The Android Market provides a great way to find, purchase, and download apps on an Android phone. What it doesn’t provide is a good way to find them from the web. While Apple offers a desktop version of the iTunes App Store that you can use to download iPhone apps and sync them to your portable device, Android users pretty much have to do everything on their phones — or rely on a third party web-based app store like Cyrket or AndrodLib.
Now there’s a new player in the third party Android Market space: doubleTwist. The company already offers a solution for syncing media to an Android phone (or pretty much any other portable media device). Now doubleTwist has launched an updated version of its Mac client that includes the ability to search the Android Market for apps and read reviews. The feature will also be available soon in the Windows version of doubleTwist, and you can check out the doubleTwist Android Market app on the web as well.
The problem is, just like the web-based app stores mentioned above, doubleTwist doesn’t actually offer a way to download and sync your apps. Instead, it offers barcodes that you can scan with your phone’s camera (using an app like Barcode Scanner, available in the Android Market) to download an app.
If you’re looking for a solution that lets you use your desktop to find and download Android apps to your phone, the best solution I’ve found so far is AppBrain. This web-based service works in conjunction with an Android app that runs on your phone. Just login to your account and click the apps you want to install in the web version of AppBrain, and when you runt he mobile client and select “Perform all changes,” AppBrain will download and install the apps for you.