Late last year, Google announced that it would give $10 million worth in prizes to software development companies to develop innovative and useful applications for their open source mobile Android platform.Â Â
Roughly nine months later, Google has announced the winners, and the applications it has selected help users do everything from calling their nearest taxi cabs to comparing sale prices at different stores to calculating their carbon footprint.
Utilizing Android's Google Maps application, cab4me lets users call a cab to their location with a single click. By using GPS capabilities to locate not only the user's current location, but also the location of the nearest cab company, the application can initiate a call to the cab company with a mere click on the map. The application was developed by Konrad Huebner and Henning Boerger.
Ever get embarrassed at a company meeting when your cell phone unexpectedly goes off? With Locale, you can make sure Â your device knows to switch to vibrate mode the minute you step into your office. With Android's GPS capabilities, Locale adjusts your phone's settings to wherever you're located. Thus, your phone will forward calls to different numbers based on whether you're at work or home, or will send out a status message on Twitter letting people know where you're located. This application was developed by Carter Jernigan, Clare Bayley, Jasper Lin and Christina Wright, with additional contributions from Jennifer Shu.
Essentially a drop-and-drag picture editor for your mobile phone, PicSay lets users spruce up their pictures with color correction, highlighting, word bubbles and distortion effects. It also can be used to create event invitations or holiday greeting cards that can be sent out to friends, family and associates. This application was developed by Eric Wijngaard. Softrace
This application actually lets you set up real, live races with your friends and track their progress in real time while the race is going on. Whether on foot, bicycle or skis, Â Softrace uses Google Maps' location API to track each user's progress, and can Â store statistics of the race onto Android's SQLite database. This application was developed by Staffan Kjellberg and Thomas Kjellberg.
An open source music-based social network, TuneWiki lets users share what they're listening to with each other, or to use Google Maps to find what users around the world are listening to. TuneWiki also plays audio and video for songs while scrolling synchronized lyrics as they play. The application creates a virtual library of songs that hooks up to the Internet and Â suggests similar-sounding songs or artists. This application was developed by TuneWiki, with additional help from Rani Cohen, Chad Kouse, Zach Jobbs, Jared Fleener and Amnon Sarig.
Billing itself as "the mobile application nightlifers have been waiting for," Wertago is a social networking application that lets users coordinate social events with their friends, rate current hotspots and create personalized social networking profiles for users to share their favorite locations. Like many other Android applications, Wertago uses Google Maps API to map out different clubs, restaurants and theaters. This application was developed by Kelvin Cheung, Teresa Ko, Peter Ree, Robert Sarvis and Douglas Yeung.
This is a neighborhood-centric social networking application that keeps users up-to-date with their local communities and families. Life360 users can receive emergency alerts in their neighborhoods and can send notices to everyone in the area. Whether you're holding a backyard neighborhood barbecue or looking for help to find a lost pet, Life360 gives you quick access to your neighbors and your family. This application was developed by Chris Hulls Dilpreet Singh, Luis Carvalho, Phuong Nguyen and Steve Potell.
The goal of GoCart is to help shoppers gather as much information as they need to make smart, informed decisions. Using GPS and Android's built-in camera to scan bar codes, the application will search both the Web and local stores to compare prices of any product. The application also lets you read user reviews of products and can set up price alerts whenever prices go down either in stores or online. This application was designed by Rylan Barnes, with contributions from Noah Labhart and ZXing Developers.
An application destined to warm Al Gore's heart, Ecorio uses Android's GPS capabilities to track a user's carbon footprint while driving in your car. It also gives suggestions for carpooling and public transportation, and lets you invest in carbon reduction projects and purchase carbon credits over their phone. This application was developed by Jeff Kao, Gary Pong, Robert Lam and Taneem Talukdar, with additional contributions from Jason Wong
This application is very similar to GoCart, in that it uses Android's built-in camera to scan barcodes and compare prices for products at different retail outlets. It also lets customers rate products to see how quality and long-lasting they are, and to create shopping lists like Amazon.com. This application was created by Jeffrey Sharkey.
This story, "The 10 best Google Android applications" was originally published by Network World.