Google Play Games may soon let you add a home screen folder with your games

Google Play Games may soon let you add a home screen folder with your games

Google is working on adding a new feature to the Play Games app that will let you access all your installed games from the home screen. We’ve spotted new strings of code in the latest Google Play Games update that highlight how the feature will work once it rolls out with a future update.

An APK teardown can often predict features that may arrive in a future update of an application, but it is possible that any of the features we mention here may not make it in a future release. This is because these features are currently unimplemented in the live build and may be pulled at any time by the developers in a future build.

Google Play Games v 2021.01.24213 just started rolling out on the Play Store. We decoded the APK and found the following new strings:

<string name="games__gamefolder__add_to_home_screen_prompt_add_folder">Add folder</string>
<string name="games__gamefolder__add_to_home_screen_prompt_continue">Continue</string>
<string name="games__gamefolder__add_to_home_screen_prompt_message">Find all your games in one place on the Android Home screen (beta feature)</string>
<string name="games__gamefolder__add_to_home_screen_prompt_setting_label">Add the Games folder to the Home screen (beta)</string>
<string name="games__gamefolder__add_to_home_screen_prompt_title">Let Google Play organize your games for you</string>
<string name="games__gamefolder__added_to_home_screen_confirmation_message">All set. Games folder is now on your Home screen.</string>
<string name="games__gamefolder__game_hidden_snackbar_message">Game is now hidden. To show it, go to Play Games settings.</string>
<string name="games__gamefolder__game_of_the_week">Game of the week</string>
<string name="games__gamefolder__games_folder_beta_notice">Beta feature</string>
<string name="games__gamefolder__name">Games</string>
<string name="games__gamefolder__open_play_games_content_description">Open Play Games app.</string>
<string name="games__gamefolder__show_game_folder_in_app_drawer_setting_label">Show the Games folder in the app list (beta)</string>
<string name="games__gamefolder__showing_games_folder_announcement">Showing \"Games folder\" page.</string>

The strings suggest that the upcoming feature will let you add a new Play Games folder to the home screen. The app will automatically populate this folder with all the games installed on your device, giving you easy access to the games in one convenient location. Along with the aforementioned strings, we found the icon that will be used for the Play Games Folder. This is what it looks like:

Google Play Games home screen folder icon

Furthermore, we managed to manually launch the activity that will be triggered when you tap on the game folder. As you can see in the attached screenshots, this game folder is unlike other folders that you can add to your home screen launcher. Instead of displaying app icons in a pop-up window like a regular folder, the game folder actually opens an activity in the Google Play Games app. This activity isn’t full screen, so you don’t leave your home screen when you open it. However, tapping on the arrow icon in the top right corner does redirect you to the Google Play Games app.

In case you’re wondering why you might want this feature, the answer is quite simple. It’s convenient. While you can create your own folder in the home screen launcher of your choice and add your games to it, most launchers require you to do this manually as they aren’t able to categorize games into a game folder automatically. And any time you install a new game, you have to add that game to the folder manually. The new Google Play Games folder automates this process for you, as the app can easily detect what apps are games by virtue of having access to Google Play data. This makes the upcoming Google Play Games folder a much more convenient alternative to regular folders.

As of now, Google hasn’t released any official information about the new Play Games folder. But since code related to the folder has already made it to the Google Play Games app, we expect it to roll out to users in the coming weeks. We’ll update this post as soon as the new folder starts rolling out to users.

About author

Pranob Mehrotra
Pranob Mehrotra

A Literature and Linguistics graduate with a keen interest in everything Android. When not writing about tech, Pranob spends most of his time either playing League of Legends or lurking on Reddit.