The Android Market previously gave buyers 24 hours to decide whether they wanted to keep an application, but Google will no longer give users so much as 24 minutes. Google’s Eric Chu has announced that users will have only 15 minutes to request a refund for purchase, explaining that this move was made because “most users who request a refund do so within minutes of purchase.”
This is a surprising turn of events that will probably be welcome by developers and hated by end users. The 24-hour return window has been a heralded feature of Android that gave users a chance to put an app through its paces and see which titles were worth spending money. Those day-long test drives will soon be reduced to 15 minutes, which may not be enough time to test a paid app. I’ve installed thousands of apps and often found that the first few minutes can be confusing or take getting acclimated before discovering something worthwhile.
Chu states that the shorter refund period will “help developers manage their businesses more effectively.” However, if app buyers know that they have such a short window to request a refund, it may have the unfortunate effect of leading to more canceled orders from people hesitant to give an app the proper review time.
There’s no mention of the exact date that this change will take place, but it will appear soon when Google updates the Android Market for everyone with Android 1.6 or higher. A notification announcing the adjustment is likely to appear once the Market is updated.
[Google Dev Blog] Thanks for the tip, Brian.
Other changes in the new Market include:
- Carousel on home and category screens to flip through promoted applications
- A new category created specifically for Widgets and Live Wallpapers, as well as more categories for popular app and game types
- Related tab (already viewable for most users)
- Developer support to target devices according to screen size and density
- Developer support for app files 50 MB or higher (more room for game data)