New Android Market incoming
Google is on the verge of releasing a fresh face for its Android applications market, with screenshots showing that the market is ready for next year's Honeycomb tablets as well.
The new-look Android Market sports a few key improvements to help find what you need and to cut down on navigation when searching for information about the apps you come across. On the home screen there will be a new featured apps carousel, which gives users a shortcut to the download page for the apps on display. The app's page will now be a single screen, without tabs, including all the information about the application without the need to navigate any further.
A screenshot has also emerged of the app running in a landscape view for use on an Android-powered tablet. This allows for a dual-screen approach, with a list of apps on the right-hand side and the new featured apps carousel on the left. Excitingly, the screenshot also showcases some of the subtle design tweaks we are expecting in the Android 3.0 Honeycomb update, with its on-screen "home" button in the top-left corner of the screen and the remaining battery life represented in numbers, rather than just as a graphic.
For developers, Google will introduce a few significant enhancements, including a new 50MB file limit. This is up from the current 25MB limit and should allow some developers the ability to create richer experiences, especially in gaming. When submitting to the Market, developers will be able to specify the screen size, pixel density and 3D capabilities of the phones they are targeting so that only compatible devices will be able to download the app.
Google will introduce two new app categories in the redesign, with new buckets for live wallpapers and widgets. Applications that already feature widgets will automatically be displayed in the new widgets category.