Google has quietly introduced a really, really slick new version of the Chrome Web Store. The redesign is somewhat in line with the new Google redesign sweeping across all Google websites and takes plenty of cues from the Android Market, the mobile app version not the site.
The result is a rather gorgeous redesign of the Chrome Web Store
that all Chrome users seem to be seeing already, despite no official announcement from the company.
If you visit the site from another browser, you still get the old version. That's actually a good way of noticing just how much better the new site is.
The first thing you'll notice on the new Web Store is the emphasis on visuals. The homepage is filled with app tiles, some larger than others, linking to popular or useful apps and extensions in the Web Store.
On the right there's a list of app categories and links to the Popular and Collections pages, but that's about it. The header is reserved for a very elegant breadcrumb navigation toolbar.
Hovering the mouse over any app tile will offer you the option of adding the app or extension to Chrome from that spot, without going to the app page.
If you do want more details though, you'll notice that the app pages are gone, replaced by an in-page popup overlay. Again, the app popups emphasize the visuals and screenshots take up a large portion of the screen. The app details and user reviews are now in separate tabs.
If you want to go back to the page you were visiting before, just hit the small 'x' in the right corner.
Overall, the Chrome Web Store redesign is a really good looking one. It's faster too, as long as you don't have a particularly slow machine, as you don't need to switch back and forth between pages.
Thanks to heavy use of AJAX, you'll only be visiting one page, the Chrome Web Store page. Search results don't load in the main panel, but on the same page you were visiting. With the app detail overlays and infinite scrolling there's nowhere to navigate to and the entire site feels a lot snappier as a result.