Dec 13, 2010
Next time you visit the Android Market you may be in for a surprise. According to the Android Developers Blog, the Android Market has received a significant update which will be rolling out within the next couple weeks. You will find a lot of changes in the UI along with changes that affect users and developers alike. I haven’t seen the update first hand but there are a ton of sites hosting hands on videos along with links to download the new market .apk (just do a search) for those who can’t wait. Most of the changes come in the UI but there is also a huge change to the refund policy.
The first thing you’ll notice in the UI change is the revolving carousel of apps located at the top of the page. Promoted apps have been put there for easier viewing and access. You will also noticed they have done away with tabs which seems odd considering they just recently added the new “Related” tab. You can now access “Apps,” “Games,” and “My Apps” (formerly known as “Downloads”) at the top of the main screen. There are the usual categories along with two newly added “Widgets” and “Live Wallpapers” categories. Since they have done away with tabs you will notice the app details page is now just one long scroll of information including recent additions such as the “Related” tab and content ratings. I personally liked the tabs better than continuous scrolling.
For developers they have increase the maximum file size for apps to 50MB which I believe is double what is previously was. The next change to the Market has sparked a major debate and has many users outraged. They decided to dramatically cut the amount of time a user has to uninstall a purchased app for a full refund. Initially, there was a 24 hour refund period, and now, users only have a mere 15 minutes! This is insane to me and really hurts the user, which in my opinion will result in a decline of app purchases (so I don’t see how developers benefit). Their excuse for this atrocity is even more ridiculous than the change itself:
Since most users who request a refund do so within minutes of purchase, we will reduce the refund window on Market to 15 minutes.
There are way too many apps out there that are utter crap or misleading. Now instead of a user having proper time to truly assess an app, they will be forced to spend the next 15 minutes after a purchase glued to their phones in hopes of not being hosed. I think this is very unfair to users, and while 24 hours may have been unfair to developers, they should have cut the time to a more reasonable number. 15 minutes may as well say “No Refunds!” You can check out some screenshots and view the announcement by following the links below. So be on the lookout for the new Market within the next couple weeks and be fully prepared to keep whatever purchases you make.
Source: Android Developers Blog