Hey Google: Android Market Requests!


android-market-suggestions1As expected, with Paid Applications in the Android Market came a flood of new applications for Android lovers to enjoy. Or hate and return within 24 hours. But nonetheless, with thousands of applications in the Android Market, the system of finding applications you want leaves much to be desired.

Here are some suggestions we think would greatly improve the market experience:

Demo Videos. Allow developers to provide a YouTube URL for each application they have on the market. Considering Android’s tight integration with YouTube, a “watch demo” area on the Application listing could not only reduce the number of applications that are purchased and returned, but also provide developers an opportunity to provide a “sales pitch” and show the ins and outs of their product.

Screen Shots. Just like #1, why not allow developers to upload screen shots? The existence of a video might negate the need for screenshots, but if you’re in a quiet place or don’t want to waste battery, etc… it’s a nice alternative.

Donate button. I’ve seen a few apps come out now that are IDENTICAL but one is called “App Title” the other is called “App Title Donate” with the first being  a free app and the second being a paid app. This is unnecessary clutter and shouldn’t be allowed. However, the idea of allowing people to easily donate to a developer providing a free app is a great idea. While devs could include this feature themselves, standardizing it would make a lot of sense as the consistency would give consumers a sense of familiarity with how/where to donate.

Recommended Apps. Google is the kind of algorithm, are they not? Just as Amazon can offer recommended products with great accuracy and Netflix lets users know what consumers with similar tastes enjoy, Android Market should offer a likeminded feature. Google knows what we’ve downloaded and how we’ve rated each application. Why not use that data to provide useful suggestions as to what Applications, free or paid, we might want to download/buy?

iPhone 3.0? Yeah, I said it. The iPhone 3.0 software’s ability to sell items from within applications yet following the iPhone App Store policy and system is one of my favorite features of their update. Google should look into bringing this to Android ASAP as it offers a world of possibilities for developers. Not only can they extend their content/offerings to add-ons and bonuses, but it will also help cleanup the clutter. For example the EA Sports Application on the iPhone will sell all the EA Sports games from within their App.

These are just a few of my ideas, not complaints. I realize that Google has their hands full with rolling out Android across the globe, adding new features to the OS (yay cupcakes!), bug reports and lots of other stuff, but I think these additions would make Android Market a better place for consumers to find things they need/want and a better platform for developers to showcase their applications.

What changes would you like to see in Android Market?

UPDATE: Thanks to an eagle eyed commenter we found the following post on Google Groups where Developer Advocate Dan Morrill addressed some of these issues:

Yes, we’ve also noticed the rise in things like themes/skins and similar apps.  We are looking into some improvements, such as a new category for themes.  (Speaking only for myself, I expected to see us need a category for books, but this theme phenomenon was a surprise to me. :) The other things you mentioned (new types of sorting such as by rising stars, and a desktop/web UI) are also on the roadmap, though we don’t have a timeline for those features yet, or details on how they’ll work.
– Dan

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. I would like to see more free apps/ better apps like:

    -I have be waiting for SOOOOO long for a finger,eye,or face scanner to unlock ur phone or to lock things on your phone..FOR FREE.

    [That’s all I can think of right now)

  2. @ Lil Skillz – this was meant more for what GOOGLE can do to improve the actual Android Market Infrastructure itself, not the content found in the market itself which is supplied by developers.

    That being said, finger/eye/face scanner to unlock things on your phone would be spottieottiedopaliscious.

  3. This is an excellent post that addresses very real needs of market users, and shortcomings of the market itself. I whole-heartedly endorse all these suggestions and would like to ad one of my own:
    Create a section for themes in the Applications area. Those stupid aHome themes clutter up the “All Applications” screen so bad I can barely stand to use the market anymore.

  4. I want Google to put up a website (or other type of software service) where we can browse through the applications available. Perhaps one that provides many of the features that you requested.

    The reason why I want a website (as opposed to having the features on my phone) is that it’s just easier to read, navigate, and explore a website than it is to explore the Market.

    Also I wouldn’t mind a tethering service as well that way we won’t have to rely on the carriers and OTA updates for future Android firmware releases. It bugs me knowing that theres an update available, but that it will randomly update my phone anytime in between 1-3 weeks.

    I really think a software program (like iTunes or Sony’s ereader software) is the way to go about it. That way we can store any and all music, apps, etc. on our PCs and seamlessly transfer over which ones we want at a moments notice.

  5. I think the screenshot idea is a great one. I mean even Handango Mobile for WM had this feature. Android I know it’s beta and we’ve heard this time and time again, but I think they are taking some backwards steps with some features. Also, they need to add some color to the app store looks dead.

  6. http://www.android.com/market/
    This Site is good.. should just show everyapp (or does it?)

  7. @Jonno – I agree with your comment on a section for themes if the need arises. However, if aHome could make ONE app called aHome Themes where they could browse/buy themes from within the applicaion (a la iPhone 3.0), this would also remove the irritation.

    Either way, but good point. Thanks for the comment.

