Dec 11 AT 12:23 AM Taylor Wimberly 65 Comments

New Android Market get overhauled UI, changes refund window to 15 minutes

After a year of minor tweaks, the Android Market has finally received an overhaul. The new look incorporates many of the behind the scenes changes made over the last couple months and adds the most requested features by users and developers.

For users, Google has updated the UI for the app detail page so you can access all the information about an application on a single page without the need to navigate across different tabs. The app detail page also includes related apps to make it easier to discover apps of similar interest. Several new categories were also added like Widgets and Live Wallpapers.

Developers are now able to upload applications up to 50 MB. The old limit was only 25 MB which had caused issues for some developers (especially games) that had to setup their own servers to distribute data files. The refund window has also been reduced from 24 hours down to 15 minutes since most refunds occur within minutes of purchase.

Some game devs had complained about the previous refund window because users could purchase a game, complete it, and then return it before the deadline. Maybe this will finally encourage Gameloft to bring some of their HD titles over.

Google will also add support for device targeting based on screen sizes and densities, as well as on GL texture compression formats.

The new Android Market client will be coming to all devices running Android 1.6 or greater over the next two weeks.

It should be pretty obvious when your Market starts up if you have the update, but you can double check by seeing if the version is 2.2.6. Kellen from Droid Life suggested the following tip to try and force the update: Go to Settings > Applications > Manage Applications> Al l> Market and clear data

A post on the Android Developers blog says new capabilities are rapidly coming in the weeks and months and they are working hard to “make it the best content distribution service for the Android ecosystem”. I have no idea what took them so long with the updates, so maybe we have AppBrain and AppAware for motivating them to get moving.

app_page1-337x600 app_page2-337x600 app_page3-337x600 app_page4-337x600 main-337x600 My_apps-337x600 New Android Market

New Android Market (version 2.2.6) features include:

  • Refund window changing to 15 minutes
  • New carousel with featured apps on main page
  • Widgets and Live Wallpapers categories added
  • Related content added to app page
  • Single page app viewing, all info in one place
  • Max size for apk files increased from 25 MB to 50 MB

Let us know if you see the new Market on your phone. Browsing the AppAware update stats, I don’t see many updates, but maybe that will change soon.

Via: Droid Life

Source: Android Developers Blog

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

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  • http://Website martin

    15 minutes? 15 mins is nothing. sorry, but i think thats pretty shitty.

    • Will

      It’s a quarter of an hour more than Apple gives you.

      • http://Website Micah

        The new refund is lame. It defeats the purpose of having one for me.

        • Canterrain

          I’m the marketing director for a webcomic. My focus is advertising, both the ads being placed on the website, and placing ads elsewhere. I also work towards finding ways to spread the webcomic to new people who have not read it before.

          I’m also a huge android fan, and recommend the OS above all others.

          But despite that I have always recommended building webcomic apps for the iphone and NOT the android OS.

          Why? Well there’s lots of reasons. One it’s easier to build for the iphone OS, since all iphones have the same basic size screen and resolution capabilities. Android phones vary vastly.

          But an equally big problem has been the refund window. 24 hours is more than enough time to read the entire webcomic app and uninstall. So there’d be no money to be made. You could place ads in the app and make it free, but that would detract from the experience of reading the webcomic app too much I think.

          The change in the refund window goes a long way towards making android a more viable option for these kinds of apps. And I support that.

          • http://Website JGarrido

            You make a point most users probably don’t realize, however if there’s no real value to your application after 15 minutes of usage, is it really worth a couple of bucks? Some kind of subscription model might work better for your type of product.

    • http://Website Steffen

      I really, really can’t understand why they didn’t leave the decision up to the developers. Implemented a system that lets the developer choose a time between 15 minutes and 24 hours. 15 minutes makes a lot of sense for games, but not much sense for more complex applications.

      I think this will really lower sales for apps with many features. What if I only get to see 2 features in 15 minutes? If I don’t like those features I’ll take the refund as fast as possible and never get to see the other 10 features the app has to offer.

      I can guarantee with this new refund window I will never buy another app thats over $0.99.

      • http://Website Tom

        In my app, which is $8.99, 90% of the refunds occur within 15 mins => pirates.

        I wil be happy to manually issue a refund within 24 hrs still.

        • Menthix

          Pirates?? If they refunded the app that means they don’t want to (and can’t) use your app anymore. It means they tried it and it didn’t turn out what they though it would be. Unless you’re implying they’re making a copy of your app and continue to use it after the refund. If that is true they will continue to do that with a 15 minute limit too.

          If you really think you are entitled to someone’s money if they only used for 15 minutes, go develop for Apple and trick people into buying your 5 dollar fart app.

