Review: App Brain App Market

Posted: August 23, 2010 in Apps
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I’m sure a lot of people have heard of this service/app already, but maybe some like me were just too lazy or reluctant to give it a fair chance for whatever reason.  Well I have to say, not only did I take the plunge, but I’m glad I did.  This just saved me countless hours of re-downloading programs to my phone after having to completely flash it with an SBF file last night.  Don’t know what that means? Don’t worry, it has nothing to do with this app or service.  So with that, let’s jump into the world of App Brain and see why this easy to use service is going to be your primary way of downloading apps soon.

One thing the Android OS has been sorely lacking from a giant search company, is any kind of robust search or filtering of its app market.  You would think this would’ve been priority number one with Google, but alas maybe there were hiccups or other more important fundamental hurdles they needed to clear in the OS before worrying about that.  With that, that leaves browsing for apps from your desktop or laptop a not so easy process.  You need to find it online on a website or online search catalog, then still need to go back and search for it on the market. You can usually find a QR code that you can use a barcode scanning program to take you to a download page, but it’s still a little time-consuming and not very fluent.

In steps App Brain.  Initially I shied away from this service for one major reason.  They didn’t offer the ability to sync up previously paid for apps with their system.  So essentially you’d have your paid apps through the native market, and anything you’ve downloaded since you started using App Brain, in App Brain.  Well that has changed (and I’m not exactly sure when as I didn’t revisit the service again until recently.)  You can now sync your entire catalog of apps to your app brain account including free and paid apps, giving you an easily accessible list of any apps you have installed on your phone, from the web.

To further that, the point of App Brain to begin with is to give an online catalog of the Android Market, with the ability to search, filter, categorize, and download to your phone from the web.  So how does it all work for you? Pretty easy, and don’t be put off by the long list of steps, I’m just being thorough.

  • Head to the Android market and search for App Brain (or scan QR code below) and download and install the App Brain Market client.
  • Now open it on your phone and tap Manage My Apps.
  • This will build a list of apps installed on your phone.
  • Once the list is finished, there should be a small message at the top of the screen asking you to sign in.
  • Tap this and sign in with your Gmail username and password.
  • Once your signed in, you’ll be back at your list of apps.
  • Tap the button at the bottom that says sync with AppBrain.
  • Now head to your PC, and go to appbrain.com
  • Click the link to Sign In, in the upper right corner of the page.
  • Again, use your Gmail login and password to login.
  • Once logged in to the website, on the left of the search bar at the top of the page is a link that says “My Apps”, click it.
  • This will take you to a list of the apps you just synced from your phone.
  • Also, if you look on the left, you’ll see the name of the list these apps are associated with (usually called apps on the phone, or apps on my Motorola Droid or whatever phone you have.)
  • To add an app from the web, simply search for it using the web search, and when you find it, click the Install button above the app description.
  • This will add it to your app brain list you were previously viewing on the website with a status of  “Installing.”
  • Once you have all the apps added on the list you want to install, go back to the app on your phone.
  • Again, go to Manage My Applications, and select Sync with AppBrain at the bottom.  This should put a list of any apps you chose to install at the top of the screen.
  • Tap the Perform Installs button at the bottom right of the screen and it will go through and let you download and install each app requested.

This is fully integrated with the Android Market, and also allows you to set up multiple lists on the site (however only one list is synced with your phone, so it’s more for personal organization than being able to load different program sets on your phone.)  I personally like the fact that I can simply sync up my apps from my phone, and if I ever have to wipe or replace my phone, I only need to download one application, App Brain, and then I can easily get all my other applications back.

Note:  One thing I noticed is if you sync with AppBrain right now, and it creates your list called “Apps on my phone” then you have to do a factory reset or replace your phone. When you sync up again it will create a second list automatically instead of tying to your original “apps on my phone” list.  To fix this, simply view your original “Apps on my phone” list, and select all apps with the select all button up top, and choose to move them to your new list via “move to list” button at the top.   It adds an extra step if you need to go through this, but well worth saving the hours it would normally take to go through and manually search for and install each app.

I know this was a big one to take in, but if you give it a try, it will be well worth it!

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Comments
  1. Very energetic blog, I loved that a lot. Will there be
    a part 2?

  2. Hi there, You have done a great job. I will certainly digg it and individually recommend to my friends.
    I’m sure they will be benefited from this site.

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