The Android marketplace is set to receive a major upgrade over the next few days with a variety of improvements promised. However the update will also reduce the purchase refund window to 15 minutes.
One of the unique aspects of Google’s Android marketplace store is the 24-hour refund window which allows users to try applications extensively before they are billed. Unfortunately for Google what should be a good news story about the raft of new features and improvements in the marketplace update, Android fans and analysts alike have reacted negatively to the move.
ZDnet Dev Connection writer Ed Burnette greeted the news more calmly than many, saying: “I think it will make users a little more wary of pressing that “Buy” button, which can’t be a good thing for either devs or users. Google should reconsider this move, perhaps compromising with a time in the middle of the two extremes.”
However the other planned improvements to the marketplace have been received more warming such as the arrival of a content rating system. Developers have needed to update the rating of their applications or face being automatically rated “Mature” on the 15th of December deadline.
The room for developers to document their applications has grown in some respects with the addition of a promotional graphic and the ability to add more than two screenshots as well as a variety of different resolutions which will be more representative of the screens available on various handsets.
The marketplace will also be automatically populating an expanded list of categories depending on data contained in the manifest of the applications. Developers are hoping this will make the somewhat problematic process of finding relevant applications a little easier. The maximum application package size has also been increased from 25MB to 50MB.
Surprisingly Google hasn’t increased the rather restrictive 300-odd character application description field. There’s still no sign or even mention of the promised web front end for the marketplace, possibly taking a back seat to the recent launch of the Chrome Web Store.