Google's Android mobile operating system isn't as popular as the iPhone, but its application marketplace is wide open and one service tracking Android apps reports that there are now more than ten thousand available. Below are my five favorite Android apps so far, along with QR codes you can scan (I'm using the BarCode Scanner app) to find them immediately in the marketplace.
Android is Google's operating system for mobile phones.
QR Codes are two-dimensional matrix bar codes scannable by mobile phone and other devices.
Augmented Reality is a class of software that displays data on top of a view of the real world.
An easy way to share links to your favorite Android apps would be really nice, something like Appsfire offers on the iPhone (our review). In this case we'll just publish the 2D QR codes for each of these apps. If you download the first one on the list, BarCode Scanner, then you can just hold your phone up to your screen and you'll be sent to the App Marketplace page for whichever app you point at.
This free app scans barcodes and QR codes. It works quite quickly and well. Book ISBN codes will call up Google Books search options, including the option to do a full text search inside the book or read reviews. That's pretty fabulous; I've always fantasized about being able to do a "control-F" on paper books I'm reading. This just might be that kind of experience. Having seen QR codes start appearing in more and more places - this app feels like it opens up a whole new world of fast, easy mobile browsing.
It's not easy to find a good Twitter app on Android. There are a lot of very light-weight ones. TwitterRide appears to be the most stable and easy on the eyes. It does the basics but doesn't support search. So far I think I like it best, though.
Dizzler Music on Demand
Dizzler lets you listen to a whole lot of songs streaming off the web, for free. You can search by artist or song and it seems to work quite well. Playlist syncing is coming soon, the developer says.
Someone in comments said this was like Spotify lite, but it actually looks a lot like Seeqpod (R.I.P.).
Wikitude Augmented Reality browser lets you view geo-located Wikipedia entries and user-generated map markup from Wikitude.me. You can view these Points of Interest as overlays on top of your camera view of the world around you, as points on a map or in a list. It's awesome. These are the early days of Augmented Reality: software makers need to fine-tune the user experience, users need to learn just how we want to use these technologies and GPS and map makers need to get a whole lot more precise in the the data they offer.The
That said, Wikitude is pretty fabulous. I spent on hour last night adding Points of Interest in Portland, Oregon (where I live) and I think it's well worth it for other people to do the same. It's really easy and as soon as you've added them, those points will show up on peoples' phones running Wikitude.
Layar is a Wikitude competitor and is better known. It's more flashy and commercially oriented, but it's a must-see as well. Yelp reviews, Google Local Search, Trulia real estate, Wikipedia and many other sets of data can be placed on top of the Layar Augmented Reality browser. It's got a ways to go until it becomes useful for mainstream users - but readers here are geeks and you don't want to be left behind on AR. Give it a shot and you'll be impressed.