Google continues to overhaul its Android Market application storefront, adding a new online retail channel and enabling in-app purchases. Located at the online Android Market boasts the complete Android app catalog--the store connects to a user's device once they sign into their Google account, enabling them to install apps on one or all of their compatible devices. Hugo Barra, Google's director of mobile products, said all Android apps that follow the company's guidelines should work well on tablets, but added Google is encouraging tablet-specific apps as well.

Unlike Apple's iTunes Preview website, which allows users to browse for apps on the web but then directs them to iTunes to securely complete their purchase, Google's new web-based Android Market allows users to select and buy apps directly on the web site and then have the apps remotely installed on their device, something that is touted as a unique feature.  Purchased apps are then streamed directly to the user's handset and automatically installed.

Additionally, apps on Android have far broader access to features on the phone; Google leaves the security ramifications related to apps up to the user when the app is being purchased. Apple's iTunes users have already been regularly targeted by multiple attempts to either guess, crack or simply "phish" their passwords by malicious users seeking to obtain access to their accounts.

The difference is that with iTunes account information, all a malicious user can really do is make unauthorized purchases. "The phishers' intention may not be to use stolen account credentials for the purposes of sending spam but to install malware on the user's Android devices instead. Until Google takes notice of the problem, Svajcer recommended that Android users choose a strong password. 

Incidentally, Google has touted the feature as a unique of its new web-based Android Market because it enables users to select and purchase apps directly on the web site; and then have the apps remotely installed on their handsets.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 | 0 comments | Labels:


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