Google Play Store - apps with black background

Google Play Store 4.8.20 bug – icons showing with black backgrounds

A bug appears to have been introduced in the most recent Google Play Store update, which leaves icons looking rather messy. Some users are finding that in version 4.8.20 of the Play Store, a black background is applied to icons.

On various Android discussion groups and forums there are growing reports describing Play Store icons with black backgrounds.

If you have just discovered this problem on one of your Android devices, then do not panic as there seem to be a number of users affected. Google Play Store version 4.8.20 was only rolled out a few days ago, and with increasing numbers of Android users reporting the problem, indications are that it is not isolated to a small number of cases.

Android Wafer has seen this issue first-hand. It affects both smartphones and tablets, although by no means is it showing up on every device that is running version 4.8.20 of the Play Store.

Google Play Store black backgrounds bug

Comparison between Google Play Store icons with black backgrounds (left) and standard view (right)

The bug is most noticeable with icons that contain large areas of transparency. These appear with highly prominent areas of black, which do no blend well with the rest of the icon.

The source of the problem is not known. Although Android Wafer has not seen reports of black backgrounds being applied to Play Store icons on versions other than 4.8.20, it is difficult to draw firm conclusions as complaints about the problem have only begun to emerge recently.

Fixing the Google Play Store black background bug

As of yet, there has been no official word from Google about this bug, nor has any fix been issued.

Anyone with the problem could try clearing the cache and app data for the Play Store [Settings -> Apps -> All -> Google Play Store]. Whilst some Android users have reported success doing this, like most, Android Wafer has not found that it resolves the issue.

Another option is to manually reinstall the Play Store, although as always, only use apks from trusted sources.

But whilst Google Play’s icons do look ugly with a black background, as this is only a cosmetic issue, waiting is probably the best option for now. Hopefully a fix will be released within a few days.