being run by the Google Play Store team of developers.

There are very high chances that this small change might actually bring usability improvements to the Android Market app. For instance, when one wants to access a more precise rating of an application in the new version, the details will be available clearly on the numerical readout. However, the previous version had hidden this feature down the listing where the users could only be able to see the full and half-star scores from the default view, something that only got worse with smaller screens. With the numerical display of the 5-star rating system of apps, readability will no longer be the same.

Latest Google Play Store update is a server side adjustment

It seems there is no official version of the Google Play Store that comes with this update, be it a stable version or APK file. This means that the update seems to be coming from the server side, something that does not ask the users to update their apps in order to get the new feature. So, if you haven’t seen the update on your Play Store app just yet, it is just a matter of time before it shows up.

We’ll be keeping an eye on the situation for you and report back with news of any changes and updates.