With all the hype about the Nexus One today, and knowing that I am still in the market for a cell phone, I wanted to see what all they might have that would make this more interesting. The problem is going through the web interface of the Android Market Place simply stinks – only top featured apps, no browsing capability – no search – and all this from Search Engine King Google.
I am not the only one to notice this; Android developers are also complaining about it, the developers are complaining about this as well in an article from GigaOm.
The low download volumes and lack of profits speak to the fact that app discovery isn’t easy in the Android Marketplace. Having used Android Marketplace for many months now, I have to say the experience is sub-par. Eighty-two percent of those surveyed felt that the Android Marketplace’s design makes it difficult for apps to be noticed. As I pointed out earlier, special marketplaces being set up by phone companies is only going to muddy the waters. Source:GigaOm
The only problem with the GigaOm article is that they quote a 30 respondent questionnaire, and other article shows that there are a huge number of projects ramping up to take advantage of the app store. Unfortunately though, this is the current landing page for the Android Market Place.
That isn’t going to work, especially if you want to browse and see what Android offers before you go splurge a few hundred dollars on a device. 20K apps is ok, but if you can’t see them, you can’t download them, and consumers will wonder what they bought.
Surprisingly this is a Google effort that looks like it needs some serious work. Normally when dealing with any Google system even in Beta there is a certain amount of polish. Even Google Wave had polish if it was confusing and painful to use. Realistically, and this is where Apple tends to get it right, the User Interface is huge, and while it might look good from the Google Phone of choice, from a web visitor viewpoint the web site is just plain old sad. Apple at least lets you tool around the App Store, although with the hundreds of thousands of apps they have navigating them might be difficult, it is not as difficult as the Google Android Store.
Seriously – Google needs to get this one together and make it easy to search, find, purchase, and all from the web.
(Cross-posted @ TechWag)