revealed that new Android Market features are on their way and they're something Google thinks developers will like. In preparation for the launch, Google is scanning all legacy applications, looking at their Android Manifests and updating the Market's database accordingly. This is being done to find the Market apps not using the <uses-feature> setting, the newer way to reference which device features an app takes advantage of.Yesterday, Android Developer Advocate Tim Bray
But what Bray doesn't reveal is how this ties into the new Market updates or what those updates include. We have a few ideas about what we hope to see in the Market - do you? Share your thoughts in this week's poll.
A Little Housekeeping Pre-Launch
According to the Google blog post, the Android Market used to infer some <uses-feature> settings for older apps, but this hasn't been the case for apps uploaded since June of this year. If your app hasn't been updated since June and doesn't take advantage of this setting, then it may stop being visible on certain devices, says Bray.
In other words, if you haven't updated your app, it's now time to do so.
But in reality, you shouldn't be waiting for a major event like this before updating, Bray reminds developers. As a previous Android Developers blog post noted (see rule #2), developers need to be vigilant with updates so their existing applications won't break on new devices. Such is the cost of innovation, folks - especially the sort of innovation that comes at Android speed, it seems.
What New Market Features?
So now the fun part: let's speculate. What new Android features are just around the corner?
The most obvious one would have something to do with the coming Gingerbread operating system version, set to be released any day now. Reportedly, Gingerbread will have new minimum hardware requirements including a 1 GHZ CPU, 512MB of RAM, 3.5 inches or higher display and support for a screen resolution of 1280x760 for displays over 4 inches.
Then of course, you may remember how Google accidentally leaked news of PayPal integration - it will be available as a payment option for apps, an accidentally published PayPal blog post revealed. This was big news because currently, the Android Market only supports Google Checkout, which is available in far fewer countries than PayPal. It's possible that carrier billing may also be in the works.
JR Raphael over on ComputerWorld, speculates about these and other things, including a Google Music offering or the Android Market Web store update, which would allow for purchasing apps from your computer and then having those sent over-the-air to your phone.
We've added all these options in the poll below, plus a (hopeful) one of our own - automatic updates for Android applications or an "update all" feature. The automatic update option was recently spotted in the new Twitter for Android application, for example. (See Fred Wilson, Twitter blog). We would love to see an "update all" button for apps, too, which would address a real pain point for Android users.
Update: My mistake. My hopeful wishes are actually standard Froyo features, something I forgot since I still don't have Froyo on my Android. I was clearly over-tired when writing this. Will make sure to have more coffee next time.
In the poll below, you can vote for multiple options or write in your own answers. Let's see what everyone is wishing for and/or expecting to arrive in the coming Market update.