November 19, 2010 | by Michael Heller
The popular Android Market alternative AppBrain launched v5 of their mobile app today, bringing a slew of new features. First among those features is a double-edged sword, though. Version 5 integrates the Fast Web Installer into the main app as a preference setting, rather than having a separate app. Unfortunately, Google’s newest update of the official Android Market has broken the Fast Web install feature. In response to this, the AppBrain blog says, “Google is pushing out this update to all devices now, so we don’t know how long the fast web installer will still be relevant. (You can uninstall updates of the market to make fast web installer work again, but it seems the update keeps reinstalling automatically).” We’ll have to wait and see if the fast web installer can make a comeback, or if Google has plans to keep it for themselves with today’s promised upgrade of the Market or in Gingerbread.
AppBrain v5 also brings with it a desktop widget. A simple 1×1 widget offering a Fast Sync button and a search button, which is a nice addition. The update also brings the website’s “Related Apps” feature to the mobile app, as well as the option to write your own reviews, search for users, “fresh” recommendations, and Facebook single sign on. Overall, AppBrain is much faster to load up as well.
The Related Apps feature is a very welcome addition, as are the options to write reviews and search for users. However, I still find the recommendations by AppBrain to be pretty useless. AppBrain always recommends the same 20 popular apps regardless of what I install or uninstall. And, when I remove those unwanted apps from the recommendation list, even though there are somewhere around 100,000 apps in the Android Market, the list stays empty.
Overall, a very nice update from a great app. Let’s hope the Fast Web Installer can make a comeback.