Android market changes

A few weeks ago Google has changed Android Market as you may noticed. First of all they reduced the purchase refund window from 48 hours to 15 minutes to try an application and get a refund if they didn’t like it.
Developers must set a content rating for their apps: Mature, Teen, Pre-Teen, or All. Applications or games without a rating will be treated as Mature.

The details page for every app will show a 180×120 Promotional Graphic at the top, provided by the developer in the Developer Console.
Developers can also specify more than 2 screenshots, in several different sizes (currently 320×480, 480×800, or 480×854). You can supply up to eight screenshots for each application.
Market will support filtering based on screen sizes and densities, as well as on GL texture compression formats. Filtering is based on and elements in an app’s manifest, instead of console settings.
The Market is getting new “dynamic” categories that will be based on an app’s manifest. Applications are now automatically added to new Live Wallpapers and Widgets categories, as appropriate.
The maximum size for application packages is increasing from 25MB to 50MB.
In addition to the pictures listed above, developers can also provide a 1024×500 Feature Graphic, and a 512×512 High Resolution Application Icon. When I tried to update my app’s content rating the developer’s console said the high res icon was now required, while the others are optional. I’m hoping that’s a mistake that will be fixed because for one of my apps a full color 512×512 icon would be larger than the whole app.
The maximum size of the description field for an application is raised to 4000 characters.

Of all the changes, the most welcome and overdue is the content rating. Hopefully this will put an end to the crappy soft porn apps that are currently flooding the “Just in” box. That’s assuming the makers of those apps will correctly rate their apps, and there’s no guarantee they will. Deliberately mis-labeling their apps, though, would give Google a good excuse to kick them from the market. If they’d allow users to filter by star rating that would help too, since these apps usually get bad ratings.

Filtering by screen sizes will allow developers to keep their apps from showing on devices with new screen sizes and densities until they’ve had to test them. It will also let devs release two different versions of an app if they so choose - a regular version for phones and a “HD” version for tablets - and have only one show up in the Market on any particular device.