Google makes Android Market changes official

It's official, folks -- those changes to the Android Market we've been talking about, and many of you have been seeing already, including the dreaded 15 minute return window, are now Android Market policy.  People who have registered as a developer for the Market have received a friendly e-mail from Google explaining all the changes.  There's nothing new they have to add, and most of the changes are in the way that applications are listed to help make things a bit better for the consumer, like more and better image previews and AT&T carrier billing.  The full announcement follows the break.


We're writing to inform you about some changes to Android Market that require your attention.

As we mentioned in an email sent last week, we’ve been updating Android Market with several new features that may affect your applications. That update is now complete and the features are now active:

* The purchase refund period is now 15 minutes, and the maximum size for .apk files is now 50MB.

* The details page for every app now displays the app’s “Promotional Graphic” assets at the top.

* Market is now capable of filtering based on screen sizes and densities. NOTE: Filtering based on GL texture compression formats is not active at this time, but will be available in early January 2011.

* Applications are now automatically added to new Live Wallpapers and Widgets categories, as appropriate.

We’ve also activated two new features on the Publisher site:

* The maximum size of the description field for an application is raised to 4000 characters.

* A minimum of two screen shots is now required for all applications. You can supply up to eight screenshots for each application.

Additionally, we’ve recently redesigned the categories on Android Market to better support users and developers. We’ve split some popular categories, renamed others, and added completely new categories. At this time, we recommend that you take a look at the categories and ensure that your applications are assigned to the best categories for them. For details, see the Android Market Help Center: (opens in new tab)

Finally, we wanted to bring to your attention that Android Market now offers a new form of payment for users on the AT&T network -- Direct Carrier Billing. This payment option lets Android users on the AT&T network purchase applications more easily.

Thank you once again for your continued support of Android Market.


The Android Market Team

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • * A minimum of two screen shots is now required for all applications. You can supply up to eight screenshots for each application. Yes! I'm so glad to see Google include this feature.
  • +1 I hate looking for an app and seeing NO screenshots.
  • I love the ideas of new categories in the market and the requirement of 2 screenshots for each application, now it allows people to be able to see the product rather than just buying it and than being disappointed...getting a refund 23 hours later and give a negative review
  • Deleted
  • I know this is beaten to death but what can we do about this asinine cut in review time to 15min? Anyone feel a petition will do any good? An email campaign? Just cutting the eval time by 66% or to 8hrs seems reasonable but I cant tell much from an ap in 15min. RIDICULOUS.
  • Especially EA games that need to download tons of data to play.
  • Don't buy apps. If there is a noticeable mark in sales Google will notice. I can tell you this much. I'll never buy another app over a buck and never anything complicated that requires more then 15 minutes to demo. Google can go to hell with this policy.
  • By the time I had downloaded the extra data that went with the app from EA and found out the OG Droid was "not an acceptable device" for this game... my refund time was expired. LAME! They need to figure out a better system soon.
  • So what would you suggest instead to keep people from returning games they finish in 1-2 hours? (Some notable examples include Infinity Blade as well as many GameLoft games)
  • Here's a suggestion: Make a shorter time limit for games only.
    Not a perfect solution, but better than what Google has now.
  • I might suggest authors write games that take longer than 2 hours to complete :)
  • everyone should protest buy not paying for apps
  • Ahh I still haven't gotten it! Any tips?
  • I still haven't gotten the update on my Nexus One either...
  • Haven't got it on my Evo yet either. I'm running Cyanogen Mod, which may have something to do with the delay. I assume they'll push it out to me eventually, but I'm not particularly worried or anxious. I rarely browse the market, instead going directly to an app that I've seen recommended here or some other blog. As such, a refresh of the Market UI isn't going to change things significantly for me.
  • My Nexus S has the option today to bill my T-Mobile account, too. Never noticed this on my Nexus One.
  • I'm done buying apps off the market then. And I do mean it. Google can go frak themselves with 15 minutes. >:( I'll pirate an app first from somewhere, if I like it THEN I'll buy it.
  • The 15 minute limit to get a refund for purchased apps is BS. Bugs don't always show themselves within 15 minutes of purchase.
  • Agree on the draconian 15 minutes policy. It's a complete joke >[
  • I for one welcome our new 15 minute overlords.
  • I just went to download the sim 3 this morning and it took me more than 15 minutes to download the 47mb files. Finally I found out it didn't work for my captivate. Out of luck, I can't refund it, so I guess I have to stick with free apps.
  • Same here! Some apps take longer than that to just download. What good is the 15 minute window then? I think an hour is about right for a refund...
  • They should have an option to sort comments by device. So I know if a game works for my Evo or not.
  • I thought the new marketplace did this, but I guess not. I agree, and it should be standard. I have no interest in searching a myriad of applications if they won't even work on my device.
  • I had no problem downloading the EA games with less than 15min (on wifi... maybe 4G would have been acceptable).... 15 minutes is absurd... maybe 3 hrs... maybe 2 hrs... As soon as a find how to provide feedback I will complain...
  • I complained right here:
  • Everyone with a google account is eligible to post in that forum. So everybody pile on in that thread and perhaps there will be a change. Virtually every single developer posting in that thread is AGAINST the 15 minute rule, so who is Google doing this for? But bad press gets more action than whining, even whining in Google's own forum. So getting well read tech sites to weigh in on this is also helpful.
  • Better to vote by starring this issue:
  • The problem for me is that the game download 47mb then it stays right there and never complete the download, so I have to press back bottom and try to download it again.
  • I wonder when they'll finally push out the new market to the Nexus S?
  • My guess is the big time companies like EA lobbied google behind closed doors for this change. Google wouldn't make a change like this otherwise. They would give App developers the choice before throwing a small 15 minute window on App returns. This very much stinks of a deal done for large gaming companies. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if this change comes along with announcements of some high profiles games or applications.
  • I think the 15 minute refund window change has already backfired, the EA Mobile games that are selling for $1 right now and half the people can't download the content after installing the game (between 60-150MB) and far too late to refund a non working game. I can't play FIFA 10 myself and can't refund it now but the rest works. I'm removing my payment info from Checkout now, 15 minutes is a stupid move.
  • Why don't you try the idea of contesting the charge with your CC company?
  • The 15 minute rule has already cost Mobiata (FlightTrack) $4.99 of my money. If I can't properly test an app, I simply won't buy it. I have a feeling this rule change is going to save me a lot of money!
  • Does it update automatically because it's not letting me bill to my carrier yet.
  • No more paid apps for me until I 'try' them via a non market method. If they are great I might buy matter what the people who loose are Google and the app coders.
  • One other thought... If you purchase a defective application and can't refund it you can contest the charge with your credit card company. Each time that happens the CC company charges Google $100 + the actual amount and they have to produce paperwork proving the product was not defective. If that happens 20 or 30 thousand times someone is going to fix the 15 min window.
  • This is a really good idea!
  • I like the new Marketplace update it reminds me of my Xbox 360 :D
  • Is there any kind of fee for having the payment go strait to your bill? or is it just the same?
  • afaik, there is not a fee with this. Gudy