No talk about Android software is complete without some coverage of the Android Market. It quite a trendy idea, started by Apple in its own sheltered way, continued by Android, and to be supported by Microsoft and others (Symbian, Come on down??).
Android’s market makes itself different in the respect that Google claims to take a hands-off approach to managing the market. What they really mean is that they take the approach of upload now, censor later. Contrast this to Apple’s model of making any application wait weeks, or even months for review before it can enter the ‘hallowed grounds’ of the Apple market.
Enough quibbling about the market though, you want to hear about actual applications? I’ve decided to compile a list of the top 5 applications I couldn’t see myself without for Android:
Star Applications for Android
#5. The Weather Channel
Yup, I can’t go without knowing what the weather is like. All it took was that one day where I stepped outside in a short-sleeved shirt while running late for class when it was breezy and below freezing outside. This is a true story actually. It is also true that halfway through this day’s walk to class, it began to snow. I probably should have checked the weather, no?
This is one of those applications that are useful for the information that it brings. The reason I like it so much is because it does so in a clear, concise format (screenshots below).
Hourly Recap of weather
Home Screen of The Weather Channel App
Gmote is my ‘ooh look what I can do with my cell phone!’ application. This application mainly allows you to control your iTunes from your phone. However, new functionalities are being programmed into the phone with each new generation of the program. Some new additions include the ability to stream photos and powerpoint presentations from the computer back to the phone. I forsee this program becoming the bridge between an Android device and the home PC. Until then I shall use it to control my avid music listening habit from across the room from my computer.
Screenshot of Gmote in action.
Before I launch into the review, I have to explain my ties to an application of this sort. I love music. I love Last.fm. So much so, that I joined the website February of 2008 and have been scrobbling an average of 75 tracks a day since then. (Check out my profile here). I personally worked on an Last.fm client for Android as one of my first programming projects for the young platform. This project started well, but the rest of life came knocking, and I ended up having releasing a relatively incomplete application with basic profile and search functionality. This application was quickly overshadowed by the officlal last.fm client, which has quickly become one of my favorite applications for Android.
This application is well done, bringing most of the functionalities of the last.fm website to your phone. Especially enjoyable is the fact that, as you listen to music, you can look up the artists, including touring information, tagging, and other useful tidbits. The interface is intuitive and, best of all, responsive!.
Images courtesy of Wired.com
Tomorrow’s post: Top 2 applications!