Nov 24 AT 2:49 PM Taylor Wimberly 71 Comments

New poll: What is your opinion of the Android Market?

I was reading the news last week and saw Obama’s approval rating had dropped below 50 percent. Political polls are kind of silly, but it got me thinking. What if we ran our own Gallup style poll that tracked the Android Market’s approval rating?

What would this chart look like for the Android Market?

What would this chart look like for the Android Market?

We have documented our disappointment with the Android Market and now notable developers are beginning to criticize it as well.

I’m curious what the rest of our readers think. Starting now, we will run this poll once a month on the final week of the month. I will document the results so that we can chart the approval rating over time.

Results will be hidden till next week so that voters are not influenced by the majority. If you strongly approve or disapprove please explain your opinion in the comments.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • Is_907

    I’m fairly happy with it. The only thing I think it’s really missing is the ability to show screencaptures from the app I’m reading about.
    Come on!

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Screenshots were added in Android 1.6. You must be running a phone with Android 1.5.

  • Matt W

    It’s ok how it is now, but there are just little things from a user experience aspect that make it frustrating to use! I have a ton of apps on my rooted G1 (CyanogenMod) and I get notified of 15+ updates per day. Having to go through 1 by 1 and update each one gets old REAL fast. Also, when browsing for new apps, switching between profile and landscape resets the page losing where I was in the list. Again, just little things, but horribly frustrating!

  • abdulla

    they should open up the market to more countries. Its pretty stupid that I need to use a rooted phone to spoof/fake my operator so I can buy a paid app.

    • Miguel

      Opening the market for wider audience (like hmm.. Europe?) would definitely bring more money to the developers.

  • Joseph

    Poor guy, its unfair phones are out with outdated firmware!
    Thats another reason why i disagree with the market.
    Its google. It should be full featured for everybody.

  • Derek

    My problem isnt so much with the market itself, its with the crappy apps in the market. Android’s been around for a year and there still are very few high quality apps. They’re all buggy, need constant updates, and look like they’re made for an OS thats 10-15 yrs old.

    Slide on over to iphone app store. There’s basically a free app for anything you could want. Even the free apps work flawlessly and are aesthetically great. Just a much better overall product there.

  • Patryk

    Wish list is long:

    - recommendations
    - posting to fb, twitting with link to app,
    - posting QR code
    - more than 2 pics
    - best of week/best of month
    - video advertisements
    - one bad review can burry app, and 5 star ratings simply don’t work instead thumb up/thumb down, more useful and understandable to user
    - lite/charged app on one apk!
    - in app purchases

    This changes would satisfy me :-).

    • hookerpuncher

      well said!

  • JD

    I’m happy with it, Except that differnt ROMs get different downloads ;\

    The worst part (for me) is probably that it isn’t available to community developers creating ROMs

  • SliestDragon

    They need to add more room for app descriptions, and the ability to add links in the descriptions that can open to the youtube app for videos. Plus they need to re-do the commenting system. Replies, ratings, a top comment section, and in that top comment section you should be able to see everyone who replied to that comment or the comment he was replying to. Maybe a “you might also like” or “other people who downloaded this app also downloaded” section below the comments.

    Oh, and the ability to follow apps and developers even if you don’t have their app installed.

    So many improvements, so little time.

  • Brian

    I have two major problems with the Market:

    * It’s buggy. Often I will install an update and while I’ll get a notification that the update was installed, the Market app will say that it’s still installing… forever…
    * There’s no way to update all applications with available updates at once.

  • Happy

    In addition to all of the suggested improvements I’ve seen posted here and elsewhere, I also feel that the Market is missing out on having a purchase portal for all Apps outside of the phone. iPhone has iTunes for App Browsing; we have our phones…period….

    • Derek

      Thats an excellent point. I’d like to be able to go to a website and browse the entire marketplace on my desktop computer, not just on a tiny little phone screen. Then purchase the app there and have it download to the phone and keep a back up copy on my desktop comp.

    • Mark

      I truly agree! How hard would it be to create a web front-end? If we can’t purchase through it, it could generate a QR code so we could get to it.

    • Tallbruva

      You can browse: It’s just not an official site by Google. But it’s out there.

  • Karl

    Search is atrocious, and needs an overhaul. And why can’t we use the Quick Search Bar to search the market?

    • Mark

      +1 on both counts.

  • Jay

    I read us Canadians can’t sell apps on there, that get my disapproval right there! Come on Google, give us poor frozen Canucks some love!

  • stentor142

    Just reading the comments and nobody mention one thing. A terrible white background! Take your eyes when spent more time to explore the apps and helps battery gone faster.

  • baycruisers

    Ummm….the poll is a bit too forced choice for me. Shouldn’t there be a “neutral” option?

