Market Overhaul Rolling Out “Over the Next Two Weeks”

The Android Market team announced a huge overhaul to the Market app tonight that will be rolling out “over the next two weeks.” It features a whole new look, new features, and a big change in the refund policy–but no mention of the long-awaiting web interface to the Market.

Apparently in response to the common critiques of the Market, the new version is aimed at “improving discoverability and merchandising.” New features include:

  • A “carousel” user interface that allows users to flip through featured apps.
  • New categories for widgets and live wallpapers, as well as more unnamed categories “in the weeks ahead.”
  • A unified app details page that eliminates the need to interact with tabs.
  • Content ratings for applications
  • A reduced refund window of only fifteen minutes.

The 24 hour refund window has been a source of conflicting complaints, with some users complaining it’s too short, while some developers claim it’s long enough to make piracy easier. Fifteen minutes sounds really short, but the Market team claims “most users who request a refund do so within minutes of purchase.” So caveat emptor: try that app out as soon as you buy it if you think there’s a chance you might want a refund.

Additionally, developers will be able to target apps by specific screen sizes, densities and GL texture compression formats, and distribute apps up to 50 Mb via the Market.

Missing from the announcement is any mention of that web interface to the Market that Andy Rubin showed off at I/O way back in May, though they do hint that more changes are coming soon.

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  • Whatever happened to PayPal as a market payment option? Was hoping that would allow more paid countries.


    • By the way, I win the bet from the Tuesday night podcast about the update being “this month.” 😉

  • Jim Shorts

    Why about the constant flood of useless spam apps? (Michael Quach amyone?) That garbage gets to stay?

    • Jim Shorts

      What about* & anyone.* Damn auto-correct.

    • Ola

      No censoring please! If you don’t want it, don’t download it. If you want censoring, buy an iPhone…

      • Jim Shorts

        I actually am early next year when my conract is up. 🙂

  • Dford

    The market looks great. I don’t like the fact that there is a 15min window now. There has been a hand full of apps I either couldn’t get to work right or a keyboard i could not get use to and that takes longer than 15mins. At least give me a few hours to decide if I want it.

  • DaDennis

    new market apk:

    install won’t work, have tu push it via adb zu /system/apps/Vending.apk

  • DaDennis

    new market apk:

    install won’t work, have to push it via adb zu /system/apps/Vending.apk

  • jdog25

    The 15 minutes thing is stupid sometimes apps take 15 minutes to download. What most people don’t realize is that some apps are better on iOS because every new iOS device is fast and can handle fast apps. On Android devs have to target phones like the G1 or else they get thousands of bad reviews from people who don’t know that their phone can’t run that app. For example on Android and iOS look very different. I understand what Google is trying to do but they need to crack down on crappy apps and devs who spam the market bad, then this new time limit will be ok. Now being able to get a refund is good because on iOS if you download a fart app and you find that you don’t like it your screwed but on Android you get your money back and go look for an app worth buying. This is why people think Android users are cheap but we are not its just that we download an app and if we don’t like it we have a choice to get our money back. The fart app thing happen to me on Android I thought it was so stupid so I got a refund within about 1 minute. Honestly I don’t really regret buying that many apps on my iPod Touch as I do on my Nexus One but I’m talking about a small number thanks to Google’s old refund policy.

  • Honest this sounds awesome. As far as the returns normally when you buy software you can’t return it once it’s open anyhow so having 15 minutes is a good enough thing. Just IMHO

  • JaylanPHNX

    I got it and it’s really nice. The new categories aren’t there yet, though. I have a feeling the return window will change again soon. When people become too cautious about paying for apps, we’ll get more time to make sure they work on our phones.

  • Can’t wait! Every update to the Market is long overdue.

  • Karel V.

    15 minutes to decide whether the app is doing what I *think* it is doing – based on an SMS-like description is ridiculous. It is good only to determine whether the app works at all, but not whether it works the way the author claims.
    And given how “light” the documentation of most apps is, one can’t tell from the author’s website either.
    IMO, this will motivate authors to focus on presenting some impressive-looking screens upon startup to keep the users happy for the first 15 minutes, and putting less effort into the development of the “meat” of the app – ’cause, once they got the user past first 15 minutes, they got his money and will have no motivation to keep that user happy any more.
    Summary: it will be bad for the quality of apps. It will promote flash over the substance.

  • bousozoku

    It will still be a mess, from what I can tell, but it’s nice to know that they’ll be filtering apps that are appropriate to each phone. I assume the database on the back end needs to be loaded with minimum requirements to make this happen.

    I have yet to buy anything because it’s not apparent how to pay for anything. If there is any set up ahead of time, I missed it. I thought that maybe the DoubleTwist application on my computer would facilitate things but it’s extremely limited in what you see from the Market.

    It’s just a good thing that people don’t buy Android phones for the applications because Android would be mostly dead by now. I know that Apple have had more time to figure things out, but Google has all that free “Summer of Google” help from some really inventive people and they can see what works for Apple easily and mimic it without making an outright copy.

  • D$

    15 Minute refund window??? It takes longer than that to get the app downloaded half the time! Not to mention there are apps that require you downloading a hundred or more MB’s of data to the SD card post install. 15 Minutes is entirely too short to evaluate an app and see if you want to return it or keep it.
    Hell, I often DL an app I see reviewed online so that later I can play with it. Sometimes I keep em and sometimes I don’t. But if it’s only 15 minutes, I will no longer impulse buy apps since I won’t have ample time to evaluate.
    Sorry dev’s, you are gonna loose out on most of my money!

  • jmcmoto

    15 minutes is wrong in sooooo many ways. If I wanted to be treated like an apple owner (read: raped in the wallet by steve jobs) I would have bought an I phone. Android Guys, please write a new article about how many people are outraged by this change. You will find hundreds of angry posts on the google help pages.