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Use AppBrain to Find and Share Great Android Apps

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At first blush, the easiest way to find apps and get them onto your Android device is via the Android Market, which can be accessed via an app on your phone.  If you want a great way to find apps, and keep track of them, there is another method.  Check out AppBrain, a web service and Android app that lets you keep track of not only the apps that you have installed, but also to see what apps your friends are using.

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From the front page of the AppBrain site, AppBrain looks much like a market of its own.  You can find apps categorized by genre and popularity, and AppBrain even makes recommendations for you.

AppBrain is most useful though, in how it lets you see what apps you have installed on your phone, from the website.  There doesn’t seem to be a corresponding way of using the Android Market to view your installed apps, short of looking on your phone.  To get this to work in AppBrain, you need to fire up the app from your phone, click the “Manage and Sync” icon, and then click the “Sync with AppBrain” button.  Your apps will then appear on your page on the AppBrain site.

Unfortunately, one of AppBrain’s coolest features seems to be gone with the most recent update to the Android Market.  Previously, you could view an app on the AppBrain site, click the “install” button, and the app would be pushed to your phone (so long as you had AppBrain’s Fast Web Install app installed and activated on your phone).  This never worked on Froyo (Android 2.2), but it was a nice bone thrown to Eclair (Android 2.1) users.

AppBrain also helps you to find and share great apps.  You can follow other users so long as they’ve made their app list public, and see what apps they have installed on their phones.  You can allow AppBrain to search your Facebook, Twitter, and Google contacts to find other AppBrain users.

How do you find your apps for your Android device?  Are you using AppBrain?