          • http://Website Tom

            My app is not a fart app. It’s a very serious productivity app that cannot be evaluated in 15 mins. Hence the $9 price. Somebody who refunds within a few minutes is most likely copying it off, which is very easy to do with Astro.

            This is why I will still offer a 24hr money back gurantee.

          • http://Website TinGodz

            You completely missed Tom’s point. More than likely, a good amount of returns within 15 minutes is piracy. Obviously they have copied the app and returned the original for the refund.

            How do you even begin to think he feels entitled to someone’s money when he OPENLY STATES that he will CONTINUE to issue REFUNDS within 24 HOURS?

            Key words have been capitalized for you.

          • http://Website 2FR35H

            @Tom and @TinGodz

            So because you believe that piracy occurs in 15minutes because 15minutes is not enough time to fully evaluate your product, you then support this 15 minute limit? of which is the amount of time it takes to pirate your apk instead of fully evaluate it.

            What I am getting at is that its counter productive to what you are actually trying to do. By setting a 15minute return window you are only going to allow enough time for a pirate copy to be done and punish those who are actually evaluating your product. By setting a 15 minute evaluation limit you are essentially telling people to pirate your product to try it.

            Basically you closed the evaluation window for your respective users instead of closing the window for pirates.

            It makes no sense to me.

        • http://Website Steffen

          That is why I don’t understand this. This new window is doing almost nothing to prevent pirating, and everything to prevent a proper trial evaluation.

          Nevertheless, it’s good to hear you will do manual refunds, as I’m sure many other developers will.

        • http://Website Futureboy

          What’s your app? Excellent service like this should be rewarded with good publicity.

          • http://Website Tom

            Thanks. My app is a personal finance app that’s name starts with the letter A. It’s currently #4 in the finanace category (paid).

    • AndMac

      The 15 minutes is completely lame.

      Recently I was looking for the best multi-cityMoxier World weather app. I download several apps, then started trying them all, to figure out which one I liked best.

      15 minutes is just not enough time to make an informed evaluation.

      Which means that for a lot of people will be easier to just pirate. The problem for developers is that once pirated, it’s so easy for most people to just “forget” that they should pay for the app, if they like it.

      As to all this BS about “if you delete right away, you must be a pirate”: it’s total bull. I delete apps quickly if the UI sucks (a lot of Android apps have very poor UI), or if I feature I need is not implemented, or poorly done. And I’ve never pirated an app.

      BTW, the best weather app I found is Moxier World.

      • http://Website Tom

        But whey wouldn’t try the free version first to see if the UI sucks or not? Most non-trivial paid apps have some kind of paid version.

        In my case, the pirate will be able to use the app for a very short period of time, before the LVL checks kick in.

        • http://Website Tom

          Sorry, that should have said:

          “Most non-trivial paid apps have some kind of FREE version.”

  • http://Website mghill77

    Why even bother offering a refund window. 15 minutes is hardly enough time to even scrape the surface of an app. Give us at least an hour Google.

  • http://Website JulioG

    Lol the flash app: comment guy says ” eff you apple ;-)

  • http://Website B

    15 minutes is just..what the hell. I can understand shortening the window, I guess, but that is a huge drop off. You might not even have time to try all the options on some apps in 15 minutes.

  • http://Website cbo

    Is it just me or does this ‘update’ seem to be a step backwards visually? The top green bar, red/white rating stars, etc seem very unprofessional…

    • http://Website Tortoise

      It’s just you.

  • SliestDragon

    Why are downloaded apps under menu? That doesn’t really seem user friendly…

    • anakin78z

      Just got the update. Can’t say I’m a fan. Seems like there’s a lot more fluff and a lot less content now. I now have to click ‘More’ to see an app description every time, which seems dumb. Of course I want to read the description! The one page layout seems a lot more cluttered than the tabbed one. It’s nice that they display the promo graphic at the top of the details page, and the new featured apps at the top of the market home screen is way more functional than before.
      I guess I’ll have to get used to it, but I’m not sure it’s an improvement.

      • anakin78z

        damn, that wasn’t meant to be a reply. For what it’s worth, I can get to my downloads straight from the Market home screen (it’s called My apps now, instead of downloads.). On my verizon galaxy tab, they replaced the downloads tab with a verizon tab, and I have to access my downloads thorugh the menu. Maybe that’s what you have?

  • http://Website Tito!

    It’s ugly. .
    Must I say, Google seems to single handedly take this OS into the dumpster. D:

  • http://Website Nick

    I’ll still try and refund, within 15 minutes. That is plenty of time to fool around with an app for the most part. I feel bad for the ones that cost more than $5-10. Those are the ones that may see a negative effect to this.

  • http://Website Hans

    I like the new UI, it’ll match with Gingerbread.

