A new version of the official Android Market app (v3.3.11) seems to be in the pipeline and good news is, its APK is now available for download on the web courtesy of a leak from Android Police. While the interface of the updated Market retains more or less the same old looks (icons and fonts seem much denser), it’s on the app’s settings front where some very major (and much-awaited) changes have been made. The new Market adds better control over app downloads, as users now have the choice to auto-update all apps at once, update apps over Wi-Fi only and configure the Market settings to automatically add shortcuts of each newly installed app to the homescreen. To add to the long list of updated features, the latest version of Android Market now displays star ratings of each app in a bar graph (the same way the website does) and allows you to search for apps via voice commands. While said version of the Android Market seems to be working fine with smartphones, it seems it isn’t too friendly with Honeycomb tablets (far too many glitches).
Most of the changes mentioned above can be seen within the app’s Settings screen with added toggles for Auto-update apps, Update over Wi-Fi only and Auto-add shortcuts.
As for the auto-update feature, any apps that demand new user permissions still need to be updated manually (quite understandably so). However, for all other apps, users no longer need to check the Allow Automatic Update option for each installed app individually. Same holds for the post-installation auto-add shortcut feature that can help you save substantial time (and effort) that would otherwise be wasted in locating the app within the app drawer and placing its shortcut on the homescreen. The update over Wi-Fi option is likely to be greeted warmly by users who want to avoid receiving updates over mobile data.
The new star rating graph on the download screen of each app is quite a welcome addition and a definite improvement over the previous interface.
If, for some reason, you are facing too many force closes after replacing the older version of Android Market, then navigate to Menu > Settings > Applications > Manager Applications > Market and hit Clear Data. This should solve the problem.
Interested users can hit the mirror link provided below to download the APK of new Market client. Once you copy the APK to your device, simply install it using a file explorer (Astro File Manager, Total Commander, ES File Manager, FileSlick or any other).
Note: Don’t forget to enable the Unknown sources option on the Menu > Settings > Applications screen before installing the APK.