Companies like YouTube and Grooveshark are at the center of the ongoing controversies around online distribution of copyrighted materials. This controversy reared its ugly head earlier this month when the Grooveshark app was removed from the Android Market. While this disappointed many of the users who stream all their favourite tunes without having to posses an actual digital copy, Google was justified in kicking these pseudo-pirates out of the Market, right?
It's no secret that the Android Market isn't exactly the easiest place to find what you want. Unless an app is super popular, brand new, or you know its exact name, you could end up wandering in that virtual mall like a small child whose mother forgot to tell them she was heading to the next shop.
AppBrain has been a popular way to deal with the poor organization of the Market, allowing users to search for apps in a variety of categories and giving suggestions for programs based on what is currently installed on users' handsets.
PewPew, a beautiful retro style shooter (think Geometry Wars), was released for Android early February of this year and has found a rather receptive market. With its chaotic gameplay, attractive visuals, great frame rate and $0 price tag, it managed to bag a well deserved 1 million+ downloads in less than two months.
Yesterday, Jean-François Geyelin released PewPew 2, a follow-up to the popular game, onto the Android Market.
February 2nd was an exciting day for Android fans - we were given an in-depth preview of Honeycomb, laid our eyes on some stunning 3D tablet games, and were even treated to a much-anticipated online version of the Android Market. But 2/2/2011 was also the fateful day that spelled "doom" for lite / demo versions of Android apps, as Google unveiled their new in-app billing system.
Today, Google made another announcement regarding in-app purchases: the feature will launch publicly next week.
With the recent release of Google's Android Web Market, app discovery site Appbrain's relevance has been threatened and perhaps they see a future in statistical reporting. The website has introduced a new tracking system for the Android Market, which they like to call "Appbrain Android Stats."
The initial offering from Appbrain's new service finds the following:
- There are now 150,000 apps available in the Market (this contradicts a report from Business Insider, which claims that there are currently 250,000 apps - we tend to think Apprain's is likely more accurate)
- The most popular Android phone among AppBrain users is the Samsung Galaxy S
- The most used Android version is Froyo
- The category with the most apps is 'Entertainment'
If charts are your thing, Appbrain has those too.
If your Apple fanboy friends (surely you have at least one somewhere) like to taunt you with the old "iOS has more apps than Android" spiel, then you may not have to grudgingly agree with them for much longer. Business Insider published data this week that shows the Android Market's number of apps continuing to rapidly approach the amount of apps in Apple's marketplace. While the Market's trailing of the App Store by 100,000 applications would not, at a casual glance, appear to be encouraging, the rate of growth is clearly in Android's favor.
Some of us noticed today that our Android Market received an OTA update to v2.3.4 sometime last night. Before, when on the main page of the Market, the big 'Featured' section at the top would stay put. Now, we scroll down and - poof! - it vanishes (though, only on the main page and not on Apps/Games/etc pages for some reason).
This got us wondering how many of you have found the new Market change in place.
That Android Market rival that Amazon.com has been preparing may be set to launch soon. If a recent tweet by advertising platform Millennial Media is correct, then it will be going live later this month.
While much is still unknown of the web retail behemoth's answer to the Android Market, their Developers' Blog did recently reveal several tidbits, including:
- Your apps are linked to your Amazon account, and any apps you purchase will be pre-installed on Android devices you order from them
- The style of the app listings will be consistent with Amazon.com's pages for any other product
Is there currently room for another store for Android apps?
Another game hit that was previously available only as a Flash game on PCs is now on Android, and its premise may surprise you. Mr. Karoshi, who happens to be an "overworked Japanese salaryman" is feeling suicidal. Your job? Finish him off.
The puzzle game features dark humor (no kidding?), 50 levels, a mini game, and is actually quite a bit of fun. Check out the trailer below - it shows off the Karoshi quite well:
Source: Android Market
One of the (numerous) problems with the Android Market has been its billing system - up to now, buyers were charged in the seller's currency. While most credit card companies were smart enough to convert the bill to the buyer's coinage, others flat out cancelled the payment. No longer - Google just announced Buyer's Currency, which gives developers the ability to set their apps' prices in each of the currencies available in the Market.