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Google to put tablet apps front and center next month

Upcoming changes to Google's Play store will make tablet apps more visible to tablet users, and more carefully note apps designed mainly for phones.

Google's Nexus 10 tablet.
Google's Nexus 10 tablet.

Google plans to simplify how Android tablet owners find tablet-specific apps in the Play Store as part of a change next month.

Come November 21, Google says its "designed for tablets" section will effectively become the first thing tablet users see when browsing the Play Store from those types of devices. It's also tweaking its various "top" lists, like top paid and free titles, to mark what's been made for phones versus tablets.

The changes are part of a larger effort by Google to get developers to both support and note when their software is ready for larger-screened tablet users; that began back in May with its aforementioned designed-for-tablets section.

In a post on Friday announcing its plans to change the storefront, Google noted that developers "who invest the time" to tweak their apps and conform within the program's plans have seen increased downloads as a result.

At last public count, Google's Play Store has more than 1 million apps and some 50 billion downloads. Rivals -- though notably Apple -- have criticized that growing catalog, calling some versions of those tablet apps "blown-up smartphone app(s)."