A few days ago, we caught the leaked pictures of what looked to be an updated Android Market and today Google has made it official. In Android's next update, Android 1.6 Donut, Android Market will receive an update that brings a fresh design and some very important new features, the most important being screeenshots of applications.

We're pretty big fans of the new design--it looks a lot more modern, usable, and seemingly better in every way. The new features of Android Market for developers will also bring in a better user experience--promotional icons, better descriptions, and application screenshots that will let all Android users learn more about the application. Also, four new sub-categories will be added: sports, health, themes and comics.

Unfortunately, no timeline was provided on when we'll be able to use the new Android Market but when Android 1.6 is released to the public you can be sure to check back for our full review!

[android developers blog]

 
There are 19 comments

Any word on when the release will be?

Sheila says:

Will the Sprint Hero be released with Android 1.6?

Georges says:

While I like the new look, this doesn't go in the direction I wish.
What I most frequently want to do is browse for apps, with no specific type/theme in mind. I just want to discover "cool" stuff, things I never heard about, not have more restrictive categories. I never use them, as I'd have time to browse too many categories, which is a pain.
What I need are filters. Here are the things I want to be able to NOT see:

- apps only provided in languages I don't know. This is becoming more and more of a problem on Market, with more and more apps in Chinese/Asian languages, or in European languages I don't know. I want to be able to see only apps in English/French/German. Also think about people who can't read English: it has to be trivial for them to never see English only apps… Brutal, but that's the experience I'd expect. There are tons of ebooks too.

- apps with irrelevant local contents. I don't want to see all these maps of places that are irrelevant to my current location. I don't want the metro map of London to ever appear, or at least, I should be able to filter out everything further than 100 miles away from my current location. Conversely, the day I take the plane and land in NY, I want the NY metro maps to appear right away with all NY specific content apps. Other example: TV guides. Do I care about German/Swedish/UK TV guides? These all exist on Android market in 2 versions (lite & full)... As I live in the US, I couldn't care less. And vice-versa. Local content is only ever relevant to a minority of people, as only a minority of users live in or around that location/country.

- apps from "bad" authors. There are way too many publishers that make 10s or 100s of apps that are all crappy, in the same spirit. Like the "Celebrity XXX sound/pics pack" apps, and the like, that change ringtones and/or wallpapers and the like according to a theme. They build 10s of these. Other example: I heard Apple banned an Indian app developer who authored over 800 apps, all of dubious interest. Rather than have this guy be banned (which is always unpopular), we could better let users decide for themselves and maybe let the developers know how often they've been filtered out permanently.

- low ratings: I often don't even bother with an app with less than 3 stars.

Please improve market: this is where the value of the platform is built, yet, the app itself is not too good... :-(

Anonymous says:

Doesn't matter how good the Android Market is if it won't let us buy.

In many countries (like New Zealand), the Android Market is crippled - we can't buy apps at all. And the carrier often doesn't tell us before purchase. While there are other places to buy apps, most users will never venture beyond the built-in Market.

No word from Google or the carriers about if/when us have-not countries get access to paid apps - not even a "coming soon".

Google is going to find it hard to catch up to Apple if they can't sort out this kind of thing.

Kevin Daly says:

That also applies to New Zealand developers - we can't produce paid apps for
Android.
I think the Android SDK is brilliant, but apparently Google doesn't want me to develop for Android.

Any word on when the release will be?Will the Sprint Hero be released with Android 1.6?

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Articles posted on here are really fun to read and informative as well! I'll be watching out for the updated Android and definitely looking forward to the health sub-category. Hmm...wonder what's going to be featured on that.

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CodyFish says:

Android is getting better. Recently updated mine to 2.3 and hell yeah it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Its simplicity is incomparable to iPhone, making it easier to navigate and control. Can anyone here suggest what apps should I be getting?
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