Android Market getting a much-needed update with two new categories and more to come
The Android Market client will be getting a very much-needed update over the next couple of weeks, as it rolls out to all Android devices running any version of the OS from 1.6 to current. The update will immediately add two new categories for widgets and live wallpapers, which will help alleviate some of the clogging that's been going on in other categories (due to the excessive amounts of both). The Android team has also promised to add more categories "in the weeks ahead" to further organize the chaotic collection of apps.
A new carousel has also been added to the Market's home page, which will display promoted apps that can be flipped through by the user. This was done as part of a push by Google to add better "discoverability and merchandising" tools to app developers.
Discoverability and merchandising are great, but the change that's bound to make app-sellers jump for joy is a huge reduction in the amount of time users have to request a refund. Since legitimate customers usually request a refund just minutes after purchasing an app, the amount of time they have to do so has been reduced to a mere 15 minutes -- it used to be 24 hours.
If a fancy carousel and anti-scammer revamp of the refund policy aren't enough to make developers happy, then this may be: Google has upped the maximum file size for Market apps from 25MB to a hefty 50MB, which would allow for much richer apps (games in particular). Richer games are clearly on the minds of the Android team, as developers will also now be able to target specific device hardware, like screen-size, resolution, and GL texture compression -- which might help combat the hundreds of irate comments from users whose phones simply won't run many apps to begin with.
Image via Android Developers Blog.