Android Market Gets Redesign, New Categories, Support for Paid Apps in 99 More Countries and a Lot More

Google chatted with the press following their day two keynote at I/O today. We’d already gotten a general idea of how they were thinking about Android going forward from yesterday’s Q&A and from the Android Fireside chat, but they were a bit reluctant to talk about the Android market. Now we know why – they were saving it all for the press briefing today.

The market is getting another facelift (on Android handsets, anyway) that’ll closely resemble the tablet and desktop versions. You can see just how much they’ve changed stylistically in the image to your right (which we thank TechCrunch for). Much like the featured carousel at the top, Google will now use an “Editors’ Choice” badge for applications they believe are trustworthy, of quality and very useful. There are a lot of other backend and frontend improvements that has us licking our chops.

For starters, they’ve added a dozen or so new categories and filtering options. You can now see what’s trending, top new free and top new paid apps, and the top free and top paid apps will focus on what’s more popular in those respective categories.

Another big change developers may like is an increase in size for applications – now at 4GB – and the ability to host archive files (files that bigger games need to download after the initial market download). Archive files are hosted and delivered by Google through the Android market so that the user can seamlessly download large games without having to leave the market.

And there’s even more – paid apps are now supported in 99 new countries. It’s a great milestone for Google who came under a great amount of scrutiny from both developers and users. Developers would miss out on huge opportunities to maximize revenue while users who’d rather get their paid applications from the Android market had no way to do that. I’m personally glad to see this one on the list. You can find the full list of supported countries at the Android website here.

Finally – and I hate to be the bearer of bad news here – Google is not increasing the 15 minute refund window. (Which is still 15 minutes longer than what competitors give you.) They have assured us that the 15 minute mark does NOT start until after the application has been fully downloaded and installed, though, which was the main complaint from a lot of you. In short – no, that 30 minute game download does not cut into your 15 minute window.

There were a few other changes for you developer types out there but you’ll likely be getting a note from Google themselves about those changes. What do you guys think of all this?

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  • Soccerfon

    I love the new market for phones! I’ve been waiting forever for Google to put out a market with a nice UI. Now I’m wondering when it will be out for my phone… any eta?

    • http://techdomino.com/ Lucian Armasu

      A month. I think the web market needs a bit of redesign, too. It could look better.

  • Lennatron

    When is the Market upgrade coming?

    • http://techdomino.com/ Lucian Armasu

      In a month they said. The web market is already updated.

  • acer1096xxx

    So excited!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1818366698 Mitchell Buchler

    Yea when is it coming out?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1818366698 Mitchell Buchler

      Oh, and when is Paypal coming?

      • Temporary101

        Paypal is coming?
        I hope they add iDeal to Google checkout!
        And any ETA on the new market?

  • http://trueacu.com/acupuncture-centennial-colorado Centennial

    should boost those download numbers even higher.

  • toomuchgame441

    YYea definitely good news, I like the UI of the current market, can’t wait for this one.

  • Sonelone

    Does fully downloaded and installed include the in app download? I for example, if it is download a game, and it needs and extra 600mb after the opening of the app, and does the timer start at the opening of the application or after the 600mb is finished downloading.

  • RedPandaAlex

    That doesn’t help if the app requires hundreds of megabytes of external downloads to run. This is how dungeon defenders was when it was still a paid app. You’d download and install it through the market, and then when you open it, it prompts you to download a huge amount of files to your SD card before you can play it. I agree that 24 hours is probably too much–it allows users to bounce from game to game without ever actually keeping one. But an hour or two would be ideal, I think.

    • ScottColbert

      With the expansion from 50 megs to 4Gigs, that’s not going to be an issue.

      • daveloft

        There not updating the APK limit to 4GB, that is still limited to 50MB. As part of a service to developers Google will host two archives up to 2GB for each app. So the developer won’t have to worry about hosting files anymore.

  • Beavis

    My main concern is when will they sell those gift cards you can find at BestBuy or a local 7/11 so I can buy my apps with that instead of a credit card.

    • Zemerick13

      I would recommend using a debit card instead. Much simpler solution. Not costing anything to spend your own money conveniently is so nice:)

      • http://twitter.com/JonGarrett2009 Jon Garrett

        yeah, then you wind up being a victim like the millions of people who got their info stolen when hackers went after Sony.

        pre-paid cards are much safer and Id rather pay $1 to reload a prepay card than use my debit card and have someone steal my money.

        • http://www.facebook.com/stevenberger Steven Berger

          OR when you buy something with a credit card from either the Android Market or the PSN you can just check the box that says “do not save my credit card information”, big whoop you have to type in your number every time you want to make a purchase…im sure you have an extra 2 minutes to do so

    • http://profiles.google.com/jansen.jeff Jeff Jansen

      why not just get a prepaid credit card from one of those places? All the safety/anonymity and you can use it more places.

