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App compatibility function quietly arrives in Android Market

A new feature of the desktop version of the Android Market lets users check whether apps are compatible with all their devices.

The CNET application for Android is compatible with many handsets and tablets. Android Market

As Android users begin to purchase additional mobile devices such as tablets, the issue of app compatibility rears its ugly head.

Believe it or not, compatibility between Android handsets and applications can vary. On the handset side, developers are able to target specific models based on various factors including processor type and carrier. With tablets, though some apps say they work on Android 1.5 and up, they aren't compatible with the Honeycomb OS.

Fortunately, however, Google aims to clear things up with the latest addition to the Android Market. In the desktop version of the Market you'll now find a function that checks applications and games against your devices. You can find out if a title will work on the gadgets that you own and determine whether an app is compatible across all devices on which you've logged in using your Google account.

Google hasn't yet made the feature official, but I've tried it for the last couple of days and it seems to be fully in place. It's possible that it was integrated ahead of the Android Market coming to Google TV this summer, since it would clear up confusion over which apps would work on the set-top box.

Even with all of the recent strides the Android Market has made, there's still a bit of work to do. For instance, I'd like to be able to hide or archive devices so they don't clutter up the screen. I've reviewed a considerable amount of handsets over time, so it's beginning to get confusing when scanning through my list.