Google’s Android Market could become the same kind of must-visit store too, only right now, it’s really just evolving. I counted up 30 applications available on the new T-Mobile G1, a.k.a. the Google phone, which I’ve had the opportunity to play with for a week.
I’ve downloaded most and tried them out. Some are great fun, others don’t work. What I really want to know is what happened to the 1,788 apps that developers around the globe submitted to Google for its million-dollar app contest? (They’re coming, I’m told.)
So, here are my 10-second reviews of several apps:
Comparison shopping: Three apps are available that let users scan in an item’s barcode and search for prices online. Eventually, they all worked. I had the most difficulty with the plain-named ’Barcode Scanner,’ which didn’t scan items at first. My favorite was “ShopSavvy’ (pictured above) because not only did it offer me 16 online retailers with cheaper prices for the “Crash: Mind over Mutant” video game, it offered links to reviews, a wish list and an alerter service if the price fell below a certain figure. Compared Everywhere was also good, giving me five other online offers plus two local store offers for the same game.
Cooking Capsules: I love to eat more than cook, but when I have spare time, I also like to watch other people cook. “Cooking Capsules” offers that, plus the recipe and a shopping list. I also like that the videos have some personality, like one chef winking at the viewer. However, the illustrated images of ingredients aren’t useful to the video. I’d prefer to see the real thing. Right now, there are only six recipes available and they are obscure dishes so Cooking Capsules is not too useful just yet.
iSkoot: This application lets you talk to your Skype friends. But it’s not a way to avoid using cellular minutes. You still get charged for that.
Shazam - Identifies songs that are playing. Of course it recognized Coldplay. But The Boat People from Australia? No luck. I imagine many of these services have difficulties identifying obscure music. Also, I don’t recommend using this while driving. You need to hold up the phone to the music for at least 10 seconds.
Translate: Potentially useful tool to translate between 20 different languages. The one problem: It’s not phonetic so if you’re translating to Chinese, you’ll get Chinese characters but no assistance with pronunciation.
Games: Woot woot! Pac-Man is free. But the game doesn’t make use of the phone’s accelerometer. However, this is one instance where the roll-ball option on the phone comes in handy. A few other games are available, like Balls to the Wall and Bonsai Blast. I’m hoping more games will be added that utilize the phone’s accelerometer.
Past Google Phone posts: