Android Market client update adds new look
Google has announced the launch of a new Android Market client update aimed at improving the overall experience for users and developers. In a post on the Android Developers Blog, Google's Eric Chu says that the new Market client "introduces important features that improve merchandising of applications, streamline the browse-to-purchase experience, and make it easier for developers to distribute their applications".
The latest version is a significant upgrade that features an updated user interface with a new "carousel" view on the home and category screens that allows users to easily flip through popular and promoted applications. Other changes include a streamlined browse-to-purchase process and the addition of two new categories for Widgets and Live Wallpapers – apps that include WIdgets and Wallpapers will automatically be added to the new categories. Chu notes that new categories for popular apps and games will be added in the coming weeks.
The refund time for unwanted applications has been reduced from 24 hours to just 15 minutes as "most users who request a refund do so within minutes of purchase" and the maximum size for applications (.apk files) on the Market has been increased to 50 MB in hopes of better supporting richer games. According to Chu, the latest Android Market client update will start rolling out to devices running Android 1.6 or later "over the next two weeks".
The new version of the client is just the latest in a series of updates and changes to the Android Market following criticism from developers in July of this year. Earlier this month, Google added a new "Related" tab to the top of individual application pages.
In mid-October Google updated the Android market for older versions of the open source mobile operating system, including Android 2.1 and 1.6, by adding features previously only available to Android 2.2 users, such as a new tabbed layout for individual applications and the ability to automatically update apps. At the beginning of last month, the developers added a new "Recent Changes" feature and, towards the end of November, announced that the Android Market would gain content ratings for all applications and games.
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