Google’s app store, Android Market, has taken some serious criticism since its release, mainly for not being as user-friendly and graphically elegant as Apple’s App Store.
Over the next two weeks, Google’s Android team will roll out an update that includes a freshened and updated new “ecosystem.” Or as an Apple Insider preferred, “rewarmed design.”
Rewarmed it is. Graphically, things are much improved, trading the tabs for one long page. Comments, related items, screen shots and all of the typical interface items are located on that one page. Android’s Eric Chu said the idea was to introduce features “that improve merchandising of applications, streamline the browse-to-purchase experience, and make it easier for developers to distribute their applications.”
Changes include a carousel on the home and category screens that enables users to see promoted apps and immediately reach the download page. Also, the update introduces new categories for widgets and live wallpapers. Apps with widgets and wallpapers will be added automatically to these categories.
Unfortunately, there is a major (yet inevitable) flaw in the update. The refund time for apps will go from 24 hours to 15 minutes. No more buying a 99 cent game, playing it for a nearly a day and returning it. Now, you buy it, you own it. App developers, of course, can rejoice. With this change, developers can be confident that when they make a sale on the Android Market, they can be reasonably certain that it will count as a sale. Developers can also enjoy the increased spotlight on popular apps, as the update will bring categories that showcase the Market’s most popular games.
Although the Android Market has a more modern, slicker UI, enthusiasts may have to warm to some of the changes. A reader of Android Central commented, “one long page equals clutter & fail”. Another commenter sounded off on the rental modifications, “The 15 min. is not what I have learned to love about google and the android market.”
Fortunately for Google, its fan base is loyal and unified in its hatred of all things iPhone. At the moment, that’s Android’s only real competition.
(video courtesy of Android Central). Looking for more Android news? You’ll love Free Nexus S Contest and Android Gingerbread