Google has finally launched an official Android Market web store to allow users to buy and install applications directly from the internet.

Market.Android.com is already live, featuring the full-range of applications available from the Android Market on a well-designed new website.

Android owners will be able to download apps from the web store directly to their phone. without connecting to their PC, just by signing into their Google account.

"No wires, no synching with computers, none of that sort of nonsense," said Android engineering director for cloud computing Chris Yerga at the launch in San Francisco. "Everything just works seamlessly syncing between the two."

On a par with iTunes

The new store answers the prayers of many Android owners who have been hoping for an iTunes-like web presence for apps since the platform's launch.

The new site features a page specific to each app, serving up screenshots, preview videos, user ratings and related apps.

There's also familiar tabs like top paid, top free and featured on the new site which is sure to make the best Android apps more visible to those considering a switch to Google's platform.

The timing of the launch might be due to the incoming threat from Amazon's planned foray into the app sector with an independent Android App Store.

More Market movements

Other updates include the long-overdue ditching of the one currency system. It will allow users to get a clearer impression of what they're paying for their apps, while offering developers to set different prices for different international markets.

In-app purchases are also on their way to the platform, meaning that developers will be able to offer upgrades, products and services from within the application without leaving to conduct business via the web browser.

The launch of the new web store came at the Android 3.0 Honeycomb press event in San Francisco this evening.