can someone clarify whether users have to be rooted in order to see paid apps or is the Market Hack alone sufficient?
The full Google Marketplace is installed by simply transfering a Market4Archos.apk file over USB or simply downloading it directly from the web to the Archos and opening it on the Archos using the built-in local file browser.
A few clicks and that's it, Google Marketplace works mostly just very fine. There might be a few RAM leakages as bugs in the way the Google Marketplace is currently unofficially hacked, which I expect will be fixed once Marketplace is included officially pre-installed on all Archos devices.
Paid apps did work with some previous firmwares but then they did require root and some further hacking. Now with the latest firmware, somehow, paid apps are supported without rooting and without changing anything to the way Google Marketplace is installed using the unofficial Market4Archos.apk file.
Sorry to hear it was a false alarm and hopefully I'll be able to report the actual official addition of the full market to your devices soon.
I wouldn't say it's totally false alarm. For anyone who can install an unofficial .apk using USB transfer or direct download, the full Marketplace currently is there, and has been available on Archos since around January 21st. Un-rooted paid apps access is good news, so we don't need to pirate the apps off searching Google for "app name .apk" anymore to have access to all those DoggCatcher and other useful paid apps.
For sure though, it will be much better when Google Marketplace is on all Archos devices pre-installed from the factory, fully optimized for the 800x480 4.8" Tablet screen, with filters on apps so installing unsupported apps that require the Camera, electronic compass would be filtered, as well as Apps that are optimized for such higher resolution screen should thus be highlighted (a bit like the iPad version of App Store). In fact, Archos can even display close to 1280x720 resolution Android user interfaces using the HDMI output to a HDTV screen and using a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard for the interfaces there. For example, Google Chrome app developed using Native SDK for Android would be a perfect app which would best work for that Desktop HDMI output and keyboard/mouse configuration and would thus be one of the main apps people would want to install from the Marketplace in that configuration.
I interviewed Eric Schmidt and Andy Rubin about Android certification on Tablets, they indirectly hinted at it coming very soon: http://armdevices.net/2010/02/22/i-inte ... ote-video/
My guess is Android for Tablets, Laptops, E-readers and Set-top-boxes is coming with Froyo and Gingerbread releases. At that point, my guess is that Google will fork Android releases into a few differently customized distributions of Android for each of these different product categories. The Tablet Android release though will likely be the closest one to the "regular" Android for phones release. The difference is basically as subtle as the difference in iphone OS between iphone, ipod touch and ipad. Apple didn't make huge changed to iphone OS to support the ipad, but there are some screen resolution changes and some other tweaks necessary to thus optimize the support for higher resolution screens and different WiFi-only usage, no compulsory camera, faster processor and another few such optimizations.
In anyways, you can be sure Google is not leaving itself out of using Android to compete with the ipad, ipod touch, so we will surely very soon be served with the full official support by Google for the official Marketplace and also a few optimized Google Apps:
- Gmail for higher resolution (like on ipad)
- Google Navigation with full-city offline caching
- Google Voice not needing voice minutes but function using Gizmo VOIP SIP based calling over WiFi
- Further optimizations of WiFi management so connectivity is more optimized and not relied on built-in 3G connectivity, better integration of Bluetooth tethering, Mifi and other indirect and cheaper 3G solutions.
- Android user interface tweaks to use black and white Pixel Qi LCD screens
- Android user interface optimizations for cheaper and larger resistive touch screens
- Plenty more things like that