    Otherwise: limited descriptions, poor search capabilities. Should have better tagging system.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      You get 4 choices or unsure. I’m trying to come up with an approval rating so that is how I decided to break up the options.

  • Eric

    better than it was, but i still prefer to search online for apps and then download them from the market using barcode scanner.

  • Tim

    They really need an ‘update all’ option or a ‘stop nagging me about updats’ (preferably both).

    They also need to fix the bug where it DOESN’T START DOWNLOADING.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      1. Go to Market > Downloads > Menu > Notifications > Do not notify me.

      2. Yeah I had stalled downloads. It has been a problem since day one of the Market.

  • A man

    For me, there is a lot to take in with Google right now. They’re doing some crazy (awesome) stuff, they’re quickly creating all kinds of new features, and new opportunities. It’s tough to swallow at the moment simply because Google is making very broad innovations. I think a key point to make is how unpredictable Google has been doing business. Publications such as this site seem to be a little surprised by Google’s actions themselves, even though we generally know the direction they’re trying to run. Due to Google probably having a bigger plan in mind, I’m hesitant to really make a decision on how I feel Google is performing now. From what we’ve seen in the past, Google is very careful at calculating its decisions, and most seem ingenious. I think we’re going to be looking at a behemoth of a mobile entity when the dust settles and clears. Maybe I should say computing entity, or just web entity. Hell, I have no idea what this thing is going to look like and encompass. Maybe I’m being crazy and shouldn’t even think that far ahead, though.

    That being said, this poll could also definitely use a bit more detail, maybe even splitting it into three separate polls. Each based on what version of Android you’re running. That might just be too messy, though. For the record, I’m running Android 2.0. While I think the Marketplace can use some redefining, I’m going to approve of it. This is based purely from a consumer perspective. A developer is probably going to view the situation in a widely different manner, and may dislike Google’s policies and fragmentation.

  • mernen

    I have to say, I’m quite dissatisfied with it.

    Stalled downloads, bad international paid market support, no good web interface (fortunately there’s AndroLib). Also needs mass updates (an option to download all updates at once, and then each individual update should be reduced to a screen telling what changed — INCLUDING PERMISSION CHANGES — and a confirm button), a changelog section (better than developers trying to fit something on the description), and should tell you what version you have currently installed when an upgrade is available (not just “the current version will be replaced with v1.2.3″).

  • enki

    Worst is poor market penetration. From usability angle, look at xbox marketplace or stream.

  • eclipse

    I have no issues and can’t figure out what people are whining about.

    In the last couple of weeks I have spent about $10 in the app store, and requested a refund on one app.

    No problems, no issues.

    Installs are quick and easy, so are reinstalls.

    I love getting update notifications – its like a little morning present from Google.

    I am running a G1 with 1.6.

    Perhaps the issue is the general demographic – anyone who is willing to pay 2-3x’s value for hardware and accept a lock-in, single-source wireless provider is also more likely to waste money on things like pretend lighters and glasses of beer.

    I use my device for business and volunteerism and don’t do much with games, but when I find an app like Droidlive, Docs to go, or Weatherbug, I’ll pay for it no problem.

    All told I have spent about $50 in the app store on a $100 device. I don’t think that’s too bad.

  • ari-free

    yes, bravo on the refunds.

  • ExtremeT

    There’s a lot of room for improvement with the android market. A lot of suggestions already stated are very good and should be put into the market. As it stands right now the market is not what it should be.

    Longer descriptions
    Don’t see the need for more screenshots, 2 is enough.
    Better rating system, the star system sucks
    Linking inside the description
    Posting to social networks (twitter/facebook/etc)
    More paid market coverage for more countries
    Shorter refund period.

    That’s my wish list, I’m sure there’s a few things I’m forgetting but if some of these suggestions everyone is stating were implemented the market would be a lot better off for both devs and users.

    • ExtremeT

      Oh another big one would be the ability to bookmark your favorite devs, I would love to see that and even if they could include a notification system for when a dev you’ve marked as a favorite releases a new app it’d notify you.

  • Nadmenny Millicent

    The problem is not the apps. It’s the device. I think it’s wrong to run out of memory so fast. I would love to get a ton of apps on my G1 but it starts to bog down with about 13 meg free.

  • Dave H.

    On a stock G1 with 1.6, I’m missing apps that I’d think ought to be on the Market, and I have no idea how to make them appear…

  • Vineares

    It can be A LOT better than it is right now, with no a lot of effort. That is why I disapprove.

  • Lemon

    Simply, needs a synced web portal, and better search.

