Thursday, October 23, 2008

Android Market Launches

Google’s answer to the App Store, the Android Market, is now open for users of the newly launched G1 phone to download applications.

So far there are 62 uploaded applications that are available, all free of charge. Google is planning to hold off on make paid-for apps available until Q1 2009. At that time application developers will receive a 70% revenue share for paid downloads, with Google aiming to distribute the remaining 30% to carriers and billing partners rather than taking a cut.

In the coming months, Google promises to continue to roll out additional tools and enhancements to Android Market. It is also expected that we'll see additional Android-powered devices rolling out by different carriers around the world.

MediaLets has an interesting blog post with a comparison of Market and the App Store "Android Market vs. iPhone App Store: The First 24 Hours". I'd say so far the numbers look right in line with my expectations. MediaLets guesses there has been anywhere from 206,000 to 770,000 downloads within the first 24 hours of launch. Not a blockbuster number but a respectable one considering the number of apps available.

If you are looking for some suggestions on what apps you should try out on your new G1 TechCrunch has a list of their Top 10 Android Launch Apps:
  1. imeem Mobile: It’s a jukebox in your pocket, and the progressive download means that your song doesn’t skip when you go into an elevator, ’nuff said.
  2. ShopSavvy: From Big in Japan, this turns your phone into a barcode scanner and then gives you price comparisons both online and in nearby retail stores. In my tests, the product database is good for household items, but can stumble with obscure products. But this is a killer app once the product database becomes more comprehensive. (Also try CompareEverywhere, which does the same thing).
  3. Pac-Man: The original arcade game from Namco. Free on the Android (it costs $7.99 on the iPhone). The rollerball is an excellent joystick.
  4. BreadCrumbz: You can leave photo and voice marker breadcrumbz along any route that others can then follow later on. Ties into the phone’s GPS, maps, camera, and microphone.
  5. Wikitude: A travel guide that pulls up information from Wikipedia about nearby locations and puts them on a map, along with photos from Panoramio. Really useful geo-mashup.
  6. Shazam: Put the phone up to a radio or speaker playing a song and Shazam will tell you the name and the artist, just like the iPhone app.
  7. SplashPlay: Teaches you how to play the guitar by playing music and showing a fret board that you can play on the screen in sync with the music. The app is marketing for a similar tutorial device you can buy for your guitar, but it really teaches you how to play.
  8. iSkoot for Skype: Lets you use your Skype account to IM your contacts, make Skype calls over the Internet, and uses the phone for SkypeOut calls (this is one of the apps that was taken down, but should go up again. Update: It’s available now)
  9. MyCloset: This one’s more for the ladies, but a very nicely done app. You take apicture of every article of clothes in your closet, categorize them (top, bottom, shoes, accessories, etc.), select months when they can be worn, and then you can mix and match to plan out your outfits. The only thing it needs is some way to note weather a piece of clothing is clean or not.
  10. Cab4Me Light: A simple app that gives you phone numbers of cab companies based on where you are.
For more information on Android Market checkout the Android Developer Blog.

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