CNET First Look
Google's Android MarketGoogle finally debuted a way to get apps on your Android phones and tablets. Seth Rosenblatt takes us on a tour.
-Google finally debuted their long-missing and long-demanded wait to get your apps on your Android phones and tablets--a Web-based market place. Hi, I'm Seth Rosenblatt for CNET, and in this first look, I'll be taking you on a tour of the new Android Market at market.android.com. One of the best things about the market that's sure to make iPhone users jealous is that you can search for apps directly from your browser and without logging in. Once logged in, you can push apps directly to your phone or tablet. The majority of Google's development work here is clearly focused on app presentation. Featured apps take center stage on a large rotating carousel of highlights, but the key thing here is the new search option that persistently lives at the top. Enter a query and a slick black bar appears between the bottom of the search box and your results. Click it to reveal search filters. You can install an app directly from the results or click through to learn more about each app. When you do hit the install link, the market will let you choose which device to install the app to, as well as show you a list of permissions that the app uses and its cost. You can also push an app to multiple devices as long as they're associated under the same account. Currently, pushing an app is kind of a slow and tedious process, and definitely a bit buggy. It's not clear whether that's from the crush of users from app synching problems, or some other nefarious Google bug. At one point, jumping into the market app on my phone actually got the app to finally install properly, so, it does work eventually. When you're logged in you can also jump to your account up at the top right of the page. It takes you to a My Orders tab that lists all your installed apps. These are organized by date last updated, the name of the app, category, price, and status. Currently, these headings can only be sorted by date although it looks like the kind of layout that will receive an update with more sort parameters in the future. A second tab labeled Settings currently shows only a list of the devices associated with your account. It shows nickname, visibility, make, model, carrier, last use, and registered on date. Clicking the edit button on the right lets you give the device a nickname and choose whether to hide the device from Android menus. Users who have rooted their devices and are running custom ROMs will not see data for make and model. It appears that multiple simultaneous account log-ins, a feature recently pushed to Gmail users, are not supported at this time either. Hardcore Android fans will notice that the market currently offers less than third-party markets like AppBrain. You can't create customized lists of apps for one thing, and you can't uninstall from the market place either. That all being said, it's a good sign that Google is finally entering the market for markets because at the very least, it will force third-party markets to up their game or become irrelevant. With a first look at Google's Android Market, I'm Seth Rosenblatt for CNET.