AppsFire, makers of a mobile application search and discovery service, has uncovered a new feature for Android application developers: video previews. With this, developers can upload video demonstrations of their mobile application to the Android Market, in addition to text, photos and the app itself.
According to a post on the AppsFire blog, the feature is now available through the Market API (application programming interface), too.
Android Market Update Continues?
In mid-December, Google announced a major overhaul of the Android Market, which has been rolling out over the course of the month. The update, said Google's Android Developer Ecosystem chief Eric Chu, includes a revamped user interface, new categories, improved navigation, app content ratings, a change to the refund window and additional device targeting capabilities.
Although nothing about video previews was mentioned in the blog post, Chu did tease "we're not done yet...stayed tuned."
Perhaps this was one of the things he was hinting about?
Example Videos in Action
In any event, the feature, apparently soft-launched with little fanfare on Google's part, has already been adopted by a number of developers, including Dropbox, Twidroyd and Skyfire. AppsFire was able to pull the videos from the API for use in its app discovery site here, here and here.
Developers were aware of the feature, says ?AppsFire's Ouriel Ohayon, because it was already available in the developer interface and the API.
Interest in video demos is quickly picking up as the news spreads today. Earlier this morning, AppsFire's Ouriel Ohayon noted that around 500 apps were using this feature - as of now, that number is closer to 2,000, he says.
For end users, this is a welcome addition - now you can not only see a photo of an Android application, you can actually see it in use. Users often turn to YouTube, another Google property, to watch application demonstrations, and now that functionality will be integrated into the Market experience.
UPDATE: Ohayon found the original email from Google sent out on November 19th to developers where the feature was mentioned. In it, Google detailed the coming changes to the Android market.