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Google Chrome Web Store Introduces Refined Search Experience

New options make finding the apps and add-ons you want easier than before


Google appears to have introduced a refined set of search controls to its Chrome Web Store

The store sidebar now presents a set of filters when a search is performed, allowing specific types of content to be discovered faster.

Prior to this change, filtering was achieved by way of a tab strip located at the top of the page. Clicking on a tab heading would filter results based on their type, e.g., Apps, Extensions or Themes.

old tab chrome store view

Previous Tabbed Appearance

In keeping with a change introduced last year, the filter defaults to displaying the top three items under the ‘All’ view.

In moving the filter to the sidebar and positioned directly underneath the search field Google may be hoping to better help users locate what they’re looking for.

Three new options are listed under the heading ‘Features‘ and also allow results to be narrowed down based on offline functionality, “By Google” and price.

Google ticks off another minor change

In a more subtle change Google has modified the way results for apps that are already installed appear. Prior to the recent changes they would show a white ‘✓’ icon in a green ribbon. The tick has been replaced with text that reads ‘Added‘.

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 14.59.23

As trivial as this particular tweak may sound at first glance it makes a lot of sense. The humble tick is used in a wide range of contexts and scenarios, from relaying ‘well done!’ to denoting that something is ‘complete’. It’s possible that some Chrome users assumed items badged with the tick were ‘recommended’ or part of Google’s ‘featured picks’.

The phrase ‘Added‘ is far less ambiguous.

Not Groundbreaking

These latest batch of iterations are not groundbreaking but do make honing in on content a touch quicker.

Launched back in 2010, the Chrome Web Store has undergone only one significant redesign since then, in late 2011. Google recently announced initiatives to make it easier for app developers to sell their software through the store.

You can see a brief video of the old design in the video player below.

  • Very nice incremental improvements. I especially appreciate the option to list only off-line apps.

  • I’ve been seeing these filters, and the new ‘Added’ banner for the past few weeks, I am on Chrome OS Stable Channel. Is there something I am missing or did some people receive access to this change earlier? As a side note, I left the Web Store open in my browser from yesterday afternoon, and when I opened up my laptop screen just half an hour ago, a pop-up appeared and said ‘A New Version of the Chrome Web Store is available; you must reload the page to continue’ *shrugs* Either way, the changes are welcome, definitely makes finding what you want easier.

    • I only noticed the changes myself today, hence the article. Google do tend to roll out changes in stages (e.g. Google+, Gmail) so it’s possible you were part of an earlier wave.

      As an aside, something being ‘out there’ for some time doesn’t make it any less newsworthy. If you ever notice a change in future do shoot over a tip via our contact form ;)

      • Trust me, if it was something I knew I was seeing before other people, I would have taken screenshots and sent them in. I always come here for Chrome and Chrome OS news, I will make sure in the future if I notice something different and I check here and nothing has been written about it, to contact someone here and let them know.

  • shoryumike

    This is gorgeous: was kinda waiting for something like this.

    Anyway: I’m sorry guys, but may I go with just a little OT? I would like to accomplish two of the basic everyday tasks that still got me strictly linked to my Windows machine.
    I’m basically talking about: 1. Crop round pictures through the typical circle tool (seems like the whole paint-like image editors on the Chrome Web Store only come packaged with the square and the rectangle ones); 2. Edit a batch of pictures (like I usually do in Irfanview). Are there such apps that got me there?
    Sorry about the OT. Thank you so much anyway, guys.

    • shoryumike

      Oh, well: thank you so much anyway.

  • Boothy

    What I would love as a filter is to be able to separate packaged apps from web apps.
    They had it briefly before packaged apps were in beta if I recall correctly.

    • At one point they introduced a filter called “Websites” that did precisely this (it was, as you say, around the time packaged apps were starting to roll out). I have a hunch that this will return at some point. The lack of packaged apps at the time it was first introduced probably didn’t create a very encouraging first impression, so they opted to keep conflating them.

      • Boothy

        Hope so.
        I’m also hoping that following on from the Movies Packaged app that Google start rolling out Packaged apps for their major services and give the whole apps eco a boost.
        Quick Office is ripe for a packaged app, as are the docs suite.

  • Tom King

    This article is wrong: the old, lame UI has not been changed.

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