  8. how about a tab like “tools” or “games” for themes, and another for comics, those two are cluttering like CRAZY in the market. would be nice too if your looking for a theme to just browse through “themes”

  9. and again why oh why are developers putting themes under the TOOLS section? it’s not really a tool is it? seeing as it does NOTHING other than change my background and icons, i’m all for having a variety of themes but in the tools section..not so much.
    like most others i look at apps “by date” now and some days it’s theme after theme of crap like flowers and hello kitty (no offence to G1ers that are into hello kitty..heh)something has to be done about the themes, the iphone feature is a good idea, but until that is an option i think a theme section is a must.

  10. I would like to see other payment options for paid applications, google should be quite proud of how big it is, I wouldn’t mind going to Wall Mart and picking up my own first google gift card for options of payment in my phone and etc of ways they could use it for. I can’t think of any thing else right now off of the tip of my tongue for payment options but for us users that don’t own a credit card, we are limited to free applications.

    What else, what else…maybe to ignore updates for an application? This is an application I have been ignoring the update for because I have to pay and well, I can’t pay for it being of the fact I don’t own a credit card. I would like to have a way to ignore this so every time it says I have updates available I go “Oh wait, its that app again…”.

  11. Just thought of another payment option, why not be able to pay through your T-Mobile Bill also?

  12. @Rock
    Perhaps phrasing as why can`t we have market apps paid through our carrier(cause T-Mobile is only in US, we other countries have other carriers) and I guess this would be because of problems synching bills and pay disputes. Nice Idea though, we in Australia would just like to get Paid Apps so we can get the goodness of some of them.

  13. I would LOVE a way (or multiple ways) to organize my apps in the tab other than alphabetically. Possibly with folders or maybe with editable names and then being able to put apps you want below those names.

  14. I’m confused on the DONATE idea. Would the developer still only get 70% of the price? It just becomes a “name your own price” type system instead of a true donation?

    I would like to see an option for a “Certified by Google” app. This would be a where the developer would pay a premium, on top of the standard list fee, to have Google certify it prior to listing. The certification would obviously mean the app meets certain standards. These apps would then get a special icon/symbol/search in the store. Apps could still be posted without this at the current pricing they just wouldn’t be certified. Google could even make a deal with a third party so they get the extra fee to do the testing, then Google just has to make changes to the market.

  15. @Geoff This site might be the kind of thing you are looking for: http://www.cyrket.com/

  16. Other very much needed features, this time for developers:

    . the ability to see user comments in the dev console (currently the only way to see them is on the phone!)

    . stats about why users uninstalled the app (when you uninstall, the OS asks you why, but currently this information is not given back to the developer)

    But I think the biggest problem right now is the way apps are made visible to potential users:
    . the ‘popularity’ tab is useless (the list of popular apps has not changed since the launch of the market)
    . the ‘by date’ tab is now becoming useless too, with too many themes ‘polluting’ the list.
    Because of this, when you publish a new app on the market, it will be visible to users for about a day and then will be forgotten.

  17. I would LOOOOVE for those themes to FUCK OFF

  18. @ James Ots

    Awesome. This is the exact type of thing I was looking for! Well… it’s close anyways. :)

    Anyways, I still want a tethering service for Android so we can get up-to-the-minute updates at our own leisure as opposed to waiting for T-Mob to push… and what happens when Android 2.0 comes out and T-Mobile decides not to push the update to us?

  19. I was going to make this exact same post!!! I stopped using the Market completely and I hate to admit it, but I’ve considered checking out the iPhone. I know the G1 is farily new, but it’s becoming increasingly annoying, and the clutter/crappy battery makes the phone obsolete at times.

    And also, if I download a free app, and delete it serves no purpose to me, why does it stay in the “My Downloads” section prompting me to update the latest version? I DON’T WANT THE CRAP!!!

    There is waaaaaay too much clutter in the market, and it’s really dissapointing because the apps are what make the G1… if i only see 50 wallpaper themes when I access the market, how can I make my g1 better?

    “Jonno.N wrote on March 25, 2009

    This is an excellent post that addresses very real needs of market users, and shortcomings of the market itself. I whole-heartedly endorse all these suggestions and would like to ad one of my own:
    Create a section for themes in the Applications area. Those stupid aHome themes clutter up the “All Applications” screen so bad I can barely stand to use the market anymore.”

  20. I would love to see “added since you last looked” in the market. Or highlight applications that I have already looked at. Perhaps a way to mark a potential app that I might go back later and install.

    I don’t understand why the market website doesn’t have all the apps listed. As much as I love my phone, it is easier to browse via my computer.

  21. Hello.
    I would love love love to see a program developed that would allow me to save and use apps from my memory card.
    This is one of the reasons I am thinking of switching carriers or phones. I also agree completely with the person who wrote about the things that are DL’d being saved in the downloaded section. I really would like to delete the ones I truly did not lke.

  22. I would like for the phone to download videos/music of site or even be able to see and view them. Also to be able to save txt messages instead of having to go and delete the ones you don’t like

  23. More options on why you uninstalled. So many apps kill your battery. I try and leave a comment about battery use and then uninstall the app. Just adding battery use to the list of reasons and making that data available to the author or users would be nice. It sucks to download a useful app only to discover that you have to leave the phone on a charger all day.

  24. i would like to be able attach a keyboard via mini usb , would not need a lap top at lectures

  25. Hi. Any chance of an app that will allow sim access profile in bluetooth so I can connect to my VW fatory fit bluetooth car kit. I’d pay a lot of money for that. k

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