The Android Market may be the closest rival to Apple’s App Store, but it remains a tough place to navigate, with a huge amount of free, but limited, apps. It’s had a welcome shot in the arm with a redesign and new categories to sort popular apps.
Results are now country-specific, and Google have said that this and the other changes will should give users, “the most current, relevant results.” Expanding from the meagre collections of top paid-for apps, top free apps, and a handful of featured applications, there are now several different charts, ranking Android's offerings.
Top Grossing apps collects together several different groups of apps, giving you Android’s big hitters. You’ll find the powerful music-player, PowerAMP, car-navi apps like CoPilot Live, and several high-priced apps with a business slant. (Top grossing doesn’t necessarily mean most popular, but all the apps here are reliably stable, and should be worth paying for.)
Trending apps: Where to find good new apps
Next, Top New Paid, and Top New Free will give you an idea of fresh apps currently gaining in popularity. You’ll find plenty of games here, like Recombu’s favourite Android game, Robot Unicorn Attack. It’ll be interesting to see whether these new categories will help sieve out some of the more suspect apps and all the duplicate apps still available on Android, but it’s a good step in the right direction.
A new Trending Apps section will also showcase apps experience huge growth- we’d expect to see event-based apps appearing here. Currently there's several cult games and new Android themes taking up the chart.
Editor's Pick of Android apps
One new feature, Editors’ Choice, looks set to expand on the selection of hand-picked featured apps, with Google employees highlighting apps in different categories. Expect to find the big-name stuff here, like Angry Birds, and the BBC iPlayer.
Google have also announced that they intend to highlight its preferred developers, taking into account their apps' popularity and quality, and give them a star next to their name. The first group is set to include 150 developers.
These new categories and improved app curation are set to arrive on Android tablets and phones in the near future.