How Honeycomb and Android Market’s New App Syncing will Sink Apple

February 3, 2011
23

Before we begin, let's just reconcile for a moment with the near-factual idea that iOS and the big fruit cart are a freight train that might never stop. That said, there's no telling whether the tracks on either side of this train have slicker rails. Therefore let's continue discussing how the other big mobile giant today, Android, will fare now that it's making a serious grab for a piece of the tablet market. Today's reason why Android is continuing its journey into superstardom in the hearts of millions of users across the globe is a set of features just introduced essentially silently during the Honeycomb event this week.

The first of these features has to do with Android 3.0 Honeycomb and the tablet platform (though the jury is still out on that singularity as well.) With Android 3.0, when you purchase a brand new tablet and would like to grab all of the apps that you've downloaded and the settings you've set on your handset (also running Android,) all you've got to do is make sure both devices are set up with the same Google account, and sync. This syncing process is simple, requires a relatively small amount of time, and of course encourages you to buy as many devices as you can to make sure you're getting the best experience with your Android games, applications, settings, and other digital toys.

The second of two features we'd like you to deeply consider right this moment has to do with downloading an app from the Android Marketplace via the new browser-based system. When you download an app now, you don't just download it to one device, and you don't just download it to your device. You download that app to your account, aka your cloud, and you download that app to as many devices as you'd like, all at once.

Think of the implications of this set of new features. Where Apple now downloads apps to your desktop, for you to keep for your own (we could also debate about what ownership means when you can't legally take apart the apps too,) Android keeps the apps in their storage, which you can pick from at any time. But wait, doesn't that make Android like Big Brother? Does that make Android the owner of my apps, therefor making this situation terrible? No, of course not. You can download your apps any time you like, storing them on any device you like - I'd bet Google even encourages you to do so so the files have a better chance at surviving should Google's infrastructure go down.

The main punch point here is that you can access the software you purchase from the Android Market from any computer and any Android device, and you can transfer not only your files but your settings from one device to the other without a hassle. It seems intuitive, but it's not. That's what makes it genius.


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  • http://twitter.com/lgtspecb Stewart Gateley

    You can even read your eBooks from your distributor of choice on Android, be that from Google, Amazon, B&N, or Sony book stores. From all the public blacklash at Apples latest dick move, this looks like it will be the big motivator for people to adopt the platform. ^5 Apple for biting the hand that feeds :)

  • http://twitter.com/Alli_Flowers Alli Flowers

    You can transfer your settings from one device to another, but….won’t that be moot if devices are using different versions of the os? What happens when you try to transfer a setting from device A to device B which doesn’t have an option to use that setting?

    • http://androidcommunity.com/ Chris Burns

      Interesting question — we shall see.

  • Maxohkc

    I disagree I doubt apple needs to worry about the new market. I think they have a lot more to worry about like the fact android is making leaps, while they are making baby steps.

  • am i really defending Apple

    the web market is cool, but its not that different to sync to itunes. And if it becomes a must-have feature, Apple can push itunes to cloud as well.

    I love Android and 3.0 looks great, but at end of day, Xoom/Honeycomb can’t compete with Ipad right now. The apps alone blow android away.

    I know Android is a year behind, but my fear is more fragmentation and lack of some key apps like Netflix or any video rental/buy platform. On a phone those are not a big deal (although I would consume on my Evo) since the screen is small, but on a tablet it is all about netflix, amazon prime (if it comes to fruitition) or even an Amazon VOD store….Itunes has content that Android doesn’t have yet and that is huge in this space.

    • http://twitter.com/lgtspecb Stewart Gateley

      Netflix has stated they are finished with their Android client, but will not release it to the Android Market because of DRM concerns and are looking to make contracts with system integrators to push it on new devices that can meet their demands. Xoom could very well be the first Netflix enabled Android device (besides Google TV), and you will really be eating your words when Apple wants to start charging Apple customers for every show or movie they watch on Netflix (yes, it meets the same criteria as eBook readers, in-app content purchased in an external market).

      TBH, sounds like a scheme to monetize the app with bundling contracts instead of releasing it publicly. It will be hacked and cracked the same day NetFlix releases it on any device.

      Apple is a long way from making C2DM a possibility on iOS, they need to make notifications work first, and it is very different from how iTunes works on a PC today.

      Apps that have follow best practice guidelines to support multiple resolutions that have been published since the first SDK will work just fine on a large tablet and Honeycomb. Making Honeycomb have more “tablet” apps on launch day than Apple has now, and apps designed specifically for Honeycomb will just be awesome.

      iOS has more “fragmentation” than Android, and Android is more capable to deal with it. But then ofcourse this depends on what your definition of the word is.

