Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is quietly rolling out a new Android Market ‘Similar' tab designed to recommend applications to consumers based on their browsing and shopping habits. Installed next to the ‘About' and ‘Comments' tabs on each Android Market app page, the ‘Similar' feature lists related applications based on assorted criteria--for example, the Google Goggles app page suggests other Google solutions like Google Translate alongside MoDaCo's G2 Google Goggles Remover and Padge's Beer Goggles, complete with pricing information, user ratings and an "Installed" tag for apps already downloaded to the user's smartphone.
Android Market now boasts more than 100,000 applications in all--in October, Google vice president of engineering Andy Rubin said more than 270,000 developers are now building apps for the platform. The Similar tab is the latest in a series of recent Android Market improvements: In November, Google added YouTube-hosted promotional videos as well as improved promotional graphics, which followed on the heels of Recent Changes, a new Android Market feature giving developers greater flexibility to alert consumers of application updates and enhancements. A month earlier, Google expanded Android Market paid app sales options to developers in 20 new international territories and extended app purchases to 18 additional countries, meaning consumers across 32 nations worldwide may now download premium games, navigation solutions, productivity tools and the like.
According to Google's latest Android Developers Dashboard update, 43.4 percent of all Android smartphones run the current 2.2 version of the OS, while Android 2.1 powers 39.6 percent of devices. Fewer than 20 percent of all Android smartphones now run versions below 2.1: Android 1.6 powers 10.6 percent of devices, and 6.3 percent of devices run Android 1.5. In addition, 0.1 percent of smartphones run obsolete Android versions.
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