  • Craigo

    That’s a strange order to the choices. Would have though that it would go in order from strongly approve to strongly disapprove.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Thanks for the suggestion. Order updated. It should be refreshed in a few mins.

  • keemworld

    I disapprove the android market because they don’t make it easy for people to buy apps. If you are a person like me who do not own a credit card don’t have anyway to buy apps. I know from my own experience that this will hurt developers because I would have bought 8 or 9 and much more in the future if I had a way to buy them.

  • Derek

    I’d have to say the biggest aspect in need of attention right now is a decent real-time web portal. Cyrket is broken and AndroLib simply doesn’t cut it (data is lagged and not structured like the live market). I think it’s very strange and very sad that Google doesn’t have a decent web interface to the market.

    As for other payment options, this month I read several reports of T-Mobile instituting carrier billing by Nov. 17th. Guess that was delayed.

  • Dave

    I am someone fairly new to the Android scene and have been playing around with the Market on my Droid. Overall it isnt bad, it just needs some polish.

    Some features i’d like to see are to hide apps with know issues with your phone, see a timestamp for when an app was last updated, sort app listings either by number of downloads or rating and finally bump up the app screenshots from 2 to 6.

  • Randall

    Allow me to SORT! By stars, by downloads, by name, by price, by developer. Let me sort the main lists and also any search I create. How about a snapshot feature that will automagically download every app I have on my phone so I don’t have to go back through and do it manually one at a time if I have to factory reset for some reason? An UPDATE ALL button. If permissions on an app have changed alert me otherwise just update automatically.

    • A man

      Add search within categories to this list.

    • ZRod

      SNAPSHOT!! THANK YOU!!! I’ve been askin this since day one!! I have paid for backup applications but they just don’t cut it with apps because they are just reinstalled without going through the market and therefore aren’t seen by the market as an app you have installed and therefore it won’t tell you if you have the most current version of an app or an old, outdated one.
      Been my biggest jiff because I hate manually having to find the app again after writing it down or looking at the backup list, too big of a hassle that takes too much time!! WHERE IS MY iDroid like iTunes?!?!?!

  • gilbertorbea

    It’s sad the search GIANT, Google, can’t get the search right on it. I feel high-end developers stray away from the Market, and those who do bring quality apps aren’t given enough credit. The fact that there is no judging process really lets bad apps in to the Market, and the apps found on others like BlackBerry or iPhone have features that are stupidly left out of Android. Seems we get the shorter stick.

  • haydenTheAndroid

    Multiple APK’s for the same app is needed too, and based on screen size and other factors an APK is automatically chosen. This would keep app sizes down for people with smaller screens (G1) but still let developers have their high-res images for the Droid.

  • RT

    No paid apps in Canada? Our credit cards work just as well as those to the south of us.

    • Dominik

      No paid apps in Poland. I know many of people don’t know where is this place, but Google should.

  • Amit

    From a developer’s perspective:
    - Changelog or What’s new in the current release
    - Direct link to Youtube video
    - A better rating system (A 5 star rating is flawed)
    - Maintain APKs for different versions of the SDK, now there are people running 1.5, 1.6 and 2.0 and we cannot support all three SDKs with one APK.

  • dethduck

    1.) The ability to filter out spamming developers who upload 25 “apps” that are nothing but url shortcuts and the like.

    2.) A feature to automatically update the apps I already have.

  • Liam Welford

    Seems an odd way to gain peoples opinion of the Market, you need more targeted options in my opinion. An approval rating kind of makes sense for a President or political figure, but not for something like an app store, A negative approval rating would suggest we don’t want the market at all.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      A negative approval rating would tell Google they need to put more resources into upgrading the Market. It has been severely neglected for the past year.

  • Alex

    I think my biggest problem is that it’s always sorted by most downloaded. Unless an app made today is an absolute must-have, it’s going to constantly be buried and never make it to the “main screen.” Sure, there’s Just in, but with the number of apps coming to market daily, it’s real easy to be three hard flicks away real fast. As someone said above, it needs a best of day/week/month and not just best all time.

    Also, give us a way to filter out apps which get a relatively poor rating, but make sure it has something like 20 or so votes before showing the rating so that the first vote can’t tank it.

  • s15274n

    I actually really like the market… I DO wish you could SORT and have more FILTERS. I wish I could just tell the market to find all apps that are new in the past month, rated 4 stars or higher, etc.

  • Chris

    I don’t think it is all that bad. Better search capabilities would be nice. The ultimate goal would be to search online for apps straight from my computer and not my phone.

