Android Market finally gets a web store
The Android Market has finally joined the rest of the other major platform-owned mobile app stores (from Ovi to Apple to BlackBerry) by launching a web version of the store – market.android.com. Now users have the opportunity to view, access, and then single-click download Android Market applications on the web.
The interface is clean and has plenty of useful filters from compatibility to cost. The app download process is also simple - pay (if required) via Google Checkout, choose the device (one of the phones you’ve accessed the market with before, when signed in), click install, and the app arrives over-the-air (OTA) . You can manage your account here as well, assigning names to the devices for easy access later, and more.
All this makes web access of the Android Market a definite boon for those not in Wi-Fi areas, or those lacking or not wanting to use their mobile GPRS/EDGE or 3G connectivity.
The uncertain and sometimes expensive nature of mobile data usage/connectivity is not the only reason for the creation of a web mobile app store. App discovery is bound to be, and is, much easier on larger screens, and, the advantage to the app developers themselves obvious. App sharing via the web is also possible, sending app links via Twitter or email. App pages can also be much more elaborate (with high-res images and videos), allowing developers to better detail and sell their product to potential customers.
With the release of the web-store, Google has also announced some other long-awaited benefits to the developers, introducing in-app purchases and thereby opening up a world of add-on content, promotion and cross-promotion, something that’s obviously monetarily exciting for developers, even those creating free applications. This functionality will be available by the end of March, with the release of the latest SDK.
Developers will also be to give different prices for their apps in different currencies, and so avoid the rough, unrounded numbers common with currency conversions.
Check out the web-version of the Android Market here, and let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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