What the Ever Expanding Android Market Needs

The Android Market, Android’s apps store, is finally featuring applications that are able to compete with and rival those of Apple’s. Like most newborn app stores, the Android Market was weak and tiny during its infancy, but has blossomed into a a full-fledged adolescent with many helpful, entertaining, and polished applications.

Although the Android Market is now rocking well over 50,000 apps, there are a few things that need to be improved with future releases. As moaned by many others, an “update all” feature is desperately needed. I am daily inundated with update requests as developers release improvements to their apps. Rather than having the ability to push one button and update all of my applications, I must go through the time consuming process of updating each app individually.

Greater ability to sort applications is also needed. Many of the “Top Apps” that appear in the Android Market are the same top applications that have been there for the past six months. I would like to see the ability to sort by total number of downloads and user rating. A feature that allows for the sorting applications is one way that the best apps may rise to the top and be found by consumers.

Another feature that is soon to arrive is one that benefits all Android users and frees up internal smartphone memory. To date, Android apps are only able to be installed onto your smartphone’s internal memory. The problem with this is that most smartphones have fairly limited storage available when compared to the larger SD memory cards that are used to store pictures, documents, and other personal information. There are third party apps that now allow users to install programs onto SD cards, but native support is missing. This is an issue that should be fixed with Google’s upcoming release of Android 2.2, Froyo.

After being an Android user since November of 2009, I’ve had time to play with numerous apps. Just this weekend was I hit with the notice that my smartphone’s internal memory was becoming full. Below are a few apps that have stood the test of time on my smartphone, a few excellent newcomers, a few apps that have been put on notice, and a couple apps that I decided to delete. These apps highlight the power and growth Android has experienced in the past few months.

Productivity & Entertainment

1. Runstar: Great tool to track runs. Polished and helpful.
2. Dropbox: Sync and access files across multiple platforms.
3. Layar: Very cool 3D/Augmented Reality tool. Still pretty novelty but fun to play around with.
4. Tapatalk: Excellent forum client. Search for an access you favorite Internet forums.
5. Robot View: Quite possibly the coolest Android app on my phone.Take pics to make 3D panoramas. Check out the video below to learn more about this app.

Games
1. Basket Ball Lite: Simple, easy basketball shooting/physics game.
2.
Hockey Nations (HN Shootout): Great 3D shoot out game. Cool graphics and usable controls.
3.
idemolished: Like to blow stuff up? Place dynamite to see buildings come crashing down.
4.
WordUp!: Fun word search styled game.
5.
Papa Stacker: Fun 2D physics game.

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Recently Deleted
1. Camera Magic: A limited camera enhancement app with burst mode.
2.
Armor Strike: Physics game where you attempt to bomb other targets.
3.
Sketch Online (beta): Think Pictionary but on your smartphone.

Apps On Notice
1. Photoshop Mobile: Back up photos online and basic editing tools.
2.
Pic Paint: Draw and create pictures to share on your smartphone.
3.
Trap: A fun game but desperately needs update to support high resolution displays.

How would you change the Android App Market, and what are your must-have apps?
  

Comments

  1. appdev34953 says

    Just read about Android updating the Droid site. Honestly, I never use them for apps as there are better marketplaces out there like RawApps. Even AppBrain is okay (very sloppy tho) in comparison to the actual Android market. Very sad!

  2. Strodtbeck says

    productivity apps are lacking on mobile devices especially as we move to tablets/slates/pads, they are generally just to crippled. The OS that makes it possible to run full blown apps on a tablet will be a killer. . . that’s saying, an OS designed for the tablet ;)

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