Google has rolled out a minor update to the Android Market website so that it now recognizes devices that didn’t originally ship with the Android Market. In other words, if you install the Android Market on an officially unsupported device such as the HP TouchPad, Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet, or Amazon Kindle Fire, you can now see your device from the Amazon Market website.
What that means is that you can visit the website in any web browser, find an app you want to download, and send it to your mobile device automatically.
Up until now this feature was only available for devices that came with the Android Market, including most Android smartphones and many top tier tablets.
That’s the good news. The bad news is I’ve also noticed that the Android Market on devices now seems to recognize some apps you’ve installed from non-Market sources, and it wants to update them but can’t.
For instance, I installed the ES File Explorer app on my NOOK Tablet using the Amazon Appstore for Android. Then I installed the Android Market on the tablet. The Android Market saw the ES File Explorer and decided a newer version was available, so it sent me a notification. But it fails to download and install because the app isn’t signed properly.
ES File Explorer is free, so I could just uninstall it and reinstall it from the Google Android Market. But that’s not as easy to do if you’ve already paid to purchase apps from Amazon and then receive alerts for updates from Google.
You could just ignore those alerts, but after a while they’re going to pile up.
In other words, while Google is making it easier to use the Android Market on devices that don’t ship with it, Google is not making it any easier to use multiple app stores simultaneously on the same device.