May 29, 2009
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Yesterday, Google announced the winners of the Android Developer Challenge I, a contest that awarded cash prizes to the most innovative and promising applications designed for the upcoming mobile OS, Android. The ten top teams received $275,000 and 10 other teams received $100,000. The ADC Gallery lists all the winners as well as the finalists. Although Google has already named their winners, we decided to browse through the gallery to find the apps that we're most excited to use. Some of the apps, like for example, cab4me, may have been declared a winner, but we know not everyone lives in a major metropolitan area where hailing a taxi is a part of everyday life। Instead, we picked out some apps that have more universal appeal। They are as follows:
The App That Backs Up Our Contacts: PhoneBook 2.0
An app that backs up your contacts for you to a remote server can give you piece of mind in case your phone is ever lost or stolen। However, the app isn't just a backup tool. PhoneBook 2.0 combines mobile social networking with your address book to let you share your mood, location, and photos with your friends.
The App That Keeps Us From Getting Lost: BreadCrumbz
Sure, sure, the phone has Google Maps, but BreadCrumbz is even better। Instead of getting directions, you get picture-based routes so you know to turn at that huge oak tree or the building with the blue awning. Your friends can make routes for you and record them with the camera and GPS.
There are not one, but two, apps that basically do the same thing: compare prices and save us money। Using the camera, you can "scan" the barcode of an item by snapping a picture. The app will then comparison shop for you. You can read online reviews and even create price alerts if the price drops. CompareEverywhere also lets you use the GPS to find nearby stores and then call them directly.
The App That Lets Us Store Files in the Cloud: Teradesk e-Storage
This one wasn't a grand prize winner, but looks like a handy app to have around। With Teradesk, you can store files in the cloud with file transfers that allow for pause control, resume, and full recovery of broken transfers. You can share files with friends via Bluetooth and MMS and the app even integrates with Google Docs.
The App That Keeps Us Informed: Life360
There were several of these "alerting" apps, but only one that won the grand prize। Life360 is an app that sends you messages from your family and local community. You can be alerted to a danger in the community (rabid dog on the loose!), but you can also just receive messages from family, too (mom's running late today). This is a personalized alert system that displays only the messages you need to hear.
The App That Lets Us IM And Blog: Maverick
No Google phone would be complete without an app that lets us use GoogleTalk to IM our friends। Maverick lets you exchange messages, location, and multimedia content in the form of audio clips, photos and scribbles (drawings created on the mobile phone) with other Maverick clients, Gtalk users, or iChat users. You can also use the app to publish content to Blogger.
Another case of having two great apps - this time, for music। TuneWiki won the grand prize with their social music maps that displays audio, video, and lyrics. You can also use the GPS to see what other people are playing nearby in real-time. Although only a finalist, Diggin looks interesting, too. This app lets you listen to thousands of streaming radio stations and downloads the album art for what you're listening to automatically.
The App That Lets Us Whiteboard With Colleagues: ShareYourBoard
Did your co-worker miss the meeting? Now you can get them up to speed with ShareYourBoard। Designed specifically to capture and enhance whiteboard images with edge detection, geometry transformations and image enhancement, ShareYourBoard takes great pics in any angle, any lighting, and with any type of whiteboard or markers used.
The App That Tells Our Phone How To Behave: Locale
Maybe you shouldn't have those rockin' ringtones turned on at the office...and perhaps that wallpaper is a bit inappropriate, too। Instead of having to adjust your profiles yourself, you can use an app that knows how to do so automatically. Using Android's built-in GPS, Locale will let you set up "Situations" (like At Work, At Home, In a Meeting, etc) which you can have automatically triggered by setting conditions like location (via the GPS), time, or other conditions which you add. The app can then adjust your ringtone, wallpaper, and other settings automatically.
The App That Scans Our Eyeball and Saves Our Passwords: BioWallet
Honestly we wouldn't care what this app did, but it happens to be a "safe wallet" that stores sensitive information (passwords, certificates, documents, conversations, notes, pictures, etc.). The info can only be accessed through iris or handwritten signature based authentication. Oh come on! It does retina scanning! We didn't get an Android phone to play space monkey games, now did we? This one delivers pure geek cred.
May 18, 2009
Buyers guides providing up-to-date information on the latest products and technologies. Each buyers guide contains comprehensive impartial advice for consumers. Read our guides to help your decision making and to ensure you choose the best product to meet your needs. Individual guides are thoroughly researched and written by an independent expert. The mobile phone revolution looks to be unstoppable. The chunky house bricks of the 1980s have been replaced with lightweight, slim handsets incorporating the latest in communication technology allied to a strong sense of fashion. Prices of handsets range from nothing to several hundreds of pounds - a range caused by the eagerness of the network owners to entice us on to their expensively acquired airspace। As a result of this competition, it is now perfectly possible to find yourself being given the latest phone, combining voice, data, camera and video in a handset sometimes considerably smaller than your hand "absolutely free". To avoid being dazzled by such offers you will need to keep your wits about you in the maze of features available. This guide will give you everything you need to know about the features that really make a difference. And we will give you some helpful advice on how to navigate the tariff jungle.
What you need to know when choosing a Mobile Phone... With the number of mobile phones on the market and the variety of tariffs, features and extras on each, picking the right phone can be something of a nightmare. To simplify matters we have identified three types of user and outlined the type of phone that might suit them best.
Making and taking calls
If that is all you want to do then any basic handset will suffice. You will be able to make calls, access voicemail, and send text messages. But even on the simplest phones there is more on offer, including games, the chance to download ring tones and some additional services. There will also be a calculator, calendar, address book, and alarm clock. And even with all this functionality the handset will still be smaller than you might think. With a pay-as-you-go tariff you can guarantee that you will never have any nasty surprises with the bill, (though it will limit the choice of handsets) and while full access to the mobile internet may not be available you will definitely be able to stay in touch।
Phones Plus - exploiting तेच्नोलोगिएस
More and more technologies are converging in phone handsets to give the savvy user the chance to communicate with more than just speech. Mobile phones that include digital cameras are becoming the norm. The ability to take a picture and send it to a similarly-equipped friend is an increasingly common phenomenon. Picture quality will be limited by the resolution, most camera phones use only 2.0 megapixels rather than the 8-10 megapixels now common in digital cameras, but they do work and convenience seems to be outweighing quality. You will also find full-colour screens to facilitate game-playing and to display WAP information (web pages redesigned for the small screen size of the phone). And most phones will now take video clips which can be sent via multimedia messaging. Colour flip screens for viewing digital images are also common and are a big benefit for the dedicated games player. Also available are phones with built-in radios and/or MP3 players for listening to music. To get a feature-laden phone for free you will need to be on a monthly contract tariff.
The office in your pocket
For the truly mobile worker the ability to connect to all of the tools back at the office is a major plus. Now available on an increasing number of handsets, operating systems like Symbian and Smartphone turn a phone into something closer to a laptop computer providing connections to data through browsers, e-mail clients and other custom-built applications. The long-promised third generation (3G) phones have arrived and although take-up is not quite as quick as that desired by major manufacturers, network coverage permitting, full mobile internet access to reach your e-mail, video phone calls, and video services like TV and sporting clips delivered straight to you are now all possible. All this comes at a cost, of course, with charges for the amount of data transferred or specific content prices being the norm; and even now network coverage in the UK, for example, is limited largely to urban areas. But things are moving fast and where 3G does not work it reverts to 2G - so you may find it worth investing in the near future right now. The number of features on phones of this type mean that the connections between it and your PDA, laptop or desktop computer become important as you try to co-ordinate your activities.