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Android Market online: If your app never downloads

You paid good money for your app--now you expect to download it over the air from Google's new Web store to your smartphone. And if it doesn't? Don't fret, just note these simple tips.

Jessica Dolcourt Senior Director, Commerce & Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
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Jessica Dolcourt
2 min read
Android Market online
Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Google wasn't the first mobile platform provider to introduce an online app catalog, but its Android Market Web store is the first to offer seamless over-the-air installation.

Using the online Android Market is fairly straightforward. Apart from some initial hiccups everyone encountered when the Web store first launched, it takes just a few mouse clicks to wirelessly download both paid and free apps without craning over your smartphone screen or straining your peepers.

However, those early frustrations are telling. Scrambling to test the online Market just after it launched, I had no problems selecting apps to download, but several of my first installation attempts failed before they succeeded.

What to do if your online Market apps refuse to download is definitely a concern, particularly if you've just paid good money for an app.

First, have a little patience. People downloading over a 2.5G EDGE connection, for instance, may not see downloads install as quickly as if they were on a Wi-Fi connection. That said, if the installation doesn't start within about 10 seconds, you may have a failed transfer on your hands.

The good news is that your app selection is tied to the same Google account you use on your Android phone.

When in doubt, going to the Settings menu on the Web store will show a list of past purchases. If your app is on that list, but not on your phone, you can download it afresh from the Market app on your phone--without being doubly charged. If your app isn't on the list, just try the installation again from the Web-based Market.