Android Market to get a facelift

The Android Market is set to receive a fresh lick of paint and a few tweaks under the hood in coming weeks.

Google's Eric Chu said an updated version of the Android Market client would be rolled out to all devices running version 1.6 or higher of Google's mobile OS in the next fortnight.

A refreshed look is at the top of the list of changes, with promoted applications switched to a carousel view reminiscent of Cover Flow. Live Wallpapers and Widgets get their own categories and Mr Chu said additional categories will be added over time.

Application information has been consolidated into a single page, rather than the multi-tab affair present in current versions of the Market client.

In a change Google claimed was based on analytics showing most app refunds occur within minutes of a purchase, the refund window on the Market will be cut from 24 hours to 15 minutes.

''This change will be largely transparent to buyers, but will help developers manage their businesses more effectively,'' Mr Chu said.

Finally, developers will be able to more easily target apps to particular devices and the maximum app size allowed on the Market will be doubled to 50MB.

AppleInsider wasted no time in labelling the updated Market client ''still half baked'' when compared to the App Store. Writer Daniel Eran Dilger pointed out that Android's 50MB limit is still well below the reported 2GB limit on iOS. It is not uncommon for iOS apps to weigh in at well over 100MB - the HD version of id Software's RAGE clocked in at 536MB.

TechCrunch also pointed out that a web version of the Android Market, promised in May, is still absent. The web store would allow users to download apps without their phone handy, and have them sent to their phone over-the-air.

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