Appbrain 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 company’s 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 don’t have to pull out your phone and tap away at the on-screen keyboard to find what you’re looking for.
Last night AppBrain pushed out an updated mobile client, and I’m tempted to say it’s a complete replacement for the Android Market. It’s 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.
That’s because the Android Market is kind of messy. It offers a few ways to browse: by category, paid, free, or just released apps. And that’s it.
AppBrain’s 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, you’re 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 you’ve found on the AppBrain web site.
ApBrain isn’t the only utility that gives you recommendations. AppAware 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.
You can find more screenshots after the break.