The Android Market Webstore is a great way to find applications when you don’t feel like sifting through the Market on your phone, and Google just made it easier to show what applications are compatible with the devices you have. A new section will now appear on an applications landing page that will show you what devices you can download said application to.
Previously, when you attempt to download an application from the Android Market Webstore, devices that are not compatible would be grayed out. Now you don’t have to attempt to download an application to see if it will install on your device, as a small box will tell you on the application’s main page.
Devices can pass as compatible if using a specific ROM or the build.prop file is edited in a way that makes the device look like it is a compatible device. It may not be the most elegant way to go about things, but if you’re hard up for a certain app on a device to work, it may be your only choice.
Even though Ice Cream Sandwich should be the biggest attempt to solve Android’s fragmentation issues it’s still months away, and even then, not all devices will receive the update. Because of this, new features like device compatibility checks are necessary. Luckily, most application run just fine across Android devices, but that’s not always the case. Applications made for devices using NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 processor obviously won’t work on the Droid Eris, and for good reason.
While app developers can choose what devices their applications can be targeted at, the Webstore is a different story. The web-based market shows all available applications for all Android devices, which can become a bit confusing when one tries to download an application only to find out it won’t work.
Whatever way you spin it, we’re glad that Google decided to throw this new feature in.