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Google to launch web-based Android Market and Google Music tonight?

Something’s coming. Tonight at 6:00pm (UK time) Google will be extensively showing off Android 3.0 at its Mountain View HQ. Aside from announcing Android 3.0 to the world with much fanfare, rumours have been circulating that Google has a few more aces up its sleeve.

A new-look Android Market is in the works, one which’ll allow you to browse for apps from your desktop. Android and Me quotes an anonymous source who says that the new web-based Market provides an experience “on par with that of the Apple App Store or even better.”

If true this is a seriously big step forwards for Android users; currently you can only browse for and download apps directly on your phone or tablet. Being able to browse, pay for and download apps from your desktop as well would make the process a whole lot easier.

There’ve also been rumours that Google Music will be unveiled tonight alongside this new Market. A mysterious ‘Music sync’ option was spotted on a Nexus S a few weeks back, fuelling rumours of a cloud-based music syncing system.

A story on BusinessWeek reported that Google has “developed a service that will let users upload their music collections to Google’s servers and then synchronize them with any mobile device.”

This sounds a bit like what you can already do with doubleTwist and AirSync. But the BusinessWeek article also says that Google has been working with the four major music labels to acquire licenses. This suggests that a service allowing you to download music is in the works too.

Any platform that can offer a service ‘on par with’ Apple’s App Store is going to have to provide some kind of music offering alongside apps.

We’ve also heard reports of other disturbances in the Force: Engadget has received reports that Android 2.3 phones including their own Nexus S are acting rather strangely. The Android Market is apparently not letting anyone download apps, so it’s possible that Google is in the middle of prepping the Market for the new launch.

Much of what 3.0/Honeycomb has to offer has already been seen on the Motorola Xoom tablet. Google’s release of the Android 3.0 SDK to devs last week also gave us a better idea of what Honeycomb will offer us users.

We’d be very surprised that tonight’s event is just a going over of what we already know. Google will be streaming the event here on YouTube from “10 am PST”, that’s 6 pm our time. We’ll be watching tonight, will you?

Image credit: Flickr user mccheek

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