ANDROID DEVELOPERS have never had it so good, with Google updating its Android Market to make it easier for developers to get their products seen and, presumably, bought.
As the number of applications on the Android Market goes beyond 100,000, developers were starting to get anxious. Just how will a single application stand out from the crowd if you don't have thousands to spend on marketing? Well, Google claims to have made it easier for both developers to promote and users to find and buy applications.
The update will be visible to all users running Android 1.6 or newer, or just about every Android device sold in the last 18 months. Eric Chu, member of the Android Developer Ecosystem team at Google, said the update was to "streamline the browse-to-purchase experience". Although laden with marketing guff, Chu's statement is an important one as the ease of application discovery is vital to the continued success of Android.
There will be a carousel of promoted applications visible on home and application category screens. From Google's point of view, the carousel represents a nice little earner as larger publishers will use it to increase the visibility of their wares. Aside from the applications category, Google has introduced additional categories for live wallpapers and widgets.
The refund time for purchases will be reduced to 15 minutes, a change that Google says will be "largely transparent" to most users as refunds are generally requested "within minutes of purchase". Google's reason for the change was to allow developers to "manage their businesses more effectively".
Google has increased the maximum package size to 50MB, which should make life a little easier for games developers as they will not have to worry so much about heavy compression.
Chu says there will be further updates to the Android Market in the coming weeks and months. If they continue to be as developer friendly as this one, then there should be no let up in the pace of new applications appearing on the Android Market. µ
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