One of the more maligned aspects of the Android experience–the Android Market–is getting a fresh look and a few interesting features demonstrated earlier this year at Google (NSDQ: GOOG) I/O, including movie rentals and book purchases. The new software should arrive automatically for those running Android 2.2 or higher over the next few weeks and provide application developers with more visibility for their work.
A redesigned user interface is the most striking aspect of the new Android Market, which was announced Tuesday afternoon. Instead of a “featured” section at the bottom of the screen, the new Market will have featured applications on the right-hand side of the screen with a big promotional unit at the top and category links (like games, business, navigation) on the left-hand side. Application lists like Top Grossing, Top Free, and Top Paid will be easier to find and will be specific country by country, Google said.
Google also thinks the new app details page will help developers sell more copies or win more downloads by linking to a promotional video explaining the application and by reducing the number of clicks needed to actually buy something.
But the most interesting new features–as far as consumers are concerned–are probably the Videos and Books applications. A new Videos application allows Android users to buy or rent movies from the Android Market and play them on the Web or Android devices. Books will work the same way, and will be synced to your Google account. However, both Videos and Books are only available to U.S. Android users for now.
Google produced a video explaining the new look-and-feel that follows below.