Google has finally launched the Android Market’s web version, which, many (or most) of us had been praying for quite a long time. Although Google’s has kept the market very easy to use and get along with, you can start with this post to get the whole idea of the web version of the android market, its contents, exciting features and what it still lacks.
Web version is very simple to start with — go to market by clicking here, and then just click on the ‘Sign In’ tab in right corner and log in with your existing Google ID, the one that’s also managing your android phone.
Settings – “My Market Account”
Next thing you should do is checking out the “My market Account” tab wherein you will find two tabs:
- Orders – It will simply list out apps currently installed on your phone — just like they show in “My Apps’ tab on your android market app on phone.
- Settings – It will show android phones and tablets that are linked with your Google ID. You can change the name(s) of any device listed over there for proper and quick recognition. Also, you can select whether you want your device to be visible in the menus or not. (See screenshot below) If you select “Hidden in Menus” for any of your device here, it will not show in the drop down menus when you install apps or are using the ‘search options’ to select preferred device for search (more on this search function later). Suppose, you’ve one android phone only, and for that you select “Hidden in Menus”, then, when you hit the install tab, the pop-up will only say “There are no android phones associated with this account. Please sign in with a different account.” So, if you get that error, make sure you’ve select the option “Shown in Menus” under the settings and that your Google ID is same on phone and the web.
Downloading Apps from the Web Version of Android Market
Download app is the easiest thing with web version. Search for an app and simply hit the install button below it or the app’s description page where it’s on the left side. The app will be installed on your device Over-The-Air, meaning you don’t need to cable your phone to PC for that. Awesome, right?
From now on, every app we discuss over here will have market’s direct link with it. All you’ll need to do is to hit the link which will get you to app’s page on the android market where you can click the install button to begin downloading the app. This involves just two clicks, and leaves that messing up with QR Code and all that far behind.
Android Market’s homepage will still tell you about Featured Apps, Top Paid Apps and Top Free Apps, like it did before, but now there is an option to install the app with one just one click, which totally lacked earlier.
You can browse the market category-wise too, by choosing the one of your interest from the left side. On the category page, You’ll be told about Top Paid Apps and Top Free Apps, while you can hit the ‘See more’ tab in the bottom left to get more of such apps.
The application’s page (see screenshot above) has been laid out nicely, with all sorts of information provided in a very decent manner. You get ratings too — the average is shown by way of stars (like market app on phone) and total count of ratings is also shown below the stars. You can see other apps from the developers on left side, below which are also shown the related apps. On the center of the page, you get 4 tabs — Overview, User Reviews (that’s comments actually), What’s New and Permissions. By default, Overview tab is open and you will get description, link to developer’s website, app’s screenshots (more than 2 if developer has provided more), YouTube link to App’s Video (again, if developer provides one) and latest 3 user reviews with an option to see all of them.
Check out the video below where we’ve covered almost everything that’s useful, must-know, for you.
Well, it’s easy to say which is the best thing market’s web version has done for us — it’s OTA (over-the-air) installation of apps. You hi the install button on your desktop’s browser and your phone would download the app and install it, right away, if it’s free. And if it’s a paid app, purchasing too is lot convenient when you’re using a web browser as compared to phone.
Other exciting stuff with web version is that it’s now way easier for websites — like us, who keep sharing the best of android market, like, apps, games, widgets, wallpapers, etc — to share app’s licks with their readers. Earlier one had to depend on QR Code and lot more hassles, but now, we can just give you a link which will work good to you, whether you’re on phone or PC. For example, this is market link of an awesome free game, Jet Car Stunts Lite. Now if you’re on PC, the link will take you to android market where you can hit the install button to install the game over-the-air on your phone. Or, if you’re on phone, your browser will open the market app with game’s page in there so that you can simply hit the install tab to begin download. If you’re on PC, note that jet Car Stunts market page also has YouTube Video link, under the sub-heading Videos. You need to click it to open it on YouTube.com.
The third feature, although not exciting but more of a must-have, is a search function. Located at the top right corner, it allows you to search any app and let’s the installation process begin right from the search result’s page, which is very cool, since you don’t need to go to app’s page to download.
Another exciting stuff here is that you can now filter your search (see pic above) — hit the search option in the upper right corner and select whether you want only free or paid apps, based on relevancy or popularity and if you own and have attached more than one android device — which will be very much the case when android tablets hits the stores near us — you can sort the results to one of the several devices, by selecting your preferred gadget for the search from the drop down menu.
What it Still Lacks…
To an average user, almost everything has now been sufficiently covered just like the market app on phone, except that the latter has the “Just In” tab for discovering new apps which the web version lacks, and, there is no option to update the apps right from the web. Needless to say, the ‘update all’ feature is still missing from the web version, even if you’re on Froyo.
But there is one feature that would have been equally helpful for an average user and a Pro user — bookmarking the apps. I would love this feature, since many times, when surfing the market on phone or on web now, I feel the need to bookmark the app so that I can install it when I need or when I’m in a try-some-apps mood. What’ do you think, didn’t you miss this feature? BTW, you there is another way to bookmark apps. Use your twitter account. See the pic above. While tweeting app’s pages, better add a keyword to find such tweets easily. For example, if your name is John, add this — #johntweetedapps — or anything that’s convenient to you to every tweet of your from the market. So that when you search twitter later using the keyword, you will easily get back to those pages you had tweeted.
To a pro user, who wants variety of tools to sort out the best apps among the new ones (and wants to go beyond what Google recommends all the time), or want: user’s age-wise classification of apps based on Google profiles, country-wise classification like apple’s appstore, and many more countless features that don’t mean very much to a normal user, are still missing — but it’s not an insane thing, you know! These stuff might, in fact, complicate an average user’s experience, so we won’t blame Google or anyone here.
That’s it about the web version of the market.
If you face any problem with the web version of the market (and also the market app on your phone), do let us know right below in comments. You know this, we’ll try our best to get you out of it. By the way, Google has also set up some pages for the troubled ones along with some tips, here.
Let us know in comments below, what do you feel about the web version of the android market. I think I am not gonna touch the android market app on phone unless