  • Bim

    Not enough apps. If we’re competing with the iPhone then we’re losing big time. There are soo many good apps on the iPhone which I’d love to have on my android HTC phone. Push the developers more. I also hate that some apps keep running even after I have closed them with Advanced Task Killer. I.e. BBC News and Fring apps. Otherwise superb phone and I’m recommending to my friends to buy. I absolutely love the barcode scanner – genius. Sometimes when I’m on the motorway half way up north up England I lose connection to the 3G network and I can’t use Google Maps. Disappointing. Otherwise I’m happy with my phone and android OS.

  • DiStro

    I currently own the Droid and I LOVE it. I just wish there were more high quality apps in the App Market. Android’s App store has more potential as it is open sourced, yet we still don’t get see those top of line 3D games you see on the iPhone. Speed Forge 3D is great, but we need more games that actually make good use of those graphic processors. And with the Droid’s d-pad and its graphic capabilities, it would make a good mobile gaming device.


    Best Market on the market

  • Brian Douglas Hayes

    I’m a bit disappointed with the Android Market, although I don’t think I “disapprove” of it…

    Organization could be better. Often I don’t know which category an app would be in (would this be a “lifestyle” app or an “entertainment” app?) so I’m left guessing. Maybe tags would be a better way to organize. Apps can fall under multiple categories sometimes.

    I find it hard to evaluate an app based on a couple tiny screenshots and a brief description on the screen of my phone–especially when I’m trying to decide if I’m going to buy an app. I’d like a web interface; or, better yet, a desktop application that would let you browse the market, purchase, sync and manage your apps. BlackBerry has it, Apple has it.

    Also, I think Google could do a better job promoting the market, either through advertising or some other means. As for the adverts out there, it’s an awful shame that the carriers are promoting their individual hardware devices rather than the power of the Android platform and app market. This is, in my opinion, one of the reasons the iPhone continues to lead the pack. Nearly every iPhone ad talks about THE APPS, not the device. With the exception of the newest Sprint ad, nearly every ad for Android devices (myTouch 3G, Droid, etc.) feature glamor shots of shiny hardware, features and specifications, and then as an afterthought, some ambiguous allusions to having “thousands of apps”. It’s very selfish and poor choice in the long run. C’mon, carriers–sell the PLATFORM; make it attractive and the phones will sell themselves.

  • Andy K

    As a consumer, the market is a real disappointment. When you cannot find an app by searching for it by name, well, that’s just piss poor for Google. Also, there should be a way to bookmark apps… Ever tried to find all your stuff after a master reset? Sadness…

    Finding apps is too hard, especially from the device. Why not web access and filtering?

    Refunds — 24 hours is not long enough to try some apps.

    * Search that works
    * Bookmarks / Favorites
    * Better Categorization/Filtering
    * Web interface
    * Longer refund period

  • poinck

    The Market works, but I am “unsure” about the applications in there. NO time to develope some apps I am missing (sometimes I’m only missing some features or a useful app looks bad).

  • Mark

    I agree with almost everything stated above. However I think there should be two refund windows. I think game developers are getting screwed with people ‘buying’ a game with every intention of beating it and returning it in under 24 hours. Games should have an 8 hour window. That’s more than enough time to decide if you want to keep a game. Productivity apps should have a 48 hour refund window.

    • BruteForce

      Honestly, a game that you can finish in 24 hours or less is not worth paying for. That is my opinion as a game dev.

  • FckingAllen

    it should have more categories as well. it ALWAYS gets flooded with themes for everything. its really annoying. it should also have one JUST for widgets.

  • Jeff

    Where is the Barnes and Noble ereader application? Where is the stanza app for android? I would love to make purchases from Barnes and Noble at the ebook price! What’s taking so long?

  • Chris Wolf

    The Market should be accessible from the web – not just a handset. I know there’s webpage, but it only lets you see the top 5 apps in category and there’s no search. Apple does this well with their iTunes. Also if you’re using American Express – you can only purchase apps whose price is listed in USD. Again, this restriction is not there in the Apple app store.

  • Pingback: Android and Me()

  • archboy

    While I think the market is okay and usable. With the added of app images it was very helpful rather than downloading it blindly to see what it looked like. I’ve never had problems checking out with the Google account but downloading can be an issue which is because of TMo I think rather than the market. I disagree that the return should be longer. I think 24hours is more than enough to download, and try it out. If you don’t like it within say 15 minutes, your going to return it. Longer and people can abuse it. I think people are already abusing the 24 hr. They play the game until its done and then return it for instance. The developers after all are trying to make money and that only will discourage dev to make more apps. The iPhone for instance has NO return policy.

    It is isn’t perfect but improving. It would be nice to be able to search by stars for instance, opening up to more countries and sometimes finding an app is rather cumbersome because some of the apps are in placed in strange categories that are not intuitive.

  • Pingback: Android and Me()

  • Pingback: Game scope()

  • Pingback: Game scope()