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Android Market Changes Revealed, Web Client Launched

Douglas Carter
3

 At the Google event earlier today, upcoming and just-launched changes to the Android Market were revealed. Yesterday I reported on some rumors on what those changes might be, which are partly true. Google has launched a web client for the Android Market, as well as an in-app payment system which will be released soon, and other changes.

The Android Market web client is already up and functioning as of right now and includes many great features. Users can see which devices they have connected to the Android Market and see which apps are installed on which devices. You can browse for apps by category or perform a search, just like in the app.

However, once you obtain search results, you can click on "Search Options" and sort the results by several ways, including by device compatibility, which is accomplished by selecting which Android device (that you own) you want to install the app onto. Once you've found the app you are looking for, you make a few clicks and the app is downloaded (and purchased, if it is a paid app) onto your phone and installed automatically.

Browsing for apps using the web client seems so much nicer on a big screen, as most of the relevant information is displayed in an easy to read manner. You also tweet about an app or rate it from links built into the web-page. Google contends that the site is a great way to manage your apps, and while it is a great way to install them, I wouldn't call it managing without the ability to uninstall apps from the phone, which the site does not have yet.

As I've mentioned before, Google is unhappy about how paid apps are selling, and it is easy to see in the web client, with paid apps often taking priority in the display results. In addition, the main pages of the web client all have a "Best Selling Games" area full of paid games."

The upcoming in-app payment system for Android was also announced at the event, which will be available to developers who integrate Google's in-app purchasing SDK into their apps. Expect the service to be functional sometime in before the end of Q1.

Google is also in the process of enabling "buyer currency support", which will allow developers to choose how the cost of an app is displayed to customers browsing the Android Market. Developers will be able to choose a specific price for supported currencies, or they can continue to use the current method. This ability will be rolling out in phases (expected to take around four months total), so it will take time for developers everywhere to use this feature.

Head on over and check out the site for yourself, if you haven't already.

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    Alex T. Feb 4, 2011 Link

    This is pretty awesome, since page loading is quicker in a browser than flicking through screens on the phone. There's one little problem, however, and it won't affect that many people.

    The first time I tried it it worked perfectly. The second time, an hour later, I tried 3 apps in a row and none showed on my phone. Turns out they got installed on my tablet that was off the first time around. I don't see a device management tool on the site either, so it's gonna be weird when Honeycomb tablets drop if they don't fix this.

    Anyone else with multiple devices under the same account that can confirm this ?

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  • Douglas Carter Feb 4, 2011 Link

    The device management system worked for me. I have had it successfully send the apps to my Nexus S. I select the device I want to install on once I choose an application to install. I haven't tried it yet on my G1, but that is in another country right now, so it'll have to wait.

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  • Douglas Carter Feb 4, 2011 Link

    Engadget thinks that the site may not be recognising custom ROMed devices:
    http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/04/does-googles-new-android-market-website-work-with-your-custom-r/

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