My Thoughts on Selected Android G1 Application

I’ve been seeing a steady stream of new application from an enthusiastic community of developers. Here are my thumbnail thoughts.  All of the application after the cut are available for free from the Android Marketplace via your G1 phone.

Note Takers: Quick, simply applications for jotting down thoughts as they occur.  AK Notepad (recommended by Cyberduck) is my favorite so far because its clean and simple.  However, I’d love to see the ability to categorize notes, font control and integration with Google Notebook.  The “remind me” feature is nice, but I’d like to see it integrated with Google Calendar.

Shopping: ShopSavvy is exceptionally cool, allowing you to scan bar codes of products with your phone camera then it looks up best prices on the internet as well as in your local area (GPS).  There are holes in the price database though, so caveat emptor. A nice improvement would be to allow users to report back new price data from their locations.

Utilities: AnyCut is a godsend, allowing users to take even the deepest linked application of function and make a shortcut out of it.  Their is an option to create custom shortcut effects, but documentation is hard to come by, so I haven’t found any way to use that function of the program yet.

Network: HotSpot Locator finds nearby, T-Mobile wireless zones.  Very nice when 3G is thin or spotty in your current area.  Might be a nice compliment to those users with mobile laptop HotSpot service for their laptops from T-Mobile.  An EXCELLENT partner to a laptop/phone data tether application which I hope someone is working on.

Navigation: Orienteer is a refreshingly good GUI for the G1’s built-in compass.  It turns the entire face plate into an easily readable, protractor compass.  While it does not require the GPS to use, it can pull additional data from the GPS, if it is enabled.

Security: Password Safe.  A great little encrypted password management application.  Can import/export from other Password Safe databases (like us old Blackberry users). Nothing fancy here, just efficient and secure.

Audio: DroidRecord adds a voice note-taker function to the G1.  Unfortunately, it plays back VERY low on the phone, in fact well below the phone’s volume.  Recorded notes are stored in 3gpp format which is nice for file size, but might be hard for some users to work with.  Also, the files are stored in very unintuitive directories on the SD card.

Information: QuickPedia is a highly optimized browser application for Wikipedia.  I find the formatting even friendlier than the mobile version of Wikipedia. Just the thing for some pocket trivia or quick reference.

Information: The Weather Channel.  Very visually appealing, and easily read weather app.  Add all the locations you want and have your own weather station at your fingertips.

Utilities: Toggle Settings.  Allows you one-click access to several of the most power & data hungry services on the G1, toggle GPS, WiFi and Display/Alert functions right from the Home screen.  My only suggestion would be the option to add custom toggle functions to the application.

Entertainment: TuneWiki.  This replacement to the built in music player is a real jaw dropper.  It looks up lyrics and scrolls them in real time as you listen to your music.  Supports playlists.  It will look up and play music videos for songs.  And even make musical recommendations.  It includes an optional musical social networking option as well.

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