Posts Tagged ‘Android Market’

Three things that I hate about Android #fail

Let me preface this by saying that there is a lot to like about Android and that the smartphones being powered by the Google-led OS are going to get better and better. I’m especially excited by the UI customization that HTC and Motorola, for example, have been developing on top of Android, testament to the mobile OS’s overall potential and, of course, openness.

(I’m expecting a loan of the social networking savvy HTC Hero later today, thanks to UK carrier Orange. A full review of the Hero should follow shortly.)

However, having lived with the Vodafone HTC Magic for a few months now, there are a few things that really bug me about the standard version of Android. Yes, this is going to be a bit of rant.

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10 best apps currently running on my Android phone (HTC Magic)

I’ve only owned an Android OS-based phone for a few weeks – the HTC Magic (see my review) – but even in this relatively short amount of time I’ve been hitting Google’s mobile app store, the Android Market, pretty hard in search for the best and most useful third party apps the platform has to offer. Overall, I’ve found that Android has a lot going for it in terms of third-party apps – the catalog is growing daily – but compared to the iPhone the apps themselves often lack polish and sometimes feel a bit unfinished. Having said that, there are in most cases, based on functionality alone, a comparable app on either platform. Here’s a list of the best 10 third-party apps (in no particular order) currently running on my HTC Magic.

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Review: HTC Magic (Google Ion, T-Mobile myTouch 3G)

htc-magic-bothIt goes by many names. The HTC Magic on Vodafone here in the UK, Google Ion, when handed out as a freebie at the search giant’s developer conference, and the myTouch 3G on T-Mobile in the states. But, whichever way you slice it, the second Android-powered Google phone, manufactured by HTC, is an improvement over the original T-Mobile G1 in almost every way.

Where the original G1 is clunky, in part due to its death-trap of a slide-out keyboard – OK I exaggerate but only slightly – the HTC Magic is relatively slim with subtle curves and a much reduced “chin”, which is a universal complaint of the G1.

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G1's Android Market does a good job of copying the iPhone App Store [video demo]

We already knew that the iPhone’s App Store has been a resounding success. And that’s before Apple began running newspaper ads boasting of 10,000 apps available and 300 million downloads since its launch just five months ago. Part of that success can be attributed to the way in which the iPhone as a platform has galvanized developers, while a second major factor is the simplicity of the App Store itself. For example, don’t underestimate the significance of having the store bundled with the handset, supported by over-the-air downloads. The result is that Apple has popularized the notion of third-party software on a mobile phone like never before — how many people do you know with a smartphone from Nokia, RIM or others, who haven’t installed a single third-party application?

See also: The real surprise of the App Store isn’t number of downloads or revenue

While attracting developers is easier said than done, creating an App Store equivalent, especially in hindsight, should be a no brainer. Having spent nearly a week with the T-Mobile G1 — the so-called GPhone — I’m glad to report that Google has done a good job replicating the iPhone experience with the Android Market.

Check out my video walk through after the jump…

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What's in a name? Google's announces the Android Market, not the Android Store

The choice of name says it all: Android Market, not Android Store.

By design, Google is preparing the equivalent of an open-air marketplace for applications that will run on Android-powered smartphones. Google, which announced the Market late this afternoon through its Android developer blog, believes that developers should have an “open and unobstructed environment to make their content available.”

It’s a stark contrast to Apple’s App Store, where developers must submit applications for approval before release. The process has miffed many developers because their iPhone and iPod touch programs may take days, or weeks, before they show up for sale in the App Store.

Like a market or bazaar, Android developers can show up, set up shop, and sell their wares hassle free. Developers can submit applications to the Market using three steps: register as a merchant, upload and describe the content, and publish it.

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