Android is an operating system or an OS, that is owned by Google, a consumer favorite, and used to operate phones. It’s every other phone service’s answer to Apple’s operating system and the ever popular iPhone. Google has an agreement with Verizon to enable new Verizon phones to run on this network but Verizon is not the only phone company to use this operating system. Sprint also uses Android in conjunction with its Now Network and T-moblie as well as AT&T have phones out that are using this system, too. Kyocera is coming out with a phone on the Adroid operating system next year.
As with many other operating systems, whether on phones or on computers, one of the must-haves for the system is the ability to play games. Since Android is the answer to the iPhone, the ability to use applications, or apps, is very important. Apps can be anything from something very useful in a person’s every day life – like the ability to turn the phone into a giant alarm clock to something that is played with just for fun – like the Android application Mahjong Solitare, which is in 3-D and is a calming puzzle game that is a classic computer game. Due to the great difference in types; there is a very large selection of applications. Listed below are some of the best according to users of the Android operating system.
Breadcrumbz seems to be a favorite and people who are better at understanding visual directions than written ones will love this application. Breadcrumbz gives the user picture-based routes when they input directions. Much like Google Maps, only in pictures. An example of this in use would be the application telling the user to turn left at the big maple tree instead of saying “turn left from I-16 onto I-95”. The application also has a fun and interesting feature which allows friends of the users to make routes and record them for the user with the built in camera and GPS system.
ShopSavvy is another very useful Android application, much like Breadcrumbz only for an entirely different reason. It allows the user to take a picture of the bar code of an item who’s price they would like to compare to the price of that same item at a different store. ShopSavvy gives the best prices online as well as nearby stores. The application also tells which store has the cheapest price and, if it is local, where it is in relation to where the consumer is. Two other applications that do basically the same thing are CompareEverywhere and GoCart, though GoCart does not have the GPS that CompareEverywhere and ShopSavvy share.
IM with Android
For those who love to IM, also known as instant message, it is important to know what applications will allow for this type of action. Hi AIM is a fairly straight-forward and basic client for Android which supports the AIM buddy list and smileys. Meebo IM is essentially a one-stop shop for any instant messaging service both online and, apparently, on the Android interface. Not only will it allow a user to sign into clients like AIM, MSN, Yahoo, MySpace IM, Google Talk, Jabber, and ICQ but it automatically saves the chat history and allows it to be accessed anywhere as long as the user has an account with Meebo.
Social Networking on Android
Likewise, for those who Twitter, the Android application Twidroid was the first fully functioning Twitter client application. It features photo posting, location support, auto-completion, and a notification system of twitter buzz from the user’s Twitter feed. Similarly, Myspace Mobile allows users to keep up with what is happening on the popular social network Myspace. With this application, the user would be able to browse Myspace as if they were sitting at a computer. Opposite of Myspace is Facebook and the free application Fbabble allows the user to keep up with status messages and the going-ons of friends off of Facebook. In addition to this, the application allows the user to upload photos, change status messages, and chat in real time.
The Android operating system isn’t just known for its usefulness, there are many games which allow a user to escape into a no doubt far more interesting activity. One of these games happens to be Robot Defense, which is essentially a tower defense game involving robots. A tower defense game gives the user a set amount of lives and then the user is placed up against an enemy after being weapons in this case, a gun tower, a rocket tower, and a slowing tower. The user then sets up these weapons strategically in such a way as to allow the fewest lives to be lost throughout the game. Tower defense games, in general, can be time consuming but ultimately rewarding.
A popular computer game known as Bejeweled made the switch to the Android OS and has proven as popular on a cellphone as it is on a computer. In Bejeweled, the Blitz mode of which is a very popular game on Facebook, one is given a “box” full of gems and is asked to place them either vertically or horizontally in groups of three or more with extra items being given if they are able to get the gems in rows of four or five. The only complaint about Bejeweled that one can really make is that it is not a free application.
Cooking Capsules is a game that can be both fun and practical, making it a wonderful combination application for the Android operating system interface. After watching a short video, usually under three minutes long, the user may then shop for the products that they will need to make their dish. Then the user will be able to make their dish with step-by-step directions. It can be particularly useful when making dinner as it gives the user the exact amount of each item that they would need depending on serving size and then the application gives very precise directions, which makes fixing dinner easier on the busy people of today.