While the majority of Google’s event today was about what we will see in the future with Android, they did announce one thing that Android users can start using right now, the Android Market on the web, available at market.android.com. One complaint about Android since it was first introduced is that it is too hard to find new apps because there wasn’t a desktop version like Apple provides with iTunes. I think this complaint can go away as Google is now providing full access to the Android market via the web, and unlike iTunes, includes the ability to push installation of an app to a device.
When you first open the Android Market web site, you will notice in the upper right of the screen a link to My Market Account. The link provides access to all of the apps that have been installed on Android devices, along with the devices that are associated to your Google account. If you have multiple Android devices one thing that you will want to do is go into the Settings under My Market Account and enter a nickname for each one, because you select the device nickname to specify on which device to install the app.
The main page of the Android Market shows Featured applications and games, along with tabs for the Top Paid and Free apps in the market. Along the left side of the page are the different categories for apps, and clicking each of those links opens a page showing the Top Paid and Free app for that category.
An app’s web page contains a wealth of information about the app, including screenshots, links to other apps from the same developer, and tabs to user reviews, what’s new, and permissions. When you click the Install or Purchase button, a window appears in which you can select the device to install the app, as shown in the following screenshot. In my experience, with Nexus S connected to a WiFi network, the installation of the app began immediately after I clicked the Continue button.
The push, over-the-air installation worked for me on Android 2.2 and 2.3 devices. Going forward, I’ll be including links of Android apps from the Android web market to make it easier for our readers to install them on their phones.