) is quickly becoming one of my favorite Android apps. When I first looked at AppBrain a few weeks ago, I pointed out that you could use the companyís web-based stores to find apps for your smartphone and then install a mobile client on your phone to keep synchronize the apps on your device with your web account. This makes finding and downloading apps much simpler since you donít have to pull out your phone and tap away at the on-screen keyboard to find what youíre looking for.
Last night AppBrain pushed out an updated mobile client, and Iím tempted to say itís a complete replacement for the Android Market. Itís not really, since you still actually download the apps from the Android market and AppBrain simply provides links. But it also provides a much better interface for browsing the Android Market.
Thatís because the Android Market is kind of messy. It offers a few ways to browse: by category, paid, free, or just released apps. And thatís it.
AppBrainís updated mobile app offers a ton of additional options, including:
► Recommendations based on your installed apps
► Hot apps downloaded by other users in the last 24 hours or 7 days
► Apps that other users are viewing right now
You can also view apps or games by category. But AppBrain offers more subcategories than the default Android Market app. You can sort results by free or paid apps, new or updated apps, latest apps, or apps that have recently had price drops.
When you actually click on an app, youíre taken to the Android Market to download it. And you can still hit the sync button to keep your AppBrain web account up to date or download apps youíve found on the AppBrain web site.
ApBrain isnít the only utility that gives you recommendations. AppAware (http://www.appaware.org/
) similarly offers recommendations based on what other users are installing right now. It even lets you see what Android users in your geographical area are downloading. But AppBrain comes closer to being a full fledged replacement for the Android Market, plus the web site search and synchronization feature is pretty awesome.
AppBrain is available as a free download from the Android Market. Just search for AppBrain or scan the bar code to the right.