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New Android Market Trumps Apple's iTunes Store

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THE KITCHEN SYNC
DailyFeed
It's the little things that go a long way. One tiny feature that can make a piece of software or a gadget infinitely better. Maybe it's the way a Twitter app refreshes by tapping the top banner. Or how a music app automatically starts when you plug your earbuds in. It's the subtlest attention to a small UI detail that causes a user to say, "Ah, that's cool," and other developers to say, "Ah, of course!"

And in moving its rough-around-the-edges Android Market to the web, Google nailed a big one. One so big, that it's now arguably better than Apple's iTunes Store.

Launching yesterday, the web-based Android Market frees the user from browsing apps on their phone. The third-market site AppBrain had done a commendable job before, but there wasn't an officially Google-sanctioned site until yesterday. And not a moment too soon.

Similar to the iTunes Store in almost every way, the Android Market sorts free and paid apps into categories. Each app comes with its own linkable page and description as well as a user rating, version requirements, price, and developer information. So far, so familiar.

But what separates the Android Market on the web with the iTunes Store is the total lack of an extra program or wired syncing.

After a user logs in, the Android Market recognized the device and account of every Android user. Downloading and installing an simply requires selecting the appropriate device and clicking "Install." From there, the app is automatically downloaded directly to your device and begins installing. Couldn't be easier.

Compare that to browsing for an iPhone or iPad app from your computer. Accessing it requires iTunes to open up -- which leads to a lengthy load time and many complaints about bloatware. Once it's finished loading, download the app to your computer. Afterwards, you have to actually pull out the iPhone wire, physically connect it to your computer, and sync it to your device.

For a company heralded for its ease and sleekness, wireless syncing is a feature that's way overdue.

Apple may hold claim to 100,000 more apps than Android's 200,000, but with this recent update, it's trailing the competition in a big way. Expect Cupertino to introduce wireless syncing shortly.

Here's Lifehacker's video of Google's demonstration of the new Android Market:

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