  • g.isreal

    Is it just me or all this overhaulin’ remind you of the new Xbox 360 update

  • http://Website Ryan Kim

    Is it just me, or is the status bar in the screenshots different from Froyo and Gingerbread? It seems to have the new icons and look of Gingerbread, but is white. Does Gingerbread have a status bar color setting?

    • http://Website Batman!

      Pretty sure that’s a MOTOblur status bar.

  • http://Website steve

    I have been reading this site for the last year, and up until two months ago, I had loved this site.

    Then, I realize how slow this website is to post articles and how few articles is posted compared to the other android sites.

    Both androidcentral and phandroid had this news posted on their website before androidandme.

    Phandroid was able to post a total of 36 articles today, but androidandme only posted 2 articles.

    These readers have missed out on stories such as Motorola saying their Droid 2 didn’t go boom in the man’s ear, and that there’s currently no immediate plans to bring Infinity Blade to android. almost never posts articles during the weekends, but phandroid posts atleast 15 articles during the weekends!!!

    Everyone should go compare phandroid to androidandme.


    • http://Website Tortoise

      I agree. I noticed they don’t put a lot of of articles up. but idk i like this site still

    • Taylor Wimberly

      We love you too Steve. Thanks for the feedback. There are a lot of changes going on behind the scenes and I think you will enjoy the new site and content we have been planning.

      My focus right now is not trying to see how many posts I can pump out in a single day. I’ve been doing a lot of traveling to build greater relationships with the companies behind the Android products that we all love so we can bring you exclusive stories with new content, instead of always regurgitating all the news that comes out each day.

      I agree with you that we miss some important stories and we are hiring more full time contributors to help with the day-to-day news.

      • http://Website Wesley

        When I want my Android news fix, I come here. Imho they are the best. Great to here that you guys are growing your site/company Taylor.

      • Canterrain

        I read phandroid, androidcentral, engadget, and androidandme.

        It’s true that androidandme doesn’t post as often as the other named sites, but I continue to find it a valuable resource. Where the others report like, and feel like, news resources providing the facts as they are, androidandme has always and continues to feel like the thoughts of someone who is a true lover of android. Like me.

        They find out things coming up for android before I do, and more than just stating, “Hey this is coming!” they say, “Hey this is coming, and when I think about the possibilities for my phone this is why it’s great, or terrible.”

        Which in turn gets me thinking. I’m passionate about android. And so is androidandme. That’s what sets it apart from all the rest.

    • http://Website alex

      Quality over quantity! This site has the most informed and well written articles of the bunch. Besides….you can always check BOTH sites! No need to bash people’s hard work. Keep up the good work android and me.

    • Killa

      One other thing that is really great about this site is that it actually looks like these people went to school. Every other site I’ve seen, there is always a problem with everyone’s spelling. Sometimes their grammer isn’t too great either. With this site, you look at it, you read it, it looks and sounds legit.

      Keep up the great work guys!

    • http://Website Lusit

      The quality of writing is higher here than on phandroid etc. This feels more like actual journalism, especially with Taylor and his inside sources and various other dodgy and shady acquaintances. That’s better imo.

  • Dain Binder

    I wonder how this will look on my Motorola Charm (it has a smaller screen with a landscape default view). This update that came out just 2 days ago was pretty nice.

  • http://Website Mark

    So I pay for an app and while it’s downloading, the train finally arrives at my work place and I have to put my phone away probably till I get a break which is maybe 3 or 4 hours away. I pull out my phone, try out the app but I don’t like it. I try to get a refund but OOPS! Too late, I should have done 4 hours ago.

    Thanks a lot Google for ruining a perfectly good feature. Just, thanks. >.<

    • http://Website Batman!

      Most paid apps have trail versions, if it doesn’t, maybe you should do some research before putting out the money.

      • http://Website Futureboy

        Most… but not all. This is a problem. Take Spreadsheet, for example. It’s a decent app, but has some serious flaws that you wouldn’t find in 15 minutes. There have been zero updates in two years. The app has been abandoned and there is no signs that the app will be developed any further. As of this writing, the app is selling for $4.72. That’s a fair amount of money for a broken, unsupported app.

        Everyone who has posted above is right on:
        Yes, 15 minutes is better than no refund at all.
        Yes, the shorter window is better for devs of games

        But there has to be a better middle ground that will be better for everyone.

        *Note: A special thanks to devs like Tom (above) who are willing to still honor a 24 hour window for a manual refund for more complex productivity apps!

    • http://Website watbetch

      Wait until your lunch break? Just spit balling here!

    • Tallbruva

      Most devs (esp those with paid apps) usually post their website (i do it for my paid and free aps) because they can give more detail about the app than the market allows. If more people did this, there would be fewer installs.

