UPDATE: The Android Market Web Store is live at market.android.com. Check it out!
BREAKING: An Android Market Web Store for browsing the Android Market on a desktop computer has just been announced at Google’s Android Honeycomb press event. It lets you buy apps and push them to your Android phone from the browser – about time eh?
We’ve long bemoaned the lack of an official Android Market website that can be viewed on any PC, not just an Android phone. Today, two and half year after the first Android phone went on sale, this finally happens. Google’s enginnering director for cloud services on Android demonstrated the ability to buy an app through the Android Market Web Store, triggering a push over the air download and installation of the game Zenonia 2 on his Google Nexus S Android phone. It worked seamlessly.
The Android Market Web Store also offers a tweet function to recomment Android app download pages as short URLs over Twitter – on a desktop browser this will take you to the Android Market Web Store, but on an Android phone the same URL will simply launch the page on the Android Market.
We’ve checked out the Android Market Web Store on our MacBook Pro, and honestly, it’s simply what you’d expect: a fairly clean design reminiscent of the Ovi Store, and all the apps available on the Android Market. But this finally fixes a major flaw with the Android Market, so we’re still pleased.
Google today also announced that developers would be able to set prices specific to regions, so that American apps won’t fluctuate with exchange rates in the UK Android Market. The search giant also revealed plans for in-app purchasing, demonstrating an Android version of the popular iPhone game TapTap Revenge which lets you buy individual tracks to prod along to. Between this and Sony’s Android PlayStation plans, this could revolutionize Android as a gaming platform.
The Android Market Web Store is live right now.