Hands-on with the new Android Market (w/APK installer)

Hands-on with the new Android Market (w/APK installer)
As is often the case with Android, once the news came out that the Market was getting a redesign, it was just a matter of counting down the minutes until the installer APK for the update was leaked out for anyone to test. In the end it took a couple hours for the update to make it to our Nexus One (thanks to Eddie for the e-mail!) and we've been trying it out to give you a hand-on take. 

Right off the bat, some may say that Google has been influenced by Windows Phone 7's Metro UI, and that seems like a reasonable assessment. But, to be fair, it's highly likely that we'll see a lot of sharing of ideas (or copying depending how far down the road of fanboyism you may have traveled) as we move forward. iOS took cues from Android for their new notification system, and WP7 for quick camera access. WP7 adapted the idea of widgets into its Live Tiles. Everyone is jumping on the BlackBerry Messaging train with proprietary options. If something works well, it gets pulled in to other systems, it's just the way the world works. So, the new Android Market may have taken a page of the Metro UI for its section home screens, but it's still Android. 

The home screens feature big images for featured apps, games, movies and books, as well as easy access to Staff Picks sections and interesting content. 

Swiping left and right from each landing page will bring you to various lists like Top Paid, Top Free, and Trending. The swiping was a bit jerky on the Nexus One, but otherwise navigation is smooth and easy. Unfortunately, we were sad to see the same categories listed for games. It would have been nice to see more category options. 

The videos and books sections are great, but it's a bit annoying that video rentals have links to the YouTube trailer, but the video previews that were added to the Android Market Web Store have yet to get linked in the app and game descriptions. Books offer quick access to buy or just read an excerpt. Hitting the menu button in each section will allow you to get to My Apps, My Videos, or My Books sections, although the latter two will bounce you into the Videos and Books apps respectively, and don't keep that info in the Market app. Be warned that video rental still does not work on rooted devices. You'll be able to rent the movie, download the Videos app and everything, but when it gets to playback, a message will come up telling you that rooted devices are not supported. So be careful.

One of the less talked about changes, but certainly very nice is in your My Apps section, which is no longer sorted chronologically, but alphabetically. Before, newly installed apps or newly updated apps would be at the top of the list, but now the apps are listed alphabetically, which makes it a ton easier to find an app that you may want to uninstall or use the info to contact the developer.

In general, the My Apps section is cleaner and easier to use, because there are now headers for the different sections: updates, apps, and not installed purchases. This change seems to have been taken from various manufacturer UIs which have had this organizational system for a while now.

Overall, this is a really nice update to the Android Market, and certainly makes it easier to find interesting new apps. You can wait for the update to hit your phone over the next couple weeks, or the more adventurous can grab the APK and install it now using the links below. Google has said that this update requires 2.2+, but there have been scattered reports of the update working on 2.1. Again, only give it a shot if you know what you're doing.

Android Market APK installer 
Market APK Mirror 




Posts: 701; Member since: Jun 07, 2011

hmm cant wait to get it :)

2. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I want this now! I want to see this in action! It looks very intuitive!

6. Nick unregistered

The download is available at droid-life!!!!

3. therygy

Posts: 94; Member since: May 24, 2010


4. lubbalots unregistered

Ah copying anothers idea, yet again. This time they'll get sued, by Microsoft.

12. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Ah, of course, I must have forgotten that Microsoft invented the idea of colored rectangles.

18. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

i suppose u did... idk google needs to either embrace a chromless wp7 look like so, or stay with what they have... half the os chrome and the other not looks ugly...

5. ThreeFourSeven unregistered

I already have it on my phone. Works great, looks good.

7. Dipen unregistered

Already Installed.. AWESUM !! Luving it...

8. ecml490 unregistered

Just installed on my galaxy tab 10.1 and works well!

9. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

The Android Market needs all the help it can get

11. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2350; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

Installed it,, and un-installed it,,,, it doesn't separate the honeycomb apps, with other phone apps?

13. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

The update is designed for phones. Why would it show Honeycomb apps at all?

14. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2350; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

oh i didnt know this,, thanks

15. dandirk unregistered

sort of reminds me of the Amazon "AppStore" (TM by Apple so I don't get sued).. That and crossed with MS tiles. Hope it runs better then the Amazon app, which on my orig droid is slow as hell.

16. Larry_ThaGr81

Posts: 592; Member since: May 26, 2011

Very clean and colorful, I can definitely get use to this UI.


Posts: 701; Member since: Jun 07, 2011

got on my phone now, its pretty nice and seems faster, .. it shows the app i have installed from applanet on there , it didnt in the older market place???

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