Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th Apr 2013 16:40 UTC
Windows "Google announced an update to its Google Play mobile app on Android - its online store for apps, music, books, magazines, movies and TV shows - today, one that is aimed at cleaning up the UI and optimizing it for different device types. It's a model of clarity and discoverability, not to mention scalability, features that are sorely lacking in Microsoft's Windows Store." As a Surface RT owner, I couldn't agree more with Paul Thurrott.
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Too much advertising
by flypig on Tue 9th Apr 2013 17:19 UTC
flypig
Member since:
2005-07-13

Looking at the screenshots, the Windows 8/RT store certainly looks unwieldy (although I've not tried it myself), so I can understand the sentiment of the article.

However, I can't say the Google Play store appeals much more. Two thirds of the screen is allotted to advertising. There's so much going on that if I was going there for something particular, I'd find it really hard to focus on the task.

I can also understand that it's difficult to manage such a large number of items, but it still surprises me that there's no better way than freetext search for finding an application that fits specific criteria (although Google Play does improve as you go deeper into the process).

Reply Score: 6

RE: Too much advertising
by TemporalBeing on Tue 9th Apr 2013 19:02 UTC in reply to "Too much advertising"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

However, I can't say the Google Play store appeals much more. Two thirds of the screen is allotted to advertising. There's so much going on that if I was going there for something particular, I'd find it really hard to focus on the task.


Well, I think that's the point - they're aiming to fix that.

That said, it's pretty much only the initial screen that does that. After that you go into "music" or "apps" or etc and there's almost none of that, it's very simple, easy, and elegant. (Speaking from using both N1 with latest Play Store and ASUS Transformer Infinity with Play Store.)

I can also understand that it's difficult to manage such a large number of items, but it still surprises me that there's no better way than freetext search for finding an application that fits specific criteria (although Google Play does improve as you go deeper into the process).


Any kind of search is only as good as the information entered about the products, which drives me nuts as even the same vendor may have different information at different places the same product is sold - which makes it really, really hard to make comparisons. Or even the same vendor having the same information laid out differently at only one place they have multiple products, so again it's hard to compare the several different products they may have.

Having something other than free-text search might make an improvement, but only to the degree that (i) a seller enables different categories/etc to be selected, the vendor specifies which categories/etc are applicable to each item they are providing the seller, and (iii) the person entering the device takes the time to properly select the categories/etc. So, that won't likely be a very workable solution any time soon.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Too much advertising
by flypig on Wed 10th Apr 2013 00:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Too much advertising"
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

That said, it's pretty much only the initial screen that does that. After that you go into "music" or "apps" or etc and there's almost none of that, it's very simple, easy, and elegant.

I agree, it gets decidedly better when you actually get down to the actual search, although I'd still say there's room for improvement.

Any kind of search is only as good as the information entered about the products

Again, I have to agree. Improving the process very much depends on getting the right information into the system. There are probably other ways to approach this than assuming the seller will provide the info though. For example, there could be more emphasis on user-generated content, or even having professionals add the appropriate data into the system.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Too much advertising
by leonalpha on Tue 9th Apr 2013 19:24 UTC in reply to "Too much advertising"
leonalpha Member since:
2011-02-02

"However, I can't say the Google Play store appeals much more. Two thirds of the screen is allotted to advertising."

What would you use those two thirds of screen real estate on? The app store sections are clearly labeled on top: Apps, Games, Movies & TV, Music, etc, and they only take 1/3 of the screen. The rest of the space is used to display suggestions (ads?) from THOSE sections.

When a user visits the store not knowing exactly what to buy, he could see initial suggestions (ads) on that precious 2/3 of the screen. If he's looking for something specific, he can search. If he wants to view listings from a specific category like Apps, he's one click away from seeing staff picks, featured items, and other types of suggestions. One click away.

This system works quite well for me. When I go to the store looking for a specific item such as "Angry Birds", I don't expect to find it on the 2/3 of the screen which Google allocated for ads. I expect to type the words "angry birds" on the search box and click directly on the app from the suggestion box.

Sometimes if I'm bored and I want to try a new game, I go to the Play store click on the Games section, which is located on the first 1/3 of the screen. That takes me to a 'wonderful' section where I can click on featured, staff picks, or most popular items. It's perfect.

Many times I've gone to the Play store and I've seen something on the 2/3 of the screen which catches my attention and I check it out. If nothing there interests me, I do what I would do anyway, which is either search or go to a specific section. Again, perfect.

Thus, I'm curious as to how you believe this could be improved.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Too much advertising
by flypig on Tue 9th Apr 2013 20:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Too much advertising"
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

Thus, I'm curious as to how you believe this could be improved.


This is a very fair question. Unfortunately I don't have an Android device to hand, so I'm basing my experiences on the Web version (which - from the screenshots - looks similar).

