Tuesday Google announced that it revamped the Android Market app for phones playing host to Android v2.2 (Froyo) and greater. Google plans to unleash the new market within the next few weeks, but a version (3.0.26) has already leaked which can be accessed here.
While a revamped Android Market doesn't sound like a big deal, on a visual front, the new Market looks incredible and seemingly keeps in line with Google's other revamp project currently overhauling Gmail, Google+ and other Google portals. But outside the impressive aesthetics – again, Google has outdone itself with the new design – Android smartphone owners can now purchase books and rent movies directly from their device. Previously this was done only through the Web-based version of the Android Market.
"In the U.S., you’ll be able to rent thousands of movies, starting at $1.99, right from Android Market on your phone," said project manager Paul Montoy-Wilson in a blog. "With the Videos app, available in Android Market, there’s no more waiting for downloads, syncing, or worrying about storage space. Simply sign into Android Market with your Google account, and you can rent movies from anywhere – the web, or your Android phone or tablet – and start watching instantly. You can also download movies to your device so they’re available for viewing when you don’t have an internet connection."
"Also in the U.S., you can now purchase books from Android Market on your phone," he added. "Like movie rentals, books are linked to your Google account, so they’re instantly available across all of your devices – computer, phone, or tablet – without the need for wires or downloads."
As for the Marketplace, Google has thrown out the lackluster green and white interface and instead implemented a design similar to Windows Phone 7's Metro UI. The new welcome screen throws the main Apps, Games, Books and Movies tiles over to the left while highlighted app tiles are neatly stacked on the right. As the Google blog states, the new Market is incredibly fast and incredibly sleek.
"We’ve created more space to feature some of the most interesting content of the week on the home page," he said. "We’ve added more top charts, with newer, more relevant items, and we’ve made it easy to swipe through these charts as you browse the store. We’ve also introduced new collections of great content, like staff picks and Editors’ Choice apps."
For those who just can't wait for Google to roll out the new Android Market app, head here to download the APK file (it works just fine on my Motorola DROID). To see a glimpse of what's to come, check out Google's video below.