Whenever you install an application on your Android device using Google's Play store, an icon pointing to it is placed on your phone's home screen.
While that is sometimes desired, it often is not especially if you have customized the layout of the home screen to your liking.
What makes matters worse is that there is apparently no option to stop this from happening. Apps don't display any installation dialog on the phone if you initiate the installation on Google Play and the Android settings don't seem to hold any preference either that could prevent apps from doing that.
Turns out there is a setting but it is in a location where you would not necessarily suspect it to be found in.
The Google Play application on your Android device offers several preferences that impact application installations and apps in general on the device.
I don't think that this is the best place for some of these settings but it is better than not having those preferences at all.
There you find an option to disable the adding of application icons to the home screen during installation.
Here is how you configure it
- Open the Google Play application on your Android device.
- Go to the start page of it if it is not displayed (using the back button for example).
- Tap on the three horizontal lines near the top.
- Select settings from the sidebar menu that opens up.
- There you find "add icon to Home screen" which you need to uncheck.
This blocks apps from placing a shortcut on your Home screen whenever you install them using Google Play.
You can restore the original functionality at any time by repeating the process described above but with the difference that you need to check the preference this time.
Since all apps are affected by this, you may need to move some app icons manually to your Home screen if you want them to be accessible from it.
This can be done easily by holding your finger down on the app icon and dragging it to the desired location on the Home screen once it appears in the background.