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Google redesigns Android Market as app frenzy continues
Google this week unveiled a new user interface for Android Market, the online app store which serves all Android phones. The new design aligns the mobile version more closely with the web-based Android Market, which launched in February of this year, although Windows Phone 7 users might also see some similarities with that platform.
The new Market now includes the Google eBooks app and its new YouTube movie service, meaning Android phone users will be able to buy books and rent movies directly from the mobile storefront. Both these services will be fully integrated through Google accounts, which will allow users to pick up their book or movie right where they left off on their PC or any other compatible device.
The Market retains options to display the usual Top Paid and Top Free apps in each major category, while the new touch-and-swipe tab format includes featured apps as well as Staff Picks.
The redesigned Market arrives as more evidence emerges of the consumer’s insatiable appetite for apps. Apple recently announced that more than 15 billion apps have now been downloaded from its App Store. That milestone comes just six months after the App Store hit 10 billion downloads in January.
Perhaps more surprisingly, RIM’s App World for BlackBerry devices also made news this week by reaching the 1 billion download mark. Although RIM has struggled to play catch-up with Apple and Google, its customers are now downloading apps at a rate of 3 million a day.
The new Android Market will be available for all Android 2.2+ phones, and will roll out to users in the coming weeks via an automatic update.
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