July 12, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
The Android Market is undergoing yet another transformation. Off the top of my head, this is the fourth major redesign we’ve since Android debuted in 2008, and after playing with a leaked copy of the new Android Market for a few minutes, it looks like this will be fantastic and frustrating.
This will not be a post bashing Google for changing things around. I’m actually completely in favor of change because the Market needs to advance in order to improve. Browsing for apps on my phone got so bad that I tried to avoid it as much as possible since the Android Market website arrived. However, the new Market deserves some criticism so we can get the ball rolling on the next design change.
The Windows Phone 7-inspired look is disjointed in my eyes. I get what Google was going for – add pictures and squares to draw attention to apps that it wants to feature – but I don’t think they succeed; at least not in the featured section. I like the regular app listings, though. Beyond the cosmetics of the featured section, I’m not too pleased with the inconsistent search results that I’m getting. I’m not sure if that’s because of an algorithmic change covered earlier today or some in-the-works issue (this is a leaked pre-release version of the Market after all). I will say that it’s slightly better than things were this morning, but I wouldn’t so far as to say that search is good.
However, I can forgive that for now because Google has made a badly-needed improvement by giving more relevant listings. For instance, the “Top Apps” section has basically been the same group of Maps, Pandora, and other long-running titles, so there was no room for growth. We can now see Top New Apps and Trending apps to get a better idea of what’s rising up the charts in the Android Market.
Also in the latest market are Books and Movie Rentals for customers in the United States. Here’s a the leaked version of the Market if you’re too impatient to wait. Keep in mind that neither I nor Androinica.com accept any responsibility for any possible complications that may arise from loading this software. Use at your own risk.