Apr 04 AT 7:00 AM Guest Blogger 22 Comments

AppBrain Market Sync: A great concept for installing apps

AppBrain Market Sync is an app management system that lets users visit AppBrain.com to easily browse apps in the Market and choose which ones they want to install. Once you have picked the apps you tell your phone to sync to the Market and bam – it’s on your phone.

When I first heard of AppBrain Market I was hyped. What a time saver this is going to be. Little did I know the frustrations forth coming to me.

When you go to AppBrain they allow you to login with your Gmail account; it seems pretty cut and dry. It’s only after you get into the meat of the site where the problems start revealing themselves. Almost every app I would choose to install on my phone would uncheck itself after I left the respective pages. Once I could get an actual app to stay in the “install” position that’s when frustrations began.

Pictured below are the constant errors that you get when trying to use this program to sync up to the AppBrain website. Error after error after error; I wanted to break my phone.

Finally when the AppBrain sync would recognize the website, the sync begins. The Market boots up and automatically brings you to the first app on your list. After it installs, the user must press the back option and it will take you to the next one your list. So on and so forth until you get all your apps you wanted downloaded.

In the end I found myself browsing their website and just searching the Market on my phone once I found an app that I really wanted.

Pros:

  • Browsing app through website is awesome
  • Sync system (when it works)

Needs improvement:

  • No batch install option
  • Building install list from website had issues
  • Sync problems between app and website

Final Verdict

I say pass for now because AppBrain in its current state is quiet disappointing. Once they can perfect the sync and the browser issues I would gladly change my verdict to download. If AppBrain can work out these issue, they have the potential to dominate the Android Market.

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Note: This review was submitted by Aaron Blain as part of our app review contest.

Source: AppBrain

From time to time we invite guest bloggers to contribute articles about various Android topics. This is one of those times...

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  • http://www.appbrain.com Uwe

    Thank you for reviewing AppBrain! We are glad you like the website and the concept of syncing apps with your phone.

    Sorry that you had some trouble with the syncing. We will look into all the points you mentioned and will try to fix them.

    Thanks!

  • http://Website Bobba

    I also had problems with syncing apps, but this is such a great website for browsing the android marketplace. It’s much easier to search on AppBrain than it is to do from the phone.

    Love it.

  • http://Website jaam

    I also had major issues, not so much with the syncing but rather with what AppBrain does with the apps – it doesn’t seem to recognise a whole range of them and seems to semi-uninstall them. The icon disappears, and although they remain on the system its just as a place holder, so you can’t uninstall – fortunately I had a back up of the apps which I could install over the top of it (~AppBrain much it up again), so uninstalled AppBrain and tried installing again – no problems since uninstalling AppBrain. So would suggest using this app with caution.

  • http://Website Bob B

    I have tried AppBrain for some time, and I do not agree with the author’s verdict. I think AB is a solid great tool for app management!

    Firstly, I have not experienced any problems with the synchronization (I’m on a HTC Hero). Secondly, it is not reasonable to expect batch install features: if it were possible (on non-rooted phones) for one app to automatically install other apps without explicit interaction from the user on every step, I would consider that a major security threat.

    The only thing I perhaps miss from AB, is a half-automated uninstall feature.

    So don’t let this poor review stop you from trying out a great application :-)

    • http://Website MikeSuds

      I agree with this. I have been using this for a few weeks now and I’ve never once had any issues the reviewer has had. Working flawlessly for me, and is a great alternative to searching the market. I’ve also installed several apps from the AppBrain recommended apps list.

    • http://Website Oliver D

      I completely agree with you bob and would have to disagree with the author.

      I am using a G1 (not rooted) and have been using app brain for a few weeks now. I’ve no problems at all and I think the concept and execution of the app is excellent.

      The website is great as it offers other review and extra content otherwise unavailable in the on-phone market. It is also brilliant for organising your apps into separate lists and if you want to mass uninstall.

      The batch install feature is unfeasible with android’s current security model and I think it shouldn’t be changed, if appbrain didn’t use shortcuts to search and let the user download the app and it instead batch installed apps without prompts it could easily install an app without the user noticing and wasn’t request making the potenial of malicious activity a lot higher.

      Great review though as it was it your opinion :D

  • http://Website Tim

    Got to disagree with this review, I’ve had no problems at all with App Brain, it works very well for me and browsing the app catalogue on the website is great. Love this app!

    Batch installs would be nice but they’re not possible while applications are still sourced from the market – the android market will not let third party programs connect and download them therefore any installation must be done through the Android market app.

  • http://Website Jim R

    I too have had a good experience with AppBrain. My only complaint is that it will allow me to see and try to install applications which do not run on the version of Android on my phone, which is 1.5. Would be better if it caught that at the time you try to add the app to your install list, rather than letting it get to the point where you’re trying to install the app on your phone. Other than that, it’s fine. The “Recommended for you” suggestions is a nice touch.

  • http://Website gregDT

    Another user that has had a faultless experience with AppBrain. The batch process of installing multiple applications does require user input on each app. However I suspect that is an issue with how the Marketplace application works rather than any specific omission by the AppBrain developers.

  • http://AndroidGuys.com Chuck

    Yeah, I’m another person who has never had a problem with syncing between the site and the app. Works great.

    Also, the review completely missed some of AppBrain’s best features: it automatically filters out spam apps, has more granular search parameters, and allows you to create public or private lists of apps.

  • http://Website Zer0-9

    I also had issues. Too many steps to sync and install apps. I can accept not getting a batch install process, but the function of the app was basically useless. It was far better to use the website to search for apps to install and then just search the market for it. AppAware has proven much more useful as an on device application.

  • http://www.totallychristianshow.com Aaron Blain

    I should win the phone because since this review they revamped the app and fixed some issues ;-)

  • http://Website appdev34953

    Finally a review that is not afraid to speak the truth about AppBrain.

    I won’t deny that when I first got my HTC Hero I was excited about using apps & I stumbled upon AppBrain. First of all, it was way better than the actual Android marketplace & secondly it was hyped by alot of people. Unfortunately, AppBrain isn’t as good as other marketplaces out there because it’s to average for me. If you’re into features then I suggest using RawApps!

  • http://Website sxmohan

    I am now able to download the Fast Web Installer

    Can any one help me with this.

    Is there any place other than Android-Market to download it?

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  • http://Website Spencer

    Does this cost money

  • http://Website dave

    I keep getting told that I have to have the installer instald in order to install the installer. Wtf?

  • http://Website Joris

    Same here: need the installer to install the installer.
    Or: ‘Download Appbrain App Market now’ link, in registration-email points to: Not Found, Error 404.
    Or: Send a word or url to your device; what word, what url, nothing happens!

    What kind of joke is this??? I don’t like it….

  • http://Website Kyla

    Agree with author at some points, had some issue. My problem for me is that is too complicated… to many steps to follow.
    I’ve installed another app “Apps to Phone”, is an alternative, simple and quick

  • http://Website stacey

    hi how do u download this app to your tablet?

  • http://Website Trevor

    I cant even get my HTC Hero to install the AppBrain marketplace, no matter what i do, it just denies the app and tells me it cant find it.

  • http://sutakira.com chance

    Thanks I was searching for something to auto sync the apps I am constantly installing over and over each time I upgrade to the latest version of cyanogen!