Android Market Gets A Fresh New Look On Froyo & Above

We recently brought you the news on how Apple’s App Store had reached a whopping 15 billion downloads and also how iOS owners were now buying 61% more apps than last year. We are now switching our attention to Android and their Market, because Google has given it a new look and layout for some owners. Firstly have these changes been put in place as a direct response to Apple?

For Android smartphone owners who’s handsets are powered by Froyo 2.2 or above, your Android Market will soon get a big make over. The user interface has been completely overhauled, so that it is “faster, easier and more fun to use”. The store breaks apps down in to categories such as apps, games, books and movies. You may be aware that handsets with an operating system of 2.2 and above can rent movies, as well as buy eBooks.

Currently movie rental and the purchasing of books is only available in the US, but Google say in their video for the new Android Market that they plan to bring this experience to selected countries outside of the United States. Movies for rental start from $1.99 and can be set to a special offline mode so you can even watch your purchases when you do not have a data connection. More can be discovered by watching the video embedded below courtesy of Electric Pig.

Overall the new Android Market looks far more organized with more charts to break the apps down in to categories. Rather than experience a huge long list of selections there will be more options such as “top grossing” along with existing charts such as top paid and top free. This should show shorter but more specific lists of apps, making the search or browse less tedious. As we understand it, this update is currently only for smartphones but we expect to see one for tablets launched in the nearer future. Do you think the Market needed a shakeup or was it fine the way it was?

Also note that buying apps and the payment system has become much more simple. On the demo video it shows purchases with only 2 touches, this is a very shortened process compared to the previous one. You will store your payment details on the smartphone beforehand and they will be stored for all future purchases, normally without any real kind of authorization being required. This method is very convenient as it saves time, but it can be very troublesome if the kids get hold of your phone, as they can accidentally run up large bills without knowing the charges.

According to The Inquirer, the new Android Market will be rolled out to all Android smartphones in a few weeks time, via automatic update. You have no say in whether you get to keep the old Market or get the new one, and remember it is for Froyo or Gingerbread owners. So how do you like the new look of the redesigned Android Market? Leave us your thoughts on this in the comments.