Google's Android Market recommendations

I'm sure Google's got a lot of great minds working on this problem already, but it kind of surprises me how popular Android is getting with such a crappy Market. As the number of Android handsets in the wild continues to grow, Google needs to keep up with the heart of their mobile platform -- the Android Market.

I'm sure Google's got a lot of great minds working on this problem already, but it kind of surprises me how popular Android is getting with such a crappy Market. As the number of Android handsets in the wild continues to grow, Google needs to keep up with the heart of their mobile platform -- the Android Market.

Here's a list of my recommendations that could make the Android Market shine. If you have anything to add, put it in the TalkBack:

1) Add a review process. Hire a big team of testers, or contract it out to someone. Without a review process, the "Just In" list of apps is 90% spam -- making it useless, and potentially dangerous, for users.

2) A good ratio of paid apps vs free apps is absolutely necessary. Allow people to sell apps from any country. Other app stores can do it -- even Palm does it. The more developers you have producing free apps, the worse off the Android Market is. Developers need to make money from their apps -- but when 90% of the competition is free, it can be really hard to compete.

3) Apps need to be discoverable. The iTunes App Store does a really good job of this. They have app lists coming out of the wood work -- I find myself browsing all the different lists when I want to download an app. On Android, you only have the "top paid", "top free" and "just in". What's the problem with that? Well, the top paid and top free lists never change -- the popular just get more popular -- and the "Just In" category is filled with spam due to the lack of reviews.

4) As a user, give me prices in my currency. Don't show me how many euro's an app costs if i'm in Canada. What I really want to see is how much I'm going to spend in Canadian dollars.

5) Modify the return policy. I like how you can return an app if you bought something from the app store -- but as a developer, it really sucks. Mobile apps aren't typically applications that a user uses often and for a long time (although there are exceptions). They are impulse purchases that can be a bit of a fad. Make returning an app a bit tougher (submit a formal complaint to Google) -- don't make it a primary button on the app details page.

That's all I can think of right now -- feel free to add your own!

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