Android Killer Apps

Android Killer Apps

Since I started this blog I am very proud that Android have pushed through the 100,000 barrier! Not because 100,000 apps are important, no, to the contrary, moreover because now that they have ticked the numbers box and kept shareholders and other people who believe what analysts and other people who have never done what they talk about say happy, they then were able to focus on the quality that should have been the KPI all along and it shows: we now have a post numbers pissing test mature app store called the andorid market, with style guides and most importantly, its own style. The market place is no longer a me too, and it is now no longer just attracting me too apps.

As I have written in the iPhone killer apps section, killer apps are a combo of doing the same cross platforms apps well or better, as well as having unique apps or functionality that others do not have. For a while the iPhone had this as nobody had exposed APIs to the same high selling device, nor sold so many of the same high level device to have this reach. We have this now on Android and it is getting there on HTML5 for many scenarios and so on we go

For now all my android devices have: sonos controller, pulse, spotify, map may ride, G+ obviously and iplayer of course, some others coming in the next few days

Unlike the iPhone section, Andoid has changed so much that I have deleted the archive of old content and starting again, but including some of the apps that were firsts for android in becoming the alternative app store that it is today. Some of these were givens on the iPhone store, others have had to fight for them

Instagram
Instagram could not have come at a better time for Android, with 5 million downloads in the time I have taken to play with and review it. Its also a killer app in many ways, as rather than just a port of an iPhone app, instagram have taken time to make the android app just that: an android app! With a modified menu, screen and process, it can be difficult for people like me who have many devices, but for the majority of users for whom android will be their main phone it will make for a much better experience.
Android experience: not just a port: 5*
In many ways, as a result the android app is a better app. I read in the latest edition of Stuff a for and against iOS, and the person against remarked that iOS is now stale. While I do not share this view 100%, I do get what he means, its still fresh, its still relevant, but some newer devices have some fresher feels to it, like the ability to zoom and select on the image. Whether this is an iOS being stale, or just instagram on iOS having become stale, the android experience is better: i get to the area I want of the image immediately without the usual coaxing that I at least find I need in the iOS app.
The new ability to rotate in Android is great
Additional features have snook in as well, like the ability to rotate the image; nice! I dare say as well, this image was uploaded at the same time on the iPhone as on the android device, and this image in particular, with its strong greens, yellows and reds, looked that little bit more striking on the Sony Ericsson arc AMOLED screen...
Business as usual post process...
In all, instagram has been long awaited on android, its features have been copied into many apps, not least of all pinterest image posting, and thb, should be on every platform as the killer app it is. get it here


Transparent Screen


This is a killer app for those who cannot even walk down the street without texting, updating, chatting or otherwise really need this app. It is also an app for teachers, parents, guardians or anybody needing to deal with children while doing something else. They will be spooked by your double vision, especially with a tablet... I do not advocate cycling, driving or cooking, etc.




Facebook

Why is facebook under killer apps? Well, firstly, you have to understand some of the issues it takes to get a facebook app to market, actually, you probably don't but suffice to say Facebook is up there in terms of priority to have on your store if you are going to have one, however, to do well requires a serious investment of time and money and... patience. Why, well, we can all get a browsing facebook app to market, however, if you want to upload photos, share location, view streams, access contacts, etc, etc it all becomes a lot more difficult. Evidence of this is the fact that apart from being able to upload images, mots of the time the web version of facebook has been better than most native apps for the last 3 years or more. now with HTML5 having audio, video, camera and location in one, the bar has been raised again and we have seen even Apple stand up and take note and update their app in the last few months. A bad Facebook app is another reason to ditch your old device for a shiny new one. No facebook on any mobile service gives you about the same loyalty from your customers as you would get from a cat you tried to put in the washing machine: none. It does not have to be difficult; embedding a link to facebook in your portal or a stub to the app is better than a bad facebook app, believe me, really.

More evidence of how difficult it can be is that the first facebook apps on Android were worse that first beta's I have seen for niche platforms from weird developers, and the Galaxy tab shipped with an app that was not even scaled for the tablet screen... and stayed that way for months....

The new android app for facebook app however: We like, especially like the sort of snub post Apple and Facebook, allegedly, falling out over the latest app and now Android users getting the preferential treatment in terms of new services, as per my "mobile OS choices post". Will add some timeline (yes Android got timeline first) screenshots at some point, in the meantime you have a screenshot with the page of the least publicity shy person I know!

Sonos

Sonos is a key killer app, why? well, if you want to play in the £500 SIM free handset market, you need to have the few apps that the gadget freak your are trying to have, has, and cannot or does not want to use another device for: that is, I do have a number of devices that can access my Sonos, but the one that is in my pocket 50% when i want to listen to some music next to a sonos is the same device I have my primary SIM in. for me, this is all that is missing from the Nokia N9 and possibly also the Nokia 800, 700 and others?

For those non gadget freaks who do not know sonos, it's here and allows you to play the same music or different music in different rooms or people in a party to put what they want on from your complete music library, NAS, spotify, and other online sources.


Pulse

Why Pulse here again, as well as in iPhone. Well it is just great, and it was one of the apps that for me then made the android tablet and android devices that much more attractive, as one of the best ways to consume the info I need on a daily basis. Let me explain first: firstly, when I was young and had the time to source my coffee from Monmouth coffee company, grind it myself and run a full suite of Italian coffee machines, one of the greatest pleasures was, on a rainy day, which happens here in England every now and again, go the the newsagent, get a handful of great car, bike, plane, travel and of course technology magazines, take them home, sit in the window box and consume huge amounts of coffee and information. Now I am lucky to grab a five mins of news feeds and this is where pulse comes in. Feeds are dull, pulse is almost magazine. to boot it saves huge time and data if you have poor coverage where you are (like on a train) or are roaming. Pulse saves time (and money?) and is therefore a real killer app for many...


BBC iPlayer

You may live abroad and be board of UK centric apps, but iPlayer was the first and is still the best UX catch-up for TV there is, and it does not get better than on an amoled big android screen :) the one things still missing is the savability of the early Nokia versions back in the Nokia N95 :(

So why is this a killer app? face it, tablets and big screen phones are part phone, part glorified media player, without key localised and international content its only part product. The iPhone wrapped this up OS-wide first and became the expected, others, such as Nokia did it on a device by device basis: this was a big mistake - you upgraded from an N95 to en E72 to be all business and suddenly, the horror... you cannot access this service from this device...



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