Android: Google previewed over-the-air app installing at its I/O conference, but you can get that functionality in your Android phone right now. Install AppBrain and its Fast Web Installer, and clicking “Install” on the web will instantly install apps on your phone.
AppBrain could previously synchronise a list of your installed apps with a list of the apps you wanted on the web, as detailed in a previous post, but it still required a few clicks and a side trip into the Market to get the apps installed. With the Fast Web Installer add-on for AppBrain, you can head to AppBrain’s own market, search and sort to find an app, then click “Install” and see it instantly download onto your phone.
Here’s a one-minute explanation and demonstration of that process:
Of course, you might be wondering how secure it is to provide AppBrain instantaneous access to install whatever it thinks you want on your phone. AppBrain’s apps connect you through your Google credentials without ever actually seeing your password. AppBrain could stand to have a bit more information on their privacy page about app installing security, but they seem to be on the up-and-up about what they’re collecting and why. It’s up to you whether the instant-install convenience is worth trusting the developers — they have 25 utility-type apps in the Market already, though, so it doesn’t quite seem like a fly-by-night scam.
One more hitch: AppBrain’s instant installer only works for free applications, as you’ll have to verify your payment credentials for paid apps. Beyond that, it’s worked with every app we’ve tried out this morning.
AppBrain and the Fast Web Installer are free downloads from the Android Market. You can find QR codes to install both applications at the Androinica link.