I guess the main thing to bear in mind is that it's largely a matter of taste. Personally I find the adverts distracting and intrusive. I can understand the purpose and benefit of advertising from a user's perspective. However, I'd like to choose when to be advertised at. I don't want to have to wade through the adverts to get to where I want to go. I wouldn't mind a section on adverts (under which I'd put featured items and staff picks), but I would prefer it as an option that I actively choose to engage with.

One of the reasons I find the adverts so distracting is also because of the nature of the adverts themselves. They are visually discordant, almost entirely uninteresting (for me), and right where my fingers are (and hence where I'd like the buttons to be).

I appreciate this doesn't quite answer the question though. To be honest, I would much rather be thrown on to an empty search page (the approach ironically pioneered by Google); something like this perhaps?

https://encrypted.google.com/

But I'd settle for this:

https://play.google.com/store/search?q=anachrinoid&c=apps

I can totally understand that the system already works very well for you, and I'm glad it does. Probably I'm just too easily distracted! But I'd still prefer not to have to deal with all of the extra chaff.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Too much advertising
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 10th Apr 2013 00:06 UTC in reply to "Too much advertising"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Two thirds of the screen is allotted to advertising.

Wait... what its a store. That's kind of the whole point of a store to show you stuff to buy.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Too much advertising
by flypig on Wed 10th Apr 2013 00:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Too much advertising"
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

Wait... what its a store. That's kind of the whole point of a store to show you stuff to buy.


Yeah, I can appreciate that Google wants to sell things at me from its store, while simultaneously selling my screen to advertisers. That's the usual way to do it.

I guess I'd just like to be left to make my own decisions, and if I'm unsure then I can ask to be advertised at.

I also realise that I'm not living in the real world, where having two thirds of the screen taken up by advertising is considered good. If I spent more of my time selling software or writing advertising copy I'd probably think very differently about this.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Too much advertising
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 10th Apr 2013 04:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Too much advertising"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Have you ever been in a real life store? Do you think the placement and selection of items are chosen randomly? Are you offended by the descriptive labels on the boxes?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Too much advertising
by flypig on Wed 10th Apr 2013 08:12 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Too much advertising"
flypig Member since:
2005-07-13

Have you ever been in a real life store? Do you think the placement and selection of items are chosen randomly? Are you offended by the descriptive labels on the boxes?

Sure, this is how it works, and I accept that. I'm not overly keen on it in real life either. I prefer my metaphorical fruit loose so that I can squeeze it, rather than in fancy packaging. It would be great if the store was arranged to suit me rather than whoever pays the most for placement. I'm not offended by it because I've become numb to it, but if I think about it too hard it begins to hurt a little.

What I like about computers and the Internet is that they can offer better solutions (largely because of the fewer physical restrictions) than we can manage in the real world.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Too much advertising
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 10th Apr 2013 18:07 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Too much advertising"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

There used to be generic brands of food that only described what was in them in a very succinct format.

http://www.beachpackagingdesign.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/P...

That would be an interesting thing to go back to. On one hand, that's a lot more honest than the pleasing pictures of the product prepared by a food stylist with 10 other ingredients not included in the can/box/bag. I think there is a certain amount of psychology in the labels that affects our perception of taste. If you don't know what the label looked like, then you'd be immune, but If you prepare the food yourself I bet it would affect your taste.

Reply Score: 2

Permissions
by ndrw on Tue 9th Apr 2013 19:10 UTC
ndrw
Member since:
2009-06-30

Does it allow sorting/filtering out apps by permissions or at least lists permissions in search results?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Permissions
by WorknMan on Tue 9th Apr 2013 19:55 UTC in reply to "Permissions"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Does it allow sorting/filtering out apps by permissions or at least lists permissions in search results?


Right, especially the in-app purchase permission, which they used to list, but are now hiding from users. And they also need a way to filter out apps that are infected with adware.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Permissions
by darknexus on Tue 9th Apr 2013 20:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Permissions"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

And they also need a way to filter out apps that are infected with adware.

Google, an advertising company, filter out adware? I think you forgot a sarcasm tag somewhere. ;)

Reply Score: 10

RE[3]: Permissions
by panzi on Wed 10th Apr 2013 00:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Permissions"
panzi Member since:
2006-01-22

If it's the adware of competitors, why not?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Permissions
by woegjiub on Wed 10th Apr 2013 07:56 UTC in reply to "Permissions"
woegjiub Member since:
2008-11-25

You should look into f-droid. They allow that, and only permit open source applications.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by powderblue
by powderblue on Wed 10th Apr 2013 03:00 UTC
powderblue
Member since:
2007-07-22

So this website has turned into a reposts from Paul Thurrot, MacRumors, and The Verge.

Man this website has turned to crap.

Reply Score: 1