Google has announced the 50 applications that have won the first round of the Android Developer Challenge.
ReadWriteWeb have listed their favourite 12 here. Chris Andreson commented on one application, Enkin, which wasn’t mentioned by ReadWriteWeb, who have been contacted by Google personally.
Here are 10 that I’ve found most interesting (in no particular order):
Beetaun is a social network based around geographical content created by people and for people (from your neighborhood, from your city, from your country, from all over the world). By Sergey Gritsyuk and Dmitri Shipilov.
City Slikkers is a Pervasive Game (alternatively Location Based Game) which takes place in the real-existing city. It is designed to connect a large number of players through-out the world and change the way the surroundings are seen. The central idea behind the concept is to give people the opportunity to symbolically interfere with the everyday urban environment and come into contact with previously unknown people.
GolfPlay’s objective is to give support to all the real time necessities of a golf player during a game, using GPS location and an online querying site where it is possible to access to their game statistics, tournament creation and a social network to exchange impressions with other users about the sport that links them: golf.
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.
Demo video here.
With Eco2Go you can Reduce your carbon footprint. Eco2go finds and suggests public transit alternatives for your trips – right on your phone.
Inspire others with your stories, join the eco2go network to build a global community around sustainable living – you’re not alone!
Offset your footprint. Eco2go calculates the carbon output of your trips and lets you offset it with carbon credits as you go.
PedNav™ is an application that helps you plan your activities efficiently when moving around and interacting with an urban environment. Based on the information you provide, and on the schedules of venues and transportation, PedNav creates a personalized “itinerary”: a time-orderly list of events for the day, specifying when to go where, and how to get there.
Pocket Journey is a mobile application that connects your location to the voices of a global community of artists, historians, architects, musician, comedians, and others so you can quickly know everything about anywhere.
Wikitude.org takes advantage of geographical information contained in Wikipedia articles. There are about 350.000 Wikipedia Places Of Interest (PIs) to download, split up in many categories and more than 10.000 POI files.
Automatic barcode recognition using onboard phone camera using ZXing library
Shows CD, DVD, or book cover along with detailed reviews from Amazon.com
Searches over a dozen stores, both online and brick+mortar
– Highlights brick+mortar stores that are nearby, with option to call the store or get directions
– Links to online storefronts to buy online from the phone
Tracklisting for CDs, along with option to play sample tracks right on phone
For books, searches local libraries to see if they have a copy
Video Demo here.
A biometric authentication system for Android. This application features iris recognition and can act as a password safe and provide single sign-on for other Android apps. Jose Luis Huertas Fernandez.
Google Android vs. Apple iPhone
These are all Android applications and I think there’s a couple of reasons why.
The iPhone SDK is currently stifling development:
– The iPhone SDK doesn’t (currently) allow applications to run in the background.
– The iPhone SDK doesn’t (currently) let applications talk to each other.
– The iPhone (currently) has no GPS.
The above examples highlight two things:
– How important GPS and location context will be.
– How important it is to have applications running in the background.
I’ll have a follow up post on why the iPhone doesn’t allow applications to run in the background and the complexity of the situation.
Mobile applications vs. Branded utilities
These examples show just how quickly mobile application development is moving. It will be interesting to see how brands get involved in marketing and partnering with some of these developments in order to ‘own’ these new spaces currently being developed.
I don’t think there’s a way for digital agencies to compete in bringing similar products to market for their clients within the budget and at the speed a smaller development team can unless something radically changes in the way in which they finance such projects.
If anyone knows of any other mobile applications worth mentioning, please leave a comment.
Google Android has promised to ship before the end of the year with T-Mobile and Sprint already lined up to offer carrier packages.