      As far installing and not testing the app until lunch break, how it that Google’s or the devs problem when you decide to install an app?

    • http://Website DenverRalphy

      I’d attribute that to poor planning on your part. While I’m opposed to the 15 minute window, I’d be smart enough not to initiate a purchase/download when there’s a relatively good chance I’d be interrupted.

  • http://Website Jack


    15 minutes is already enough to download and use for a short time.

    • http://Website DenverRalphy

      Many apps purchased in the market are only Installers. The installers then download a boatload of data, and may or may not require registering login credentials etc… I can name numerous apps that take more than 15 minutes just to get installed and setup before you even get a chance to take it for a drive.

      Or how about apps that provide GPS navigation? Can you truly testdrive a GPS app remaining stationary? Nope, you need to go out and drive around and experiment with it’s features. I doubt you can accomplish that in 15 minutes.

      And then… there are apps that don’t reveal their Force Close issues until well past the 15 minute mark, because it doesn’t play nice with your particular device.

  • http://Website DK

    It’s another way of getting more developers. Apple doesn’t have a refund window which developers like. So Google implemented a shorter time based on research and what developers would like.

    Just my opinion.

  • http://Website chris

    You guys forgot they will also be adding video previews in the market.

    • L3ft_Nut_14

      When is tht video feature coming out

  • Menthix

    Really, 15 minutes? So a few hours is already too long, at least an hour?? If someone is done with your game/app that fast maybe it just isn’t worth paying to begin with. Yes a lot of apps have trials or I could do the really old fashioned thing and search the web for reviews, but why would we want to go back to that when there already was a decent method.

    When does the timer even start ticking? When the payment is authorized? That’s before the download starts. Take a large app and a crappy data connection and your refund is already wasted before you can even launch the app. I’m no necessarily against lowering the time window, but 15 minutes is very extreme. Probably will mean I’ll try less paid apps and end up buying less. Because the last thing I want is try several apps and sit there with a stopwatch to see which one I like.

    Developers should be able to set their own refund time window, With a minimum of 1 hour.

  • http://Website B

    Devs should definitely be able to set their own refund policy, including a no refund policy, IMHO. Why include a no refund option as well? Personally, I think it’d bring even more devs into the Android ecosystem, as well as force devs who implement the no refund policy to make much better apps. I think it should be up to the dev to decide which balance of personal confidence in their app’s quality, and customer service satisfaction they’d like to choose. If a dev puts out a sub-par app with a short time frame, or no, refund policy, it will receive quite a few negative reviews, therefore quickly diminishing any sort of real ROI for the dev. At that point, the dev will have a couple choices: improve that and/or future apps, let the app flounder into non-existence, or leave the Android dev community altogether (which wouldn’t be a bad thing in this type of situation…sort of a “virtual” natural selection :) )
    If someone puts out a high-quality, strong performing app, regardless of the refund policy, the reviews would be mostly (there’s always those customers who truly don’t fit into your target demographic & thus won’t be satisfied) positive, creating an environment where many potential “on the fence” buyers would be willing to give the app a shot.

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  • http://Website DaDennis

    new market apk:

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

  • http://Website DonIsGood

    Whoa! Does it mean I’ll receive an update from HTC for my Hero (GSM)? – Shock horror if I do!

  • deltaslight

    Taylor we didnt know you were a Justin Beiber fan.

    It looks nice, cant wait to get it! and 15 mins is enough time for me.

  • http://Website damien

    “Maybe this will finally encourage Gameloft to bring some of their HD titles over.”
    I was wondering if this would encourage more HD game titles as well. But it seems the cap may still be a bit low. For example Gameloft’s “Dungeon Hunter” is 220 megabytes.

  • http://Website Jim

    Maybe they shouldn’t release games that can be finished in 24 hours

  • http://Website AnonGuy

    A 15 minute return Windows isn’t even… logical…

  • Dirk

    15 Minutes is enough for …

    Closing market
    Starting the app
    Seting up the app
    Closing the app
    Opening the market
    Refunding the app

    … and i’m not gonna buy apps that i can’t test.

  • http://Website jo

    50mb? wtf? You have HD phone and crap graphic because your game is 50mb I hate android market. You must look somewhere else if you want good game

  • http://Website eric

    Help! I got the market update, but idk if it didn’t install correctly or something cause there’s all gray boxes where the star ratings are I don’t know how to fix it?

  • http://Website Strix Flash

    The new market is really awesome……it looks great with its new look.

  • Ashley

    I dislike the new design. From a designer’s perspective, it feels like I’m being bombarded by text and clutter. The other version was much cleaner and much more visually appealing. As usual, technology changes and I can’t do a d*** thing about it. C’est la vie.