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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.



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?

Trevor Dobrygoski Trevor Dobrygoski

Trevor is a freelance writer covering topics ranging from the Android OS to free web and desktop applications. When he is not writing about mobile productivity, He is coaching and playing the world's greatest game... Soccer.


  1. I prefer the Web market, because it integrates better with the original. In addition, the direct installation via PC works better.

    1. If the Market had a better way to sync apps I would be a little more inclined to use it regularly.

  2. I used to use Appbrain, but now I find myself using Android market more frequently, simply because it loads and sync faster

  3. ethibault : I am very disappointing I wasted 2 hours late in the night to try and get an application that was indicated as available but appbrain never managed to deliver it (the app was linkpush).

    I thinkj appbrain sucks, it is there to promote app in a marketting way but they were unable to deliver the app I tried to install through them

    1. I ran into that when I went to a new version of the Android OS. Did you do any mods or upgrades recently that you had to reinstall the app?

  4. Since I still can’t get apps to correctly install directly through the market, I’m sticking with the AppBrain! I like the synching and how easy it is to send several apps to install at once.

      1. Not yet. I hadn’t noticed they came out with it. I’m trying it now with some complications.

          1. “There was an error sending the app to the phone. Please make sure you enabled it with the ‘Fast Web Installer’ app and then please try again.” Def enabled it… several times.

  5. If you want to find new apps AppBrains filtering basically makes it impossible. Most new apps end up being categorized as spam since the filter dumbly uses ratings – which new apps don’t have – to define the developer as a spammer. They spent a huge amount of work to create a dumb system when it was supposed to solve a simple problem – after all you have to look at is the interest in an app eg download evolution to define whether an app is potentially interesting or not.

  6. i am new to the android tablets and bought a cheaper version for traveling not realizing that it did not support android market so i cant get any apps that i want but i did find them on appbrain but havent tried it yet.  i was wondering if since it said it used other markets to get the apps if it will work for me…sorry if this is a stupid question but i have been very frustrated and its a holiday so no one was open.  thanks

    1. A tablet that doesn’t come with Android market installed doesn’t mean the market app won’t work. If you can get hold of the market apk, you still can install it in your tablet and install extra apps. However, the performance of the apps will depend on your hardware spec. If you have a low end tablet, the performance won’t be great.

      1. it seems to be decent for what i paid better than the other cheap ones it has 4 gb memory and thats way more than the anddroid phone i have.  I have found no way to install android market though.  the only thing i found was amazon apps and appbrain.  do u have any suggestions.

        1. Have you tried:

          1. Google for the market apk file, move it to your Android tablet and install it from there (you need to enable “allow installation of non-market applications”?

          2. Install the Android SDK and install the market apk file via adb?

          3. If the above fail, the developer could have blocked the installation of market app. The last alternative is to root your tablet and install custom ROM.

          1. ok tried the first one it didnt work, it downloaded the file but once i clicked to install it said error occurred.  the 2nd one i dont understand how to do i am not sure what the adb is i think i have android sdk on my tablet though already in applications there is file as i said before i dont know much about these tablets or android.  is there a site maybe that could help me with the steps i need to take for #2 or #3 because i definately would not know how to either one without some assistance.  thanks

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