Google has overhauled the Android Market, adding in-app payments and launching an iTunes-style sister webstore for purchasing applications when using desktop computers.
Unveiled at the launch event for the tablet optimised Honeycomb edition of Android, the desktop version of the Android Market enables users to download apps directly from the webstore to their smartphones or tablets. Previously, the store was only accessible on mobile Android kit.
Fandroids can check out the wares on offer with any browser and need only sign in with their Google account for their download to be transferred wirelessly to their smartie.
Chris Yerga, Android engineering director for cloud computing, said: “No wires, no synching with computers, none of that sort of nonsense. Everything just works seamlessly syncing between the two.”
Elsewhere the look and functionality of the site clearly owes more than a small debt to iTunes, with filters to search the market by ‘Featured’, ‘Top Free’ and ‘Top Paid’ titles, as well as a Google Search bar, consumer ratings for apps and a handy ‘related apps’ tag for helping you find other stuff you might like.
Google’s other big news (Gingerbread aside, obvs) was the introduction of in-app purchases, allowing consumers to pay for upgrades and extra content for games – for example the Mighty Eagle in Angry Birds.
The overhaul of the Android Market, regarded as long overdue by many, comes after Sony recently lifted the lid on its proprietary, gaming focussed download store for Android devices, PlayStation Suite.