Congratulations to Archos 5 users on finally getting the full Android Market!
The Archos 5 has slowly and steadily been building into a nice tablet experience, but with so many bigger and better tablets on the horizon this news is most exciting as a bellwether for Android tablets to come.
The limited number of Android tablets that we have seen released to date have offered either no access to the Android Market or access that was limited to free apps. As those Android users in countries that still don’t have access to the paid Market will tell you this can be quite frustrating.
We know that Android tablets coming in the second half of this year will compete favorably with and in many cases surpass the iPad where hardware specifications are concerned, but that is really only half the battle. As we saw in the early days of the Android Market, developers are not likely to flock to a platform that only allows them to hock their wares for free and users balk at devices that doesn’t offer quality content (I’m not suggesting free content can’t be of high quality, but there is a perception issue there).
With the knowledge that Google is at work on their own Android tablet we can rest assured that the underlying OS will be optimized for the larger form factor devices and it stood to reason that they would bring the full Android Market along for the ride, but it is good to see this rolling out now with time to work out the kinks before Android tablets start to become more mainstream.
The addition of the Android Market is a good step, but it is not the most user friendly experience at the moment and with the meteoric growth of the Market, along with this new category of device assuredly bringing more and different apps along with it, Google might finally be forced to take a more direct hand in cleaning it up.
What steps do you think Google should be taking to improve the Market as it pertains to accessibility in general and to handle the inevitable addition of apps that are geared more specifically to tablet devices?
Update: Unfortunately the good folks over at Archos Fans Forums have informed us that the support for the full Market is not official and is somewhat buggy. Paid apps are only showing up for users that have installed a fairly simple patch (instructions on installing it can be found here). Apologies for the false alarm and here’s hoping that official support is not far off.