Android Market gets facelift, stricter refund policy via update

December 11, 2010

Google’s Android division just announced its immediate plans to roll out a new update for the Android Market, which aims to please developers, but will inadvertently upset consumers to some degree. While desirable features are certainly present in the changelog, such as more app categories and an overall better browsing experience via UI improvements, we can’t help but feel that the benefits will be overshadowed by the bullet point in bold below, the new refund policy. Apparently, Google feels that “most users who request a refund do so within minutes of purchase,” so they opted to reduce the refund window from 24 hours to a mere 15 minutes – wow!

Fifteen minutes is certainly enough time to test out basic apps (read: fart apps) and games, but hardly enough time to thoroughly evaluate the more feature-rich apps. For example, some apps will require the full 15 minutes simply to install and set them up, like SlingPlayer mobile, remote desktop solutions, or any other advanced app that needs additional input or testing beyond first impressions. Sometimes apps can be deceiving, meaning they appear to be wonderful at first, but disappoint a few hours later when you realize features don’t work as advertised. Also, there have been plenty of times where it’s taken an hour or two to discover a sweet feature that completely sells me on keeping an app – this will hurt developers because users may uninstall and refund apps before giving them a proper trial.

We’re all for supporting developers, but we would have hoped for a better compromise, of say, maybe an hour to refund apps? In any case, we’re forced to deal with the new policy whether we like it or not. Other than that, we love the new UI and beneficial features! Check out the list of changes/additions below and look for the update on your device real soon.

Changes in the upcoming update:
- New carousel on the home and category screens: quickly flip through to view promoted applications and immediately go to the download page
- Two new categories for Widgets and Live Wallpapers
- More categories for popular applications and games in the weeks ahead
- App details page now includes related content
- Users can now access all the information about an application on a single page without the need to navigate across different tabs
- Application content rating to provide users with more information about applications they are interested in
- Reduced the refund window on Market from 24 hours to 15 minutes
- Support for device targeting based on screen sizes, densities,and GL texture compression formats
- Increased maximum size for .apk files on Market to 50MB to support games

(Source: Android Developers’ Blog)

Related Posts:

Tags: , , , , , , , refund