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Android Market Webstore adds compatibility alerts

Jun 10, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Google upgraded its Android Market Webstore to inform users whether a given app is compatible with their Android devices. Meanwhile Google Maps has been updated with live tracking of public transportation in six cities in the U.S. and Europe, and Microsoft is trying to lure Android developers with new resources including an “Android to Windows Phone 7 API mapping tool” website.

Google has quietly added a feature to its Android Market Webstore that tells users whether an application is compatible with their registered Android handsets and tablets.

On the left side of any application's web page in the Android Market online store, users may see a line with a plus button that says, "This application is compatible with all of your devices." Click the button, and Google produces a full list of devices a user has signed into with his or her Google account.

Android Market Webstore with new compatibility notice in green box on left
(Click to enlarge)

The compatibility notification should be a big help considering that Android has flooded the market with over 300 devices in more than 100 countries. There are over 200,000 applications in the Market, and there are 450,000 Android developers writing programs for more than a handful of Android OS versions. These include Android 1.6, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and now Android 3.0 and 3.1 on the tablet branch.

This is just one of the many steps Google has taken this year to improve the Market. In early February, Google launched the Android Market Webstore, which lets users find and purchase applications from their desktop computer and install them to their Android device. Google also bolstered Android Market by adding application download stats and in-application payment support in March, and merchant sales reports in April, among other improvements.

The company still has a long way to go to catching Apple's App Store, which has 400,000-plus applications and has turned into a cash cow for iOS developers all over the world. Google is banking on the continued popularity of Android devices to buy it time to match Apple's chops in application sales, availability, and deployment.

Google Maps gets on the bus with live tracking

On June 9, Google rolled out a version of Google Maps for deskop PCs, and mobile browsers, including Android, that adds live public transportation tracking for four U.S. cities and two European cities. The company has partnered initially with transportation networks in Boston, Portland, Ore., San Diego, San Francisco, Madrid, Spain, and Turin, Italy on the project.

When you click on a transit station or plan a transit route with Google Maps and there are delays or alerts related to your trip, you'll now see "live departure times," indicated with a special icon, as well as service alerts. (For more information, see this eWEEK report.)

Microsoft looking to poach Android developers

In other Android-related news yesterday, Microsoft posted resources intended to draw Android developers to Windows Phone, reports our sister site WindowsForDevices. A new Windows Phone Developer Blog entry provides information on new tools for those who want to convert their Android apps or programming skills apps to the Windows Phone 7 platform.

Resources include a "Windows Phone 7 Guide for Android Application Developers" white paper, similar to one released for iPhone developers in April. There's also a new "Android to Windows Phone 7 API mapping tool" website that enables developers to pick out Android API calls and quickly look up the equivalent classes, methods, and notification events in Windows Phone 7, says the story.

Clint Boulton is a writer for eWEEK.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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