Overhauled Android Market Web Store Introduced: Improved App Discovery

Much Improved App Discovery

The improvement to app discovery in the Android Market web store is a much welcomed introduction from Google I/O 2011. In an article written leading up to the event I pointed out that app discovery was one of the important points Google needed to address moving forward. With the introduction of the Amazon App Store Google has real competition. Now lets see if they finally got it right.

New Top App Charts

The top charts are one of the main ways in which new and popular apps can be discovered and Google has introduced a number of new sections enabling users to discover apps that they desire. The new list include Top New Free, Top New Paid, and a Top Grossing list.

Editors' Choice

Another addition is the editor's choice section of apps chosen by members of the Android team itself. The apps in this section range from games, to news, and productivity. Along with the editor's choice top developers are receiving special attention based on the track record of popular and high quality applications. A special icon will be placed next to the developers name so you should have no problem knowing which apps are likely to be good additions to your catalog.

Personalized App Recommendations

The most notable improvement to the market was discovered during a question an answer session after the keynote that our editor attended.

Q: Google has advantage over Apple in personalization in app discovery. Amazon, of course, is doing Android store and will have killer personalization. Any plans for Google to use this to make discovery of new apps powerful and easy to do? Integrate this with what I've looked for on Google search?

A:We showed personalized recommendations for the first time in the Market. This uses some machine learning code from Google not developed within Market itself. We would like to do some better integration with search. We are developing web landing pages to direct people to certain places within Market. The links that are there are starting to find their way into the wild, using PageRank and the like, into Google Search. We are getting some benefit from that.

It is about time that Google started to use their experience in being the best search engine to aid in the search for apps. It would seem like a no brainer but up until this point it was yet to be utilized.

Mobile Market Redesign

The mobile Android Market is in the process of receiving an overhaul as well and it seems Google sees the Amazon App Store as a real credible threat.

Q: Client app redesign coming. Is tablet client getting redone?

A: Lineage of new phone client comes from tablet client. Some new navigation modes make it easier to swipe to change lists, use vertical scrolling, etc. This all came from the tablet client we launched. We don't have specific announcements on tablet client but assume it will find its way to the tablet. The phone client is built, we mentioned merchandising. We can do a lot experimentation, so the way both clients are built allows innovation. This can be done with very little engineering work.

Q: Amazon App Store better controlled, Android Market has too many pirated apps. Comment?

A: We talked to GameLoft about that quote. They say they were misquoted. We are definitely invested. We are looking into more protection for customers.

Overview Of Market Enhancements

Finally Google is addressing the complaints of many in regards to the Android Market. It just took the Amazon App Store's competition to give the nudge that they should have already had. The new Web Store is already live so head on over and see if you can discover any notable apps. All of these changes go along with the addition of a movie rental section of the store that was introduced yesterday.

How do you guys feel about the additions to the market and plans for future enhancements? Are there issues you still think Google needs to Address?

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Anthony Hardy

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