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Android Market spiffed up with new UI, plus movies and books

Jul 13, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Google overhauled the Android Market user interface for Android 2.2 and 2.3 phones with faster checkout, improved showcasing of top titles, and horizontal swiping to flip through “top” lists. In addition, U.S. users can now buy or rent thousands of movies directly from Android phones, then watch them offline, as well as directly purchase from a selection of three million books.

The new Android Market interface brings features introduced in the web version of the app store introduced in February to Android 2.2 and 2.3 phones, writes Eric Chu, Android Developer Ecosystem, in a Google blog post.

New Android Market home page (left) and movie rentals

The key addition is the ability to rent movies and books directly from one's phone instead of via a desktop browser accessing the Android Market Webstore. Available initially only in the U.S., but with plans to roll out soon to selected countries, the new features let users buy over three million books, or buy or rent films starting at $1.99, choosing from a selection of thousands, says Google. Users can either stream videos or watch them offline without an active connection, says Google.

The company announced movie rentals on the desktop-accessible Android Market Webstore in May. Books were previously available via a separate app, which then required using the web browser to purchase the ebooks.

The updated Android Market client app is "completely redesigned" to showcase top apps and games, "and [to] provide a quicker path to downloading or purchasing" apps and other content, writes Chu. The home screen features a new promotional page that highlights top content, and also points to books and movies.

Books rentals (left) and new app details page

App lists are now located on the Apps and Games home pages, and users can now swipe right or left to flip through them. The lists — which include top paid, top free, top grossing, top new paid, top new free, and trending lists — are now "country-specific" for selected countries, adds Chu.

The app details page has also been overhauled, with the app name and price moved into a compact action bar at the top, writes Chu. Below that, users can flip through screenshots by swiping right or left, or they can scroll down to read descriptions, reviews, and other content. Thumbnail links are now provided to product videos, which are displayed at full screen when the phone is turned to landscape mode.

Check-out has been streamlined to a two-click process from the app details page, and now features new cross-sell opportunities for vendors, writes Chu.

A phased roll-out is said to already be underway to phones running Android 2.2 or higher and should be completed worldwide "in the coming weeks."

Last month, Google updated the Android Market Webstore, which offers access from desktop PCs via a standard web browser, adding compatibility alerts.

Android Market overhaul demo on YouTube
Source: Google
(Click to play)

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