Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the obvious. Take, for example, the various app stores out there. Generally speaking, people are going to hit up the app store for their platform, find what they need and then install it. While it’s nice to have one centralized place to get software for a device, we get conditioned to think that it’s the only place to find software. After all, that’s the point of the app stores — ease of use and one stop shopping. Last night, one of our readers was disappointed with his ARCHOS Internet Tablet because it doesn’t use the Android Market. I’d like to see that get changed in the future, but for now, that’s the way it is. TaxMan wanted to add Pandora to his ARCHOS, but without an app store, he’s out of luck. Or is he?
While ARCHOS offers it’s own place to find Android software, that doesn’t mean other Android software can’t be installed. It is an Android device, right? I tweeted the URL of the Pandora installation for Android over to TaxMan and it worked just fine. He’s now a happy camper. I don’t know what other apps he and the rest of the ARCHOS owners are looking for, but were I in their shoes, I’d be hitting websites for my fave apps to see if they can be downloaded outside of the Market. In checking for a few, I saw direct download links — or the ability to have them emailed to you from the developer — for Documents To Go and Advanced Task Manager to name a few.
Sure there’s going to be a ton of apps that are only in the Android Market, simply because the developer doesn’t want to manage the payment process and because they get far better exposure there. But it’s worth checking, or even asking the developer directly, to see if you can purchase or install an app outside of the Market. Like I alluded to: this is a bit of an obvious (and limited) solution, but sometimes you find those hiding in plain sight.