Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My thoughts on the new Android Market

As I'm sure everyone knows, the new launched today.  If you haven't tried it yet, I suggest you take a look.  From what I've seen so far, they did a good job on it.  However, like any product, they still have room for improvement.  While there is a lot to like about the new market, I think they still have missing pieces that can take this tool from good to great.

Things I like:
We can finally browse the market without our phones.
The Android Market app on the phone works fine, but its nice to browse apps from our computers.  While QR codes and whatever else made an app-only market work, I'd much rather browse for apps on my 24 inch monitor than my 3.4 inch monitor.  It makes it much easier to navigate through the market, and lets me browse longer (thus finding and installing more apps).

Wireless installation from browser to phone is seamless and fast.
Adding a single button that wirelessly sends the selected app to my phone, installs it, and has it sitting there ready for me is great.  No syncing apps, no wires.  Just browse the store clicking install and it's there.  The only danger here is my Nexus One running out of memory without me noticing.

One link to rule them all
As a developer, I've struggled deciding what link to use when linking to my apps.  Do I use a market app that only works on phones?  Do I link to the information page I whipped up that includes some QR codes for phones?  Do I link to AppBrain?  This isn't an issue anymore.  One link will work for both phones and computers.  I send it out and, depending on how the user is viewing it, they get what they want.

What I think is still missing:
No analytics  to see how people got to our app.
We finally have "one link to rule them all", but if we're sending all of our traffic to this one link I sure would like to know where they are coming from.  I'd love, as a developer, to have detailed analytics about everyone that visits my app's page in the market.  Did they come from an add? a blog? Google search?  This sort of information would really help with marketing and driving traffic to our apps, which is good for both us and Google.

No app discovery for new/less popular apps.
As with the Android Market app, the only apps that are given any visibility at all are the best sellers or the items on the featured list.  It was my hope that once the web market was launched, smaller and less popular app developers could have new ways to gain visibility in the market place.  I realize that they can't advertise all apps on the market, but giving us more views than featured, top paid, and top free could really help send traffic to apps that don't get publicized very often.

So those are my initial thoughts.  As I use it more, I'm sure new pros and cons will be found.  Hopefully, Google makes it a priority to continuously add new features to the Android Market.  A better market means better apps, and that will lead to a better Android experience for everyone.

What do you guys think?  Let me know what you like and what you still want to see in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking the same thing about app discovery when I looked at the market. With Gmail, Maps, Pandora, Facebook, and Youtube all in the top ten, how is anybody supposed to get on the front page? At the very least they need "top today" "top this week" etc. etc. And they should probably make a separate category for, you know, google apps.