Is the mobile operating system Android a threat to the iPhones high standing in the marketplace? Not quite, but it could be. The only phones that Android is available on are the G2 Touch, HTC G1, Samsung 7500, HTCMagic and most recently, the HTC Hero (which I bought).It has been gaining popularity slowly, but surely.
Certainly, the volume of Android apps currently available pales in comparison with the iPhone, Android is still an infant. Thats not to say that the apps are not powerful, they are, very much so. And eventually, with the open source nature of Android, and developer support, will produce better and even more powerful apps than the iPhone (thats a little controversial).
In this post you will find 45 Google Android Apps that demonstrate the potential power of Android. And yes, it is the perfect iPhone replacement.
What is Android?
Android was built from the ground-up to enable developers to create compelling mobile applications that take full advantage of all a handset has to offer. It was built to be truly open. sFor example, an application can call upon any of the phone’s core functionality such as making calls, sending text messages, or using the camera, allowing developers to create richer and more cohesive experiences for users. Android is built on the open Linux Kernel. Furthermore, it utilizes a custom virtual machine that was designed to optimize memory and hardware resources in a mobile environment. Android is open source; it can be liberally extended to incorporate new cutting edge technologies as they emerge. The platform will continue to evolve as the developer community works together to build innovative mobile applications.
Andoroid 1.5 Video Demo
The latest version of the Android platform brings new features, improvements, and enhancements to Android-powered phones. View some of these demos below.
At first glance Astrid appears to be a basic Task Manager. It is so much more. Astrid is a very easy to use and feature rich task or tracking system designed specifically to make you more productive with minimal fuss.
Astrid Video Review/Demo
Visual Voicemail Client Video Review/Demo
AndFTP allows you to manage several FTP servers simultaneously, it provides you with both a device file browser and a FTP file browser, it also provides download and upload features with support for easy download resuming. You can use the device menu to rename, delete, copy, set permissions and it can also create folders.
No Signal Alert detects when your phone is in a “dead zone” or with zero bars and immediately sends a customized alert to the user, notifying him or her that the phone currently has no service. The alerts are customized by the user, which means that you get to pick how you want your phone to alert you that there is no phone signal.
Waze is a social mobile application providing free turn-by-turn navigation based on the live conditions of the road.
100% powered by users, the more you drive, the better it gets. Join the community of drivers in your area today and experience the power of Waze for yourself.
Mobile Defense displays real-time location information of a lost or stolen phone on an interactive map. In addition to locating your phone, Mobile Defense offers a robust set of tools to safeguard your privacy and data: Remotely lock and backup, notification of suspicious activity and fraud detection, monitor SIM card changes, proximity alerts, and other unauthorized actions.
Mobile Defense Video Review/Demo
Want more features for your SMS messaging? Then chompSMS is for you, with lots of extra features like chat-style bubbles, contact pictures, quick reply, signatures, heaps of customizations, and more!
You can use chompSMS as a replacement to the built-in Messaging application, and send SMS messages via your mobile carrier as you normally do. Or, if your mobile carrier charges a lot, you can buy credits to send SMS messages via the chompSMS network, which can be much cheaper.
“Enkin” introduces a new handheld navigation concept. It displays location-based content in a unique way that bridges the gap between reality and classic map-like representations. It combines GPS, orientation sensors, 3D graphics, live video, several web services, and a novel user interface into an intuitive and light navigation system for mobile devices.
Enkin Video Review/Demo
Wiggle is an application for Google’s Android OS that allows you to set phone profiles based on the wireless networks in range. You do not need to be connected to a network in order for your profile to be applied, all you have to do is be “in-range”.
Wiggle uses your phone’s Wireless to detect networks in range, as well as networks that you have connected to in the past. When you start the application for the first time, you are presented with a list of “Remembered” networks and “Available” networks. A third option “Connected” will also appear if you are currently connected to any network. “Remembered” networks are those networks that you’ve previously connected to and are currently saved on your phone. “Available” networks are those networks that are currently in range.
Foursquare’s a fun location-based social network that quickly shows you what your friends are doing. It also doubles as a game, where checking into locations earns you different badges and points toward your city’s leader board. Now Google Android users can get into the game, with a gorgeous Android app that makes even the iPhone version of Foursquare look a little shabby.
Layar Reality Browser Video Review/Demo
City Audioguides uses the Android frameworks positioning and other technologies to improve your travelling experiences by delivering audio content relative to your current physical location. Bringing museum-like audioguides to a larger scope.
WordPlayer is a book reader. You can download from amongst thousands of books in seconds or load from your SD card. Its page navigation, bookmarking, and many customizable settings make reading a breeze.
fBook is an Android app that wraps and optimizes the Facebook iPhone website for your Android phone. In addition to the features available from Facebook’s iPhone web app, fBook adds several important new features.
fBook Video Review/Demo
GPS Status is an application which displays the information received from the phone’s GPS receiver. In addition to the basic location information it can extract and display the state and location of each visible GPS satellite which is displayed on a simple sky view. The outer circle represents the horizon while the center corresponds to the zenith right above your head. The little blue arrow represents true north, while red means south.
My Tracks is an application that enables you to record GPS tracks and view live statistics – such as time, speed, distance, and elevation – while hiking, biking, running or participating in other outdoor activities. Once recorded, you can share your tracks, upload them to Google Spreadsheets and visualize them on Google My Maps.
