Google today announced a long overdue feature for Android: A web store at http://market.android.com.
The online store will let Android users browse, share and purchase apps without launching the Android Market application on their phone or tablet. Once an app is purchased on the web store, it’s instantly transferred to your Android device (you’ll be able to nickname your Android devices to distinguish between them).
The store offers a visually rich way to explore apps and will also offer more information to users. On app pages, for example, developers will be able to include YouTube videos, in addition to app screenshots. The app pages also bring together user reviews, revision changes and a listing of what device resources the app will use.
You can also tweet about an app directly from its Android Market web page. If an Android user clicks on that tweeted link on their phone or tablet, they’ll be transported directly to the Android Market to download it. You’ll also be able to filter web store searches by device compatibility and price.
Google was expected to bring Android Market to the web for some time, so its release today doesn’t come as a huge surprise. A web version of Apple’s iTunes Store has also been rumored, and we can probably expect an announcement on that closer to the launch of the iPhone 5 later this year.