Android Market gets an upgrade

Article copyright 2010 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.

Android Market

One of my pet peeves with Google's Android Market has always been the lack of consistency with app change-logs. I'm sure you've experienced it, too: You go to download an upgrade for one of your favorite programs and end up having to hunt for information about what's new and different in the latest version. Hey, geeky minds need to know.

Thanks to a new Market upgrade from Google, getting info about Android app changes is about to get a lot easier. The Android team has unveiled a new "recent changes" feature for the Android Market that'll allow developers to easily put their apps' change-logs right in plain view.

Android Market Recent Changes

Some Android developers already did this, of course, but thanks to space limitations, many either left the info out or referred you to an external Web site for details. The new "recent changes" section will encourage developers to include the entire change-log within the app's actual Android Market description. Their total character count and search ranking won't be impacted by the added info. 

From a user standpoint, things won't look terribly different; as Android developers start to utilize the new feature, you'll see an added section within each app's description labeled "Recent Changes." It's a small addition, but one many Android enthusiasts will undoubtedly appreciate.

(By the way: Google says for now, you'll see only the changes for the most recent version of an Android Market application; in the future, however, you may be able to access a complete set of change-logs for all of an app's past updates as well.)

Android Market: What's Next?

Odds are, this is only the first in a series of Android Market changes on the way. Google appears poised to roll out support for PayPal-based app purchases any day now. There have also been hints about the addition of carrier-based payment options in the works, both in the Android Developers Blog and within the Android code itself.

With the release of Android Gingerbread likely right around the corner, there's a decent chance we'll see even more significant updates in the near future. Google's Android-centric Google Music service is widely expected to launch in time for the holidays, and with it may come the long-discussed PC-based Android Market expansion.

Android Power Twitter

As shown off during a Google demo this past May, the new Android Market Web store will allow you to purchase apps from your computer and then have them automatically sent over-the-air to your phone.

Google hasn't given a specific date for the expanded Market's debut, but Android reps have previously said we'd see new Market-oriented features before the year's end -- so here's hoping November and December will hold some interesting surprises.

JR Raphael writes about smartphones and other tasty technology. You can find him on Facebook, on Twitter, or at eSarcasm, his geek-humor getaway.

Article copyright 2010 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.

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