      • http://twitter.com/JonGarrett2009 Jon Garrett

        yep, pre-paid is definitely the way to go these days. you load it when you need to use it., no need to worry about being charged without your knowledge or permission. Ive been using netspend for years for my online purchases., it only costs $1 to reload it and there are NO monthly fees (only $1 fee per purchase)

        • Sam Keaser

          Eh, I hate to be petty but a dollar does get annoying after a while. I would prefer gift cards, especially if the movie service and Google music take off as they’re supposed to, or direct charging to my bill.

          • JohanTheOlive

            I use it sparingly, but Citi credit cards have a virtual account feature where you can generate a cc number with a $ or time limit.

          • Slickpaki

            Love this feature by Citi. No other bank adopted this change.

    • Sentinelred

      Yes! I didn’t even think of that but that would be way easier and I would feel alot safer keeping my credit card out of the picture. Even though apple already has it, good idea. Really good idea.

  • Khalid.H

    where can I see the list of new countries in the market?

    EDIT: nevermind, here it is: https://market.android.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=143779

  • ckeegan

    I still say someone at I/O has to have a “chat” with Google about why Honeycomb still doesn’t have microSD card support built-in.

    • http://twitter.com/binglut9 Brian

      We already know summer along with 4g…coming at the same time

      • ckeegan

        I thought that was all whiny forum talk, since obviously the 4G upgrade has
        nothing to do with microSD capability. Otherwise, it would work on the
        Wi-Fi only XOOM.

    • Clarkster

      Honeycomb supports it just fine. Works on the Acer and Asus tablets. Blame Motorola for it not working, not Honeycomb.

      • ckeegan

        I thought Asus and Acer had applied their own “adjustment” to Honeycomb allowing it to work. At least that is what has always been said in xda and other sites.

    • Robabobbob

      Isn’t that what 3.1 fixes?

      • ckeegan

        No. At least it’s not in the update changelog, and no one who already got the 3.1 update has reported it working, as far as I’ve heard.

  • Jeff432

    The 15 minute window is too short for people to test all of the features in an app, but it’s just long enough for the greedy teens to steal the apps if they’re on a rooted device.

    The window should either be zero minutes or 2 hours, but NOT 15 minutes.

    • Sam Keaser

      Greedy teens? Why only teens?

  • TechnoBrotha

    The 15 minute refund window is still absurd! I mean, there’s a lot of “wiggle room” between 15 minutes and 24 hours. The other changes look promising, though!

  • Oprah

    Copying Apple again!

  • Sean

    Screen shot looks like shit.

  • http://webhostingreview.info/green-hosting/ Best Green Hosting

    Excellent redesigns!!..

  • Robabobbob

    When you say it’ll be more like the tablet market I hope they don’t plan on removing the ability to rate and review apps! I couldn’t beleive they launched honeycomb without this feature being ready, it really can’t be that hard!!

  • http://twitter.com/one_solo Nuno Guerreiro

    When will this be updated on our devices?? Anyone knows?!

  • GK

    Does it also have the Tablet feature that completely disables leaving ratings and comments?

    • GK

      Oops, didn’t read
      Rob Jeffrey
      ‘s earlier identical post.

  • fredphoesh

    I have tried out MUCH fewer apps now that the 15 minute refund is in play… so Developers lose out, users lose out, what is the logic here?

    • $8357570

      pretty much the same here. “trial versions” of apps are usually a joke if they’re even offered, and 15 minutes is just ridiculous. It basically translates to “don’t try this app”.

  • BackdoorHero

    Great news, GO Android!

  • ihatefanboys

    Its typical and semi depressing that even with all the great news lately, there still is constant bitching and moaning. Get over it. if 15 minutes isnt enuf time to try out a game then tuff luck. i have almost 10 paid games on my G2 and i dont regret any of them, because i investigated them and made my decision beforehand if i wanted to buy them. simple right ? and what is $5 for people that buy $500 unlocked phones, have more than one phone (that makes no sense btw) and apparently have lots of time to spend sitting around on a website whining..should be a drop in your spooge blanket.

    and on the subject of identity theft, you people worry too much, and its not worth the worry, i used my debit card for everything online, aside from a random loser that got bored and hacked sony, its perfectly safe. grow a pair and stop worrying about everything. im glad i waited to have kids, you 20ish people are underachieving, narcissistic, self serving, lazy, dumb, used to getting it all, and im glad my kids will not have to share the same space with you. i firmly believe that dumb is contagious, and it seems that many of you have been infected.

  • avs

    I don’t see a redesigned market on my Dx, am I missing anything? Also 15 minute refund window = developer friendly, but not user friendly.

  • monlosez

    No china?

  • Kyle Bailey

     Really like the new inverted icon for the market.