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Android Market gets updated


One of the things that users dislike most about Android is the Android Market. The almost lacking organization, the limited number of countries, from which application can be bought, the numerous applications that no one uses or that are on one and the same framework, just using different theme (for example a puzzle game by one and the same developer, split into tens of application about Disney characters, hot chicks, movie stars and so on) or some test applications, just showing “Hello World” on the screen, that some developers upload. All this lack of moderation or control really pisses off the users, but it seems that the things are changing.

First changes were some weeks ago, when Google has extended the list of countries, from which users can buy and sell their applications. Then the market itself was changed a bit, putting the comments in a separate tab, then adding a “Related” applications tab, together with the ability to automatically update an application when such exists.  But that’s not all. The Market is getting a new update these days with many new features (for some of which the developers were warned some weeks ago).

The changes are as follow:

  • The details page for every app will now utilize and display the app’s “Promotional Graphic” assets at the top.
  • Users will be able to filter applications by content rating – All, Pre-Teen, Teen and Mature
  • Reduce of the purchase refund window to 15 minutes.
  • Increase of the maximum size for .apk files to 50MB, from the current 25MB.
  • Market will support filtering based on screen sizes and densities, as well as on GL texture compression formats. Filtering is based on <compatible-screens> and <uses-gl-texture> elements in an app’s manifest. (this is mostly for the developers)
  • New dynamic categories will be created – wallpapers and widgets and all applications that have a widget will be added to them.

In addition, the user interface of the market is changed as well, adding more curves and stylish transition between promoted apps.

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An article in Engadget, which is based on information from two reliable secret sources, says that HTC are working on their own App store for Android devices. We have already seen or heard about different carriers, like Verizon for example, or companies, like Amazon, to make their own application stores (and even more plan to do so), but we’ve never heard of a device manufacturer to do so.

Probably HTC want to have bigger presence and influence on the software aspects of their devices and we can already see this – they have their HTC Sense on almost every HTC’s mobile phone and they released a website which cooperates with the new version of the HTC Sense –

On the other hand, it is possible that HTC are not working just on an Android Application market, but something bigger, including Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7. As we all know, HTC is among the leading manufacturers of Windows-based mobile devices, and with the release of Windows Phone 7 many people expect a renaissance of Windows for mobile devices, so creating a market for both platforms sounds quite logical. But all we could do now is wait and see if HTC will release some official information on the topic and … who knows – they may pleasantly surprise us.

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