Good news for Android developers: Google has just posted a video of the upcoming refresh for its Android Market, the online store that allows users to download new software to their Android phones. And the changes are very promising.
According to the understated Android blog post, developers will be able to include screenshots, promotional icons, and descriptions for their applications. The UI for the store, which we caught a glimpse of in some leaked photos earlier this week, is also much more polished and user friendly. In other words, the store will now more closely resemble the iPhone’s App Store, which is not a bad thing.
Another important change is a bigger emphasis on paid applications, with a ‘Paid’ button prominently appearing at the top of the screen whenever you begin browsing though a category (paid apps are available using the current version of Android Market, but they’re much harder to find). Other additions to the store will include new sub-categories for themes, comics, health, and sports.
The news is timely. Three days ago we wrote about the lackluster sales figures that were coming out of the Android Market, which pale in comparision to those coming from the App Store — top developers for the iPhone are making thousands a day, while a top Android developer isn’t even breaking $100.
I also read that officially 1.6 will have flash support in the browser, and some other very cool features -- stuff that no other system will have yet.
By the way, about Android market not making money -- people REALLY don't get the idea of open source and free? 3/4ths of the profit are donation ware (via paypall and other means). Almost every developer I've contact makes 70-75% of the profits via paypal "donate" buttons.
Also, this is something that really annoyed me about the blackberry (this and browser): all the apps (a friggen tip calculator) start at $4-5. "OK" apps were ~$10. What the hell? Crappy apps, on a small screen cost amounts that I wouldn't spend on a computer app.
With android, one of the few apps that's expensive (more than $3-6) is TouchDown and it's worth every penny.