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Android Market client set for overhaul

Dec 13, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Google is revising its Android Market client app with a new carousel view as well as a streamlined discovery and purchasing process. Other Android Market revisions include content ratings, a more limited return window, more categories, and better device targeting tools for developers, says the company.

Google said it will improve its maligned Android Market application store this month, making it easier for consumers to find, purchase and download apps.

To alleviate some of Android Market's app-searching pains, the new client will include a new carousel view on the home and category screens, said Android Developer Ecosystem advocate Eric Chu in a blog post Dec. 10. This carousel will allow users to easily scroll through promoted applications, click through to download and, where warranted, pay for the app they want.

Android Market's curvaceous new look, with carousel view

In addition, applications that include widgets and wallpapers will be automatically added to their own categories. Google will also be adding more categories for popular apps and games. Moreover, the app details page will include related content.

To address the challenge of discovering and paying for apps, Google says, it has streamlined the experience so that users can learn everything about an app on one page.

As Google announced in late November, the new Android Market experience will also include content ratings. Applications will be categorized according to All, Pre-teen, Teen and Mature.

Google is helping developers in a big way, too, by paring the return limit for applications from 24 hours to 15 minutes. This should keep people from purchasing apps, then returning them within a day.

Google is also bringing device targeting based on screen sizes, densities, and GL texture compression formats. Finally, Google is increasing the maximum size for .apk files on Market to 50MB with an eye toward improving support for gaming apps. This will take on greater importance with Android 2.3, for which Google has added a gyroscope and better graphics for games.

An overdue Market makeover

Android Market sports well over 100,000 applications, one third that of Apple's App Store. Yet to many users, Android Market feels leagues behind the App Store in quality and user experience.

Android handset owners and the programmers who create apps for them have been frustrated by a number of issues, ranging from the difficulty in finding legitimate apps amid a slew of copyright-infringing programs, to paying for them.

Considering that Google says it is seeing 300,000 Android phones switched on each day, and that users are consuming apps at a high rate, improvements are imperative.

Improving the Android Market client, which will support Android 1.6 devices and later, is the latest of several steps Google is taking to improve the user experience for its app store.

Most of these moves have involved app payment. For example, Google in July created a free licensing service to protect paid applications in the Market from unauthorized use. The company has also expanded paid app and billing support to several more countries, and is working on allowing consumers to have apps they purchase billed directly to their wireless carrier bills.

Availability

The blog post from Google's Eric Chu on the Android Developers site may be found here.

Clint Boulton is a writer for our sister publication eWEEK.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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