If you're the type of person that likes to test drive an app before you drop a couple of bucks on it, and also prefer not to play chicken with the fifteen minute return policy that Google offers, then you don't have to look any further than a fairly new site called AppSurfer. Up until very recently the site was limited to smartphone versions of apps but they have just announced tablet app compatibility.
Since it's launch in October the site has logged over 100,000 demo sessions and has registered 4,000-plus developers who want to showcase their wares, including heavy hitters like Rovio. According to co founder Amit Yadav "users can try apps from any device and any platform before making a download decision. AppSurfer helps users to decide faster and decide better … now instead shifting through pile of reviews and screenshots and videos, you can just try five or six apps in a few simple clicks. If you like it, you download it â€” as simple as that."
AppSurfer runs a version of android that translates through the cloud and plays games with HTML5 and flash. Also if you are happy with your trial version of the game or app then there is a direct link to the Google Play Store. Another nice feature for developers is that the version they put on AppSurfer can be embedded into other websites similar to the way we see videos embedded on blogs.
I see AppSurfer as a win win for both consumers and developers. For developers it's a great way to get their product out to the public for free. Additionally the ability to get your app embedded into other sites across the web could really speed up a sort of word of mouth campaign. For consumers it gets you out of Google's fifteen minute return window, which in reality isn't much at all. I'm sure there are people who have paid for a game and then didn't have the chance to even open it before being called away to do something else.
If anything else, for those of you who don't ever purchase games, the site is a great time waster. I'm looking at you "people who work in cube farms". I can't tell you how many hours I used to waste playing flash games back in the day on sites like ESPN or CandyStand when I worked in an office.
So check out AppSurfer, You may find that diamond in the rough game or app you may not have found otherwise.