Android Market Update Streamlines App Shopping

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Android users with devices running at version 1.6 or higher will be seeing an update to the Market client over the course of the next two weeks that — with one exception — makes life easier for consumers.

The Android Marketplace will now take on a carousel appearance on the home and category screens, which will be filled with promoted applications.

Google Android MarketAnd the list of categories will have new entries, one for widgets and one for live wallpapers, in an effort to accommodate the influx of these types of applications from developers.

Other increasingly popular application and game types will also be getting their own categories in the weeks ahead, according to a blog post by Android Developer Eric Chu.

The content pages for each of the applications have now been streamlined, allowing users to access all the information about a particular app on one page, as opposed to previous method of having to browse over multiple tabs. The application detail pages will also feature a new content rating system, as well as links to related content.

Also, there will be support for device targeting through screen size/density and GL texture compression, and the maximum size for .apk files on the marketplace will be increased to 50 MB, allowing for richer games.

A Significant Drawback
So it seems that the majority of the updates are about bringing more to the user and making application shopping an easier, more convenient experience. There is, however, one cutback that is being introduced that may leave Android users feeling shortchanged: the refund window for downloaded applications has been reduced to 15 minutes. Previously, users had up to 24 hours from the time of purchase to return an application.

While the other updates primarily benefit the users, this update is for the developers, according to Chu.

“Since most users who request a refund do so within minutes of purchase, we will reduce the refund window on Market to 15 minutes,” said Chu in the post. “This change will be largely transparent to buyers, but will help developers manage their businesses more effectively.”

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