Google fixes Android Market, overshadows Honeycomb demo

Google did what it had to with its highly-anticipated Honeycomb demo but the more lasting impact were fixes to the Android Market.

Google did what it had to with its highly-anticipated Honeycomb demo---it showed a few nice features that closes the Apple iPad gap somewhat---but the more lasting impact were fixes to the Android Market.

Now Google's fixes to the Android Market---I call them fixes since I think that app marketplace is a mess that probably hampered sales---aren't revolutionary.

In a nutshell, the new Android Market:

  • Has more description and an improved interface (like Apple's App Store);
  • Allows you to share apps via social media;
  • Gives developers in-app purchasing and multiple currency support;
  • And enables user to buy apps on the Web and send to a device (like Amazon's Kindle store).

Gallery: Google buzzes about Honeycomb

In the long run, the tweaks to the Android Market, which went live today, will have a more lasting effect. I'd argue that Android app sales have been restrained due to a poor store experience. At least that's why Amazon is exploring an Android app store.

As for the Honeycomb demo, Google highlighted a few 3D features, neat maps and other multi-tasking tools. But in the end, Honeycomb looks a little like Windows 7 on a tablet. Perhaps there's too much stuff there.

However, Google will make us forget those first-gen Android tablets and that's a start. And Honeycomb looks comparable to what the iPad can do. The problem is iPad 2 is right around the corner. In the end, the popularity of the latest batch of Android tablets will depend on price. If Android tablets are cheaper than the iPad they'll find an audience. If Android tabs are on pricing par with Apple, most folks will keep buying the iPad.

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