My Tracks Video Review/Demo
With the free edition of PicSay yu can spice up the pictures on your Android mobile by adding word balloons, titles, graphics, and effects like distortion, color correction and highlighting. All in a fun, intuitive, and easy-to-use interface.
Media Androids Apps
Shazam is one of the coolest apps available for your Android phone. With Shazam you can identify music tracks, store them, and buy them; plus you can learn more about the artist and connect to their MySpace page. A must download.
With the Official Last.fm Android App you can choose an artist or genre and Last.fm builds the perfect playlist just for you, fresh every time, featuring your favorites and new discoveries powered by millions of Last.fm users sharing the music they love. You can skip any song and find out about concert dates, too.
TuneWiki Video Review/Demo
imeem is a social music service, enabling music fans to discover, interact and express themselves with music and playlists, and connect with other people based on shared tastes and interests. With the downloadable Android app you can create stations with free streaming music from your favorite artists, stream the music you’ve uploaded, discover new music through recommendations and features, share your favorite songs with friends via email and you can also buy songs from Amazon MP3 with one click. Cool.
AudioManager is a home-screen widget that allows you to get live readings of your current volume levels on your Android phone (similar to your computer’s Volume Mixer). The widget shows the current volume for the following streams: Music and media volumes, as well as controlling alerts, voice, alarms, system and voice call volumes.
Spotify is a digital music service that gives you access to millions of songs. Online the service is free, via your mobile you need to signup for a premium membership. Mind you at $10 a month its not a lot for what you get.
Spotify Video Review/Demo
Social Media and Services Android Apps
With Babbler you can see your newsfeed and your friends’ walls, comment & like wall posts, change your status, write on walls, view friends’ profiles, view events, browse friends’ photo albums and tagged photos, background notifications, background photos/videos uploads, share links from Browser or Youtube and also share photos/videos from the Gallery.
CuTewit comes with choice of two home screen widget. A 4-icon wide widget allows you to scroll through 20 twits right from the home screen. You can also post a quick update right from the widget. A micro widget shows you profile image of latest twit and count of unread twits. It occupies only a single icon space.
Twidroid is an award winning Twitter and identi.ca application for Android. There are two versions available, premium and free. The powerful free version is packed with all the features you would excpect from any Twitter client and is sufficient for any everyday user. The premium version, which is only $5, gives you added features like video-posting and multi account suupport iand is aimed more for the Twitter power user.
Tidroid Video Review/Demo
Pocket Auctions for eBay lets you bid, compare prices, and search active and completed items on eBay all from your mobile phone! View pictures, read item descriptions, check on items you’re bidding on, watching, and selling in My eBay, and receive automatic phone alerts when you are outbid or when your items sell.
iCraigslist was intentionally designed and implemented for iPhone usage, but it works really well and looks really nice in any modern PC browser and Google Android gPhone as well, offering a neater, tidier and more organized new look & feel compared to the original version.
wpToGo is a small application that allows you to publish posts on your WordPress blog. You can upload new posts including the title, content, tags and select multiple categories with multiple wordpress accounts. You can also upload a full size image and thumbnail, customize the thumbnail size and you also have the option to publish instantly or to save it as a draft.
Aloqa is a mobile service that proactively notifies you of interesting places, events, and Facebook friends near you. Instead of having to search, you can just look at your phone and see your favorite hotspots, friends, events of interest, and recommended bargains close by. Whenever You Want. Wherever You Are.
Google Android Apps
With Google Sky Map you can discover and browse the night sky just by pointing your phone to space. Using the phone’s orientation sensors, you can view a star map for your location. Explore planets, stars, constellations, and a hell of a lot more.
Google Sky Map Video Review/Demo
Google Maps on Android uses the built-in GPS to show your location on the map. And if GPS reading is temporarily unavailable, My Location shows your approximate location on the map. So you can always find where you are.
Google Maps Video Review/Demo
Places Directory allows you to browse nearby places in categories like Restaurants, Movie Theaters, Hotels and Banks. You’ll see distance and directions to the destination, and if you tap on the listing, you will receive ratings and photos. You can also call the business or view its location on Google Maps.
Places Directory Video Review/Demo
You can start searching by voice with just the touch of a button. On the home screen search widget, look for the microphone button right next to the search box and the search button. Press that button, wait for the “Speak now” prompt, and then say your query. You’ll soon see search results formatted for the Android browser.
Google Voice Search Video Review/Demo
Internet and RSS Android Apps
If in the off chance you don’t like the minimal functionality of the web browser (Chrome) that is packaged with Android, you might like to try Opera Mini. Opera Mini is the closest fully functional desktop-like web browser that you can find.
This fully functional Android RSS reader was originally created as a way to learn the new Android platforms SDK. Its simplicity and minimal features are what I loved about this app, sometimes you just want the headlines and not an overblown feature heavy app that takes an eternity to set up.
Get the latest news to your phone with the OpenIntents News Reader. Subscribe to popular feeds or add your favorite blogs RSS feeds and you will always be up-to-date with its automatic updating. You can also read the feeds offline.
Android app developers, Rounded Labs, have recently released five small individual, but very useful apps. They are ringer, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, brightness and GPS toggle widgets. I have found that these are the apps that I use the most frequently.