    • Jon Garrett

      you sound really stupid saying the Motorola Xoom cant compete with the ipad when it has 2 cameras vs the ipad’s NONE, when it has 2 cores vs the ipad’s ONE, when it has 4 TIMES the memory, SD slot, USB port and 1080p video.

      as for the “but apple has more apps argument” consider this, how many of apple’s 300,000 apps do you actually use? how many of them are actually useful? I have at present exactly 1000 apps for my iphone 4 but only about 50 installed on my device.

      all I can think of is how much money I would have lost had I purchased those 1000 apps as opposed to downloading them from a pirate web site…..Id be pissed as I only find 50 of them to be acceptable but only really use about 10 of them on a daily basis.

      the best apps for the iphone are NOT even in the app store, they’re on Cydia.

      • Dow810

        You should not steal. That’s bad.

      • Absinthian

        There’s some apps for the iPhone only available on Cydia. Admittedly you can only use them on a jailbroken phone, but there is content available that isn’t cracked. Cydia is a very competent alternative to iTunes, but unfortunately the majority of iPhone uses will never know about them due to the fact that they won’t jailbreak.

      • imnothardcore

        First off Ive owned all types of phones, and just got my first android phone last month. I have been a huge iPhone fan I just love to switch around my phones and everything all the time. I also own an iPad, desktops, laptops, etc… etc… I typically switch up my computers every 6 months to a year, sometimes less if something sweet comes out.

        Anyway, I love how people call these “iphone killers” or “ipad killers” all the time but the fact remains the product BETTER be better than the apple counterpart because in most cases it comes out A YEAR after. They get to look at a product, see what people like and what people whine about THEN release the product. Apple took a HUGE gamble on the iPad so Im sure cameras and other features werent included because of cost and price point on this attempt, or even who would buy it or want those features. So now a year later something better comes out? I would frikkin hope so, so instead of looking at last years release for the comparison why dont you look forward at what the next ipad will have. Its like me saying my iPhone 4 blows away the first android, the g1 or whatever, man, I would really hope so.

        Also Apples app store hands down, blows away the android store. It doesnt matter that I dont use 6 million apps but statistically the one I need is there(and dont give me that fart app crap about there are 15 in the apple store, there is just as much junk and garbage in the android store). For example the CRM my business uses I had 6 or 8 options to connect to it in the app store, I didnt use them all but I tried all of them found the best for me, and thats what I used, perfect. The android store has 1 and it SUCKS. I dont even want it, I would rather login to the website through my browser then deal with it.

        I like my android phone but I do miss a lot of the apps and options it offers. And also, you can sync your apps with apple as many others here have pointed out.(in fact my wifes iphone was on my itunes account, and anything I bought she could just download from the store for free, it just said you already bought this, boom its free) Its articles like this that continue to spread uniformed people that argued with me all the time about how their android phone made my iphone a piece of junk. I agree apple fanboys can be annoying, but an uniformed android person that just got their first smartphone from a flip phone can be way worse….

    • http://twitter.com/bklynvex Donald .h

      I Have Blockbuster on Evo g With Netflix On Xbox And ps3 And Coming To Evo Soon

  • Anonymous

    I absolutely love the new web app store. It makes a million times easier to browse and buy when doing it from a computer. Developers have to be loving this new setup.

  • Anonymous

    The reason Android needs a web app store is cause on the phone its a freaking mess, on iphone app store its very easy to find what you need. Yeah Apple is going down indeed.

    • http://androidcommunity.com/ Chris Burns

      You find stuff easily in the handset-based Apple App Store? No way, man.

      • Anonymous

        I do, you can search for company name (which Android doesn’t do) I tried it,
        app name etc.

      • Absinthian

        Eh?! “you can search for company name (which Android doesn’t do) I tried it”

        You couldn’t have tried very hard:

        https://market.android.com/search?q=laminar+research

    • Bill6451

      the app store can’t even find it’s way back to the last app you tapped on to read about. it goes right back to the beginning. Android’s market is waaaaayyyy smarter…

    • Bill6451

      the app store can’t even find it’s way back to the last app you tapped on to read about. it goes right back to the beginning. Android’s market is waaaaayyyy smarter…

  • http://www.openxcell.com/mobile-application-development/android-development-india/android-game-development.html Android App Development

    Android is the best operating system of Google and I think android brake the apple market……

  • Dow810

    Apple had this feature years ago. You are so sad.

    • http://androidcommunity.com/ Chris Burns

      which feature?

      • Manu

        What Dow810 is saying is that this feature is similar in IOs ; you buy / download any app from the appstore logged in with your app store account, then you can download that app for free in any device you own ( ie: you have an Ipad and an iphone, so you first buy lets say “angry birds” on your iphone and the you go to your ipad and the app store there let you download angry birds again without charge in your own ipad )

        This is already exists on IOS, and for a long time ago.

      • http://twitter.com/bklynvex Donald .h

        Not So,Me And My Buddies Talking about This Now,Whenever Anybody Comes With an apple product i get a instant headache, To much of a hassle,Androids drag n drop feature that’s not really a feature is really genius!!! Apple Owns You Be Free!!!!!!!