Handango InHand Takes on the Android Market

For years, Handango and other online software stores have been the best place to go to find the latest and greatest applications for you Nokia and Windows Mobile phones.  You could always find the software you wanted from the developer’s website, but why bother when Handango has almost everything you needed all in one spot.  When Android launched last fall, Handango still served its purpose, since the Android Market was not offering priced apps at the time.  Handango started hosting various apps from developers who chose to distribute through the site.

As we all know, the Android Market has since gotten a little update that now allows developers to charge for their apps on the Android Market.  Apps that were on Handango started appearing on the market almost instantaneously.  Not willing to be left out of the game, Handango has just launched a new app on the Android Market called Handango InHard (essentially it’s a Handango app store app to compete with the Android Market).

When I first saw Handango InHand in the market this morning, I was intrigued.  Even though developers can now feature priced apps on the Android Market, a few developers like EA have not yet ported over all their apps that they feature on Handango’s website.  Upon my initial walkthrough of InHand, things seemed to be well thought out and designed.  Just like the Android Market, InHand features application categories like games, entertainment, tools, recommended, and best sellers.  It even has a five star rating system and application screenshots (I wish the Android market featured screenshots).  But then things got a little dicey.  I noticed that there were several applications that were priced higher on InHand than the market.  When you click to purchase an app, your web browser opens up and directs you to Handango’s mobile site when you will need to finish the transaction.  And if that wasn’t enough, Handango offers a $4.99 protection plan on your app purchase just in case you lose or have to reset your phone.

I think the concept for InHand is very good.  It’s nice to have an alternative to the android Market right at your fingertips.  But Handango should have done a better job of implementing the application so that users can finish their purchase directly through InHand rather than going to Handango’s website.  I’m also hoping that Handango will do away wit their $4.99 optional protection plan on every app purchase.  The Android Market guarantees your app purchases every time.

If you want to get your hands on EA’s Monopoly game for Android, InHand’s the pap for the job.  Let’s just hope they are planning a few updated to their app and service that will bring it more in line to what Android users are already use to.

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