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.
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.