Android Market (Web) Vs. Appbrain

If you have not heard, the Android Market is now available to view on your desktop browser. I was pretty excited to see the features offered in the web version of the Android Market. However, much like many of you, I have grown comfortable using Appbrain for my Android app searching needs.

I’m not going to go in depth into Appbrain here. Here is a post to reference if you want a more detailed explanation of how Appbrain works. I will talk about the key differences between the 2 though.

Android Market key features

The Android Market is the newest of the 2, so there is room for improvement. There ARE a couple features that reign superior over Appbrain. The first and most notable is the on click installation for apps.

One click installations

The one click feature works like magic. When you are logged into your Google account on your computer, all you need to do to install an application is click INSTALL. Within seconds you will see the little download arrow appear on your Android phone or tablet.

android-market-web-install

Same layout

Both the mobile application and the web version of the Android Market have the same layout. This is very comforting to may people who like familiarity. If you are use to using the Market on your device, using the web version of the Market will be a very simple transition.

Tabs

When you are looking at a specific application, there are tabs across the top letting you easily jump to: permissions, reviews, whats new (changlog) or the overview.

android-market-tabs

Appbrain key features

Appbrain has had a little more time to hone in on some really useful features. Many people, myself included, like to install apps just to see what they do. Appbrain gives you a lot of sharing options the Android Market does not.

Sharing apps

Aside from the basic ways to share links to an application (email, Facebook, Twitter Buzz), Appbrain gives you a few other ways to let people know about an app you find.

  • Being able to scan the QR code and easily download the app is great. Each application has a QR code to the Appbrain page.
  • Appbrain provides a link to email and another for foums that use BBCodes.
  • The third style link is HTML code. This code is for displaying a widget for the application on your webpage. I have used these before and they look and work great in an article talking about a specific application.

android-market-qr-code

Syncing

Appnrain offers an application in the Android Market. Once you sign in on both Appbrain and the mobile app, you are ready to sync. It may take a minute for the first sync. After, you will be able to see, from the website, all of the applications installed on your device(s). If you need to master clear your Android device, you can re-install apps easily.

android-market-sync

Installing from the web

While it is a couple more steps than using the Market, applications can be installed right from Appbrain’s webpage. You simply pick which application(s) you want to install and add them to the list of apps on your device. Then, on next sync, you can install the apps on your device.

While this seems like a lot more work, this method is a good way to batch install several apps at a time.

Sorting

Sort apps is a little different with Appbrain. You have filters for:

  • Specific countries
  • Male or female users
  • Certain age ranges
  • Recommended for you

Being able to search differently than the Android Market allows, helps you discover more applications to better suite you.

android-market-sorting

Conclusion

While the Android Market is shiny and new, my preference is still Appbrain. I do not doubt the web version of the Market will improve over time. Currently, features like the QR codes, syncing and the more advanced search will keep me using Appbrain.

Which one of these two ways of searching for and installing Android applications do you like better and why?