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Android Market app gets overhaul, bookstore

Smartphone app gets a new user interface. Also, Android users can now purchase books, which will be linked to their Google accounts, and rent movies.

The Android Market smartphone app has a new user interface.
Screenshot by ZDNet

Google has revamped its Android Market app for smartphones with a new look as well as some more products for purchase.

The Android Developers Blog points out that this new interface could work better for both customers and developers. The new user interface is intended to be more engaging as it showcases top apps and games while providing a quicker path to purchasing products. For developers, this ideally means that there are more opportunities for apps to get picked up and downloaded.

(Although, doesn't the box-like new design, as seen in the side screenshot, look a tad reminiscent of the home screen on Windows Phone 7? Or is it just me?)

Some of the new features include more lists (i.e. top paid, top free, top grossing, etc.) that are country-specific, and individual app product pages have been rearranged to streamline the buying process.

Aside from the new user interface, Android users might be more interested to learn that they can now purchase books, which will be linked to their Google accounts like on the iriver Story HD, as well as rent movies starting at $1.99.

Otherwise, it's likely to be business as usual. Even as nice as the new design might be, it might be awhile before Google can catch up to the 15 billion downloads record secured by Apple's App Store.

Available for smartphones running at least Android 2.2 (Froyo) and higher, the new version of Android Market will be rolling out worldwide in the coming weeks.

In case you want a closer look at the new version of Android Market without having to reach for your smartphone (or if you don't have an Android phone at all), then check out the following promo video:

This story was originally posted at ZDNet's Between the Lines.