Android Web Market still a bit wonky, but coming along

Feb 4, 2011
Tech
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Compass app), for Google’s featured sections would also be very helpful.

Another place that Google could really capitalize on would to improve on the iTunes model of the App Store by doing a better job of finding and presenting new apps and update information. Apple’s “New & Noteworthy” often falls a little short in both categories. Google could really capitalize on the ability to show its users what’s brand new in the Market, which is something a lot of web sites — including this one — do independently.

Beyond that, Google would do well to feature actual apps that are more than just conglomerations of wallpapers or sound bites to make into ringtones, which clutter the Market if you’re not looking for them specifically. But with some attention to what other services are doing right, the Android Market could become one of the shining pillars of Android ownership, and Google could point to it as evidence of why users should go with the OS — just like Apple (AAPL) does with iTunes. Relative to what it could be, the iTunes App Store stumbles in a few key ways (does anyone else get the impression that every software update makes the program worse?) that Google could improve in its own system.

It’ll take some work, though, and don’t expect it to happen overnight. Any improvement to the online Market is a good thing, especially because it’s such a step in the right direction for Android in general. But Google really has an opportunity to make the service its capitol for Android, rather than a handy supplement to existing systems. That seems to be the company’s goal: whether it looks to add the innovation necessary to succeed, plus the hard work, remains to be seen.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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