Google has quietly introduced a device-compatibility chart for apps listed in the Android Market, making it easier for users to see whether software will run on their devices.
Andy Merrett has been using mobile phones since the days when they only made voice calls. Since then he has worked his way through a huge number of Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson models. Andy is a freelance writer and is not an employee of CNET.
Google has started to roll out device-compatibility checks in the Android Market app store.
When you visit an app's page in the Android Market, you'll soon see a compatibility chart on the left-hand side. The chart tells you which Android devices registered to your Google account are compatible with the app.
Although the Android Market has always displayed compatibility information, it has previously been difficult to know for certain whether an app you're contemplating downloading will work flawlessly on your device.
If the new feature works well, it'll be very useful. Users currently only have 15 minutes to return a paid-for app for a refund. Unless the app simply refuses to run, that's nowhere near enough time to ensure it works correctly. Not all apps are eligible for refunds either.
It's going to be interesting to see how Google rolls this feature out given the huge number of Android apps and handsets available. Each app already shows which phone functions and Android features it harnesses, so it may be that Google will do a certain amount of educated guesswork. With 200,000 apps and counting in the Android Market, Google's not going to check each one individually.