In response to user criticism, Google Play is bringing back the app permissions list, but another curious Windows Store change sees version numbers removed from the App Info section.
Update 8/4: As we speculated, this was just a bug and the version numbers are now back in the Play Store for phone apps this morning.
Original 8/2: Historically, you could find the version number by opening the “About this app” section of an ad and scrolling down to “App info” where it was the first line.
Starting today, “Version” no longer appears there (or in the phone section of “Compatibility for your active devices”) and “Updated to” is at the top. This information disappeared only for the phone version of the applications. It oddly remains for Wear OS and Android/Google TV apps.
Meanwhile, the Numbers version still appear on the Google Play website. This issue does not appear to be related (or simply impacted) to apps that only note “Varies by device”.
To us, this looks like a bug rather than an intentional removal. It doesn’t make sense to get rid of the version only for phones and not for smartwatches or TVs. Maybe Google was only trying to remove one of the two instances, but accidentally got rid of both.
For whatever reason, requiring users to use the app info page at the OS level isn’t ideal, nor is not being able to see a version number before the update (in case of buggy versions).
We first noticed the removal yesterday with the latest Google app beta. The version number disappeared with the Play Store version 31.6.13-21, which is also responsible for the large-scale rollout of the new Google Play icon.
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