XDA member febycv informed us that the Android Market is updating OTA to some devices. Of course, it was immediately ripped from those devices and uploaded to the internet for anyone to download. There are a few changes from version 3.1.5 to version 3.3.11 to the frontend, but most are to the backend and settings.
For the frontend, everything is notably smoother. Very little scrolling lag and the animated transitions don’t skip (any noticable) frames. Even the colors seem more vibrant and edges are sharper, clearer. On that note, check out the graphics included on the category blocks under the Featured tab. And the blocks on the app home screen resize and fall into place, whereas the last version always seemed to have empty space because the blocks didn’t fit. As if Google used word wrap without justified alignment. The only downfall to doing it right is how much more obvious a ripoff the design is of Microsoft’s Metro UI. Not that I don’t enjoy it, I do. Probably why Google ripped it off.
Next up for the frontend, Google redesigned the rating display in the Reviews section for the app. Displayed is an exact average rating of stars, with the exact number of times the app was rated. Next to that, we’re shown a chart of exactly how many people gave how many stars. Also, when an app exceeds a certain size, a grey “Wi-Fi” box displays next to it. Different device manufacturers require apps to stay under a certain size, and this gives everyone the opportunity to use those apps that are too large.
This brings us to the settings. Under General Settings, three new options appear. The first is Auto-Update Apps, allowing you to set the Market to update apps automatically by default. Very handy, and renders that market tool in Titatium Backup totally useless. Next, you can choose to update over Wi-Fi only. A self-explanatory option. However, that option still allows you to manually download to your heart’s content. The last new option is auto-add shortcuts for new apps. I wasn’t able to try this out as far as I know, so I can’t speak to its usefulness at the moment.
None of the bugs prevalent in 3.1.5, like how apps with updates simply don’t appear in My Apps, have popped up yet. And thank goodness. Apparently I had 5 new app updates waiting for me. I still wish for a few features to make a return from Market 2.x, like long-pressing an app listing to bring up a menu to choose to see details, and install, update, or uninstall the app, right from the list. Sometimes I simply don’t want to go through the hassle of loading the app page, only to press back to see the same list and install something else as well. For now, the fixes and additions in 3.3.11 should save a few hairs from getting pulled out in frustration. To grab the new Market for yourself, head on over to the forum thread.
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