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Google intros Android Market web store, in-app purchases

updated 02:00 pm EST, Wed February 2, 2011

Android Market now on the web

Google at its special Android 3.0 event claimed an edge in mobile app stores by launching a full Android Market web store. The portal first promised at Google I/O gives full, unfettered browsing and buying of apps from a browser. It avoids the need for wired sync on platforms like iOS and gives users the option of pushing an app to any Android phone or tablet they own, with the app downloaded on the device.

App discovery has been given much higher priority and now includes not just larger screenshots but embedded YouTube videos. As on iTunes, users can link to a specific app and share it out either through regular links or through a built-in Twitter sharing button on an app's profile page.

Payment is also catching up to Apple's platforms. The company is phasing in buyer currency over the next few months that will optionally let users set a price local to a specific area instead of only in the region where the app was purchased. In-app purchases are also coming and will let users buy add-in content, such as new songs or virtual goods.

The web market is live today and needs Android 2.2 or later to sync apps. In-app purchasing is very early and has only involved some close work with developers, but this will now include previously iPhone-only develoeprs such as Disney that will be bringing Tap Tap Revenge 4, Jelly Car and Radio Disney in the spring. An early SDK will be available today, and users should see it before the end of March.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Herod

    Joined: Dec 1969


    is it December????

    because it sure feels like XMAS!!!!!......

  1. thinkman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "It avoids the need for wired sync on platforms like iOS and gives users the option of pushing an app to any Android phone or tablet they own, with the app downloaded on the device."

    Hmmm………… Am I the only one who can directly download apps (and anything else from the "iTunes store" directly to my iPhone and iPad? Look ma, no wires! Someone got their information wrong! TSK.

  1. joecab

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not exactly Thinkman...

    Downloading apps and media files is not syncing. Syncing is supposed to go both ways. Plus on iOS you can't "sync" anything else wirelessly like contacts, bookmarks, notes, etc.

  1. pairof9s

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Umm...that's not right either, joecab

    You most definitely can sync contacts, bookmarks, notes, etc. w/ iOS devices wirelessly. It's part of Apple's MobileMe package.

    For example, I can be on my web browser, add a phone number to a contact, and within seconds, it's on my iPhone w/out me pushing any buttons or initiating any apps. It works vice versa on any changes I make to events, contacts, bookmarks, etc on the iOS device.


  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Ummmm

    Yep, and all for just the mere price of $80.

  1. aristotles

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not only Mobile Me.

    You can also sync your contacts and calendars through Google's services as well on the iPhone. The email and contacts can sync through the exchange interface to Gmail and the calendar through Caldav.

  1. facebook_Thomas

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2011


    I don't think you guys are getting it?

    they are talking about surfing for new apps in a web browser on your desktop and then when you purchase the app it is pushed to your phone without th need to either visit the app store on your phone or plug into the computer to sin the app over. It is like if an Apple user was surfing through itunes and buys an app and that app is then instantly pushed to your phone without any other task needed to be perfromed.

    its a nice idea but has many flaws of which Google probably doesn't care about.

    for one, are the cellular providers going to be happy with this? AT&T already discourages app downloads that are large and forces Apple to limit the app size you can download directly to your phone.
    second let's say that the cellular providers agree to this, then who will actually want to use it for apps as they get larger and larger? I mean can you imagine downloading a multi gigabyte app like a GPS app over the air? it will take hours.
    third, lets say you do this 1 G app download, without unlimited data plans you just ate up all or at least 1/2 of your monthly allotment in one file.

    so I give Google credit for thinking of a cool idea but I really doubt it will work as people expect and I bet Apple thought of it, noted the downside, and said forget it. Too much possibility for user complaints.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    You mean

    Google intros another poor imitation of an Apple innovation. :-)

  1. coffeetime

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Boring event

    Nothing new, it's all playing catch up. The next big event would be WP7 repeating the exact same thing. It looks like Android 3.0 is still under development and won't be out any sooner...... ha ha ha.

  1. The Vicar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Okay, so why is that actually useful?

    I admit I don't have a smartphone -- just an iPod Touch and a regular old cell -- so maybe I'm missing something, but was there some sort of mass outcry demanding the ability to shop on one machine and upload the results to another? This absolutely reeks of "we did this because we could, and now we're going to pretend people actually wanted it". Don't all these devices already come with wifi anyway, so they can download the apps directly to the phone/tablet/whatever without using the phone connection? And if that's the case, why would anyone want to split the experience across two machines?

    Bewildering. But then, Android is based on Linux, which is a major collection of WTFs anyway.

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