The Android Market grew up today with a collection of new features that will help Google catch up with Apple in the App marketplace space. Specifically the Android Market now has online access, wireless app installs, in app purchases and local buyer currency support.
The biggest news is that Android users can now browse and buy Android apps on their computer, similar to the way that iPhone owners can browse apps in iTunes. The new online market access live now and allows you to browse through app categories and featured apps to find the perfect app. You’ll be able to see screenshots and even Youtube demos of the app to help you decide if it is a worthwhile purchase. You can share the links to apps via email and Twitter to tell friends what you like.
If you want to buy or download a free app you simply click purchase or download in your browser and after processing is complete the app will begin downloading on your Android device without the need to do anything on your phone. This is much nicer than the iPhone and iPad which require you to connect for apps to be transferred to your device.
Another improvement is the ability for developers to show you apps in your local currency. This means that instead of prices like ~$1.64, developers can choose specific prices so that pricing makes sense. So you will start to see app pricing come across in a nicer format soon.
The final item that is coming is support for in-app purchases on Android. This means you can now purchase a full version or additional items such as levels and consumable items from within the app instead of relying on codes and the need to purchase an unlock key.
The first apps to use the in-app purchasing will come from Disney which is bringing over a collection of Disney apps to Android including, Radio Disney, Jelly Car and Tap Tap Revenge.