Android Market, the portal where all owners of Android-based handsets head to purchase and download applications for their devices, is now accessible from the web, Google announced officially during an event held on Wednesday.
Up until now, access to the Android Market was available only from the mobile phones powered by the OS, but things changed now, and desktop users can go to the web portal
from their web browsers.
In order to download an application, all that users would have to do is to select the software they like, and it would be sent to their devices
over the air. Moreover, they can also manage apps they downloaded via the “My Market Account” in their Google accounts.
“Android Market on the Web dramatically expands the discoverability of applications through a rich browsing experience, suggestion-guided searching, deep linking, social sharing, and other merchandising features,” Google notes in a post
on Android Developer Blog.
Available only in English for the time being, the software portal is expected to be expanded with support for more languages in the near future.
In addition to the new Android Market on the Web, Google also put in place In-app Billing for the app store, so that developers would have more ways to monetize their software
via billing models like try-and-buy, virtual goods, upgrades, and more.
“The In-app Billing service manages billing transactions between apps and users, providing a consistent purchasing experience with familiar forms of payment across all apps,” Google notes in the said blog post.
“At the same time, it gives you full control over how your digital goods are purchased and tracked. You can let Android Market manage and track the purchases for you or you can integrate with your own back-end service to verify and track purchases in the way that's best for your app.”
The launch of In-app Billing will be performed in stages. The company has made available the necessary documentation and a sample application so that developers get familiar with the service. You should access this page
for more info on the matter.
The next step would include updates to the Android Market client, so that it can be tested against the service. Users would get access to the service before the end of the first quarter of the ongoing year.
Another enhancement that Google brought to the Android Market
would be Buyer’s Currency, which should enable developers better control the manner in which they price their products in various countries, so that they could offer a better experience to users.
“We’ll be rolling out Buyer’s Currency in stages, starting with developers in the U.S. and reaching developers in other countries shortly after. We anticipate it will take approximately four months for us to complete this process,” Google announced, adding that developers should keep an eye on this option on the Android Market, and set their prices in the shortest time possible.