May, 06 2009

android-market-official-updateI’ve just got an Official Email from the Android Market Support Team that outlines a few major updates: (1) Ability for developers to target new countries for Free Apps, (2) Local language support in more countries, and (3) Required identification of minimum SDK version supported for new/updated apps. I’ve tried to organize the information quickly/effectively but also included the full Email below for your convenience.

Free Apps can now be targeted to these additional Countries (only new):

  • Canada
  • France
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Switzerland

Paid Apps will soon be added to (only new):

  • Austria
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Spain

Local Language Support Now Includes (all):

  • English
  • German
  • French
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • Dutch
  • Czech
  • Polish

Developers will now be required to indicate the oldest supported SDK to ensure the best possible compatibility with handsets, since different versions (currently 1.1 and 1.5) will be in the wild. Some applications based on 1.5 simply won’t work or function properly on 1.1 handsets – this not only addresses that issue now but for Android’s future since there are bound to be lots of different versions on lots of different phones in lots of different countries. See the links in below Email for more info.

And the full Email:


I’m writing to let you know about several changes made to Android Market.

We have added checkboxes in the publisher website at to target free apps for the following
countries:  France, Italy, Spain, Canada, Portugal, Switzerland, and
Ireland.  Please note that among the countries in this list, devices are
currently available in France, Italy, and Spain, and devices will soon be
available in the other markets.  You can target one or more countries by
selecting the individual checkboxes or by choosing “All Current and Future
Locations,” which will make your free apps appear to users in all
countries where free apps are available.

In the next couple weeks, we will add buyer support for priced apps in the
following countries:  France, Italy, Spain, and Netherlands.  Also, we are
finalizing the work to enable developers in Germany, Austria, Netherlands,
France, and Spain to offer priced applications in the coming weeks.

To help you better merchandise your apps to users in different markets, we
continue to add local language support for app titles and descriptions.
The complete set of languages that Android Market now supports is:
English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Czech, and Polish.

Finally, to better support Android-powered devices that may be running
different versions of the platform, it is now necessary for all
applications published in Android Market to indicate a minimum SDK version
in the manifest file.  This applies to all new apps and upgrades to
existing apps; apps currently in Market do not need to indicate a minimum
SDK version until you publish an upgraded version.  If you were to use an
Android 1.5 API in your app, you would need to set minSdkVersion
accordingly (i.e., equal to ‘3’) so that Android Market won’t show your
app to devices running an older version of the platform.  Apps using 1.5
APIs will not run properly on phones running earlier versions of Android.
See the following page for more detailed instructions on how to specify a
minimum SDK version in your manifest:

One note:  Android 1.5 is becoming available to devices, but in the near
term some users will still be on devices running Android 1.1 due to the
deployment schedule for new phones and update process for existing phones.
Therefore, we recommend that you first focus on making sure your 1.1 app
works properly on 1.5 devices (future proofing) before publishing a 1.5
version.  We will provide more information when the majority of users have
migrated their devices to Android 1.5 to help you with your app upgrade
plans.  For more information on how to future proof your app, see the
following blogpost:

Thanks, and we look forward to continue working with you on Android

Eric Chu,
Android Market

It is exciting to see the Google Android Team continue to address the needs of both consumers and developers on a global scale. They’ve got quite the task in front of them and they’re attacking it slowly but surely… not to mention effectively. Although I must admit, I was sad to see that Pig Latin and Ebonics are not among the new supported languages. Maybe next time.

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