Android Market Is On The Fritz (Updated)

Some of the most common complaints about Android are related to Android Market, the official Google storefront through which the vast majority of Android users get their Apps (yes, you can download from other sources, but most people don’t). Most of the problems have revolved around international support (which the Android team has recently improved) but now there’s another issue that’s becoming a problem: downtime.

For the last hour or so I haven’t been able to download apps or updates from Android Market — every time I try I get a “Download Unsuccessful” error. Many other Twitter users are reporting similar problems. Some tweets have suggested that the downtime may be related to the upcoming PayPal support. It’s possible this is only affecting a fraction of Android users — I’ve reached out to Google for comment.

Update, 3:15PM PST: The problems seem to have been resolved for me — we’re asking Google what the issue was and if it’s been fixed.
Update, 5:00PM PST: The Android developer twitter account just tweeted that the issue should be fixed:

Market download issue seems resolved. Problem started around noon PDT, lasted a few hours. Sorry about that.

To be fair, Apple’s App Store isn’t exactly perfect. I’ve personally come across a frustrating error on my iPad a few times that says that my downloads have failed, only to have it work when I try downloading the same app a few minutes later.

But Market is still clearly behind — the UI isn’t as nice looking as the App Store’s, there isn’t support for in-app purchases, and for the most part developers aren’t having as much success getting users to pay for their apps. Fortunately Google has a total Market revamp in the works that was previewed at Google I/O. But it’s unclear how soon this is coming — when I asked Google if it would be part of the upcoming Gingerbread update, they declined to comment.