Android (finally) gets a new App Store: Web-based Android Market

marketqWhile Google is busy with Android 2.3 (Codename: Gingerbread) release, they have already announced and launched Android 3.0 (Codename: Honeycomb) for tablet, and it is a pretty impressive tablet OS if you’d ask me. If you are interested to see how it performs, check out the hands-on of Motorola Xoom running Honeycomb by Engadget.

Besides launching Android 3.0, Google has also finally launched a web-based Android Market which is long-awaited by all the Android users. Though there is already an Android Market previously, but it is pretty useless app browsing site. The new Android Market will now allow the users to install apps OTA (Over-The-Air), and have a better overview of the app in the larger screen. Besides that, it is now easier to manage the apps in your different Android devices, given that you have registered them under the same Google credential. Try to install a high end game in your low end Android device – the Android Market wouldn’t allow you to do so – a step to prevent the infamous (hardware) fragmentation issue affecting the users.

Below is an overview on the enhanced app browsing experience in the new Android Market:

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To install/purchase the app OTA into your Android device, simple click on the INSTALL or BUY button, and you will be directed to a pop up asking for the device that you wish to install. Android Market will now check for the compatibility between app and Android device, and it won’t allow any incompatible installation now. Continue with the installation wizard and you should see the app downloading and installing in your assigned Android device. Pretty seamless and user friendly.

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Although there are some pleasant improvements in the new Android Market, but this new Android Market should have launched years ago when Google started off their Android OS for smartphone, and the only reasons they are launching this because Honeycomb will be out, as well as the integration of their ‘new’ in-app purchase options. It’s good for Android users, but perhaps a little bit too late.

Though there are some good stuffs in the new Android Market, especially for the developer. Now developers can set different price in different currency based on the specific market, so their targets for the app can be reached correctly. Also the one-click purchase system can help the user purchase an app more easily, plus the 15 minutes grace period for returning, which in turn (possibly) more profit to the developers (still no Paypal option yet though).

I have personally tried this new Android Market and it is definitely in the right direction. Just in case you are wondering, it does work in my Xperia X8 Android 2.1, so I presumed it should work for all the Android releases from 1.6 (don’t quote me though). But again, Google/Android should really now think of a way to limit the fragmentation issue (and I am talking about hardware, not Android fragmentation) – something that an iOS device doesn’t need to heavily bother with.

If you need a step-by-step How To for the new Android Market, check out LifeHacker’s.

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