Google is set to update Android Market to better compete with arch rival Apple's App Store, with new features designed to get more developers and users onboard.
Android mobile platform programme manager Eric Chu explained in a blog post that version 1.6 will allow developers to provide screenshots, promotional icons and descriptions in order to better show off their applications and games.
"We have also added four new sub-categories for applications: sports, health, themes and comics. Developers can now choose these sub-categories for new and existing applications via the publisher web site," he wrote.
"Finally, we have added seller support for developers in Italy. Italian developers can go to the publisher web site to upload applications and target any of the countries where paid applications are currently available to users."
Chu urged developers to visit the Android Market publisher site to take advantage of the upcoming refresh.
Google hopes that the new features will encourage developers and end-users to embrace the platform in greater numbers than they have been so far.
Apple is still the undisputed leader in the smartphone apps market, achieving its billionth download in just nine months.
Commentators have also claimed that users are simply less willing to spend money on Android apps than iPhone apps, and recent research suggests that buyers tend to go for tools and apps on the Android platform, while the majority of sales on the iPhone are for games.
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