Google’s Android Market is one of the new kids on the block, so it can be forgiven for only having about 5,000 apps and another 1,000 games available.
The list of Android apps is a mixed bag. The store does allow users to search for applications and it is fairly easy to scroll through to find the app you want. All the applications are broken up into a variety of categories such as communication, finance, productivity, and reference applications. The categories are fairly generic and the store could use a little bit of an overhaul in this regard.
Being a fairly new mobile OS that’s only supported on a couple of HTC phones thus far, quality apps are few and far between – with this being especially true for Canadian users – Canadian developers are not yet able to offer priced applications. Everything you see is free. While frugal Android Market users might be happy to hear this, many quality apps and games will be absent.
RECEIPT FILER LITE
Developer: CamFiler LLC
Receipt Filer Lite is well suited to business travelers who have trouble keeping track of their receipts. Instead of stuffing corporate receipts in your wallet, this app allows you to keep track of your expenses electronically.
Users can take a picture of their receipts, enter the purchase price and store information.
And if you’re outside Canada, you could also grab the paid version, Receipt Filer Gold, for US$3, which allows for import and export of your pictures and data, which means you really wouldn’t have to worry about losing your receipts.
Developer: Quirk Consulting Inc.
As you might suspect, Quote Pro is an app that delivers streaming stock quotes to your phone. The app is integrated with Yahoo’s Finance pages and includes a stock symbol search, constantly updated news feeds, and the ability to check advanced stock details and charts.
The latest version also allows you to keep track of multiple portfolios and flip through them as needed. Anything you can do on Yahoo’s Finance site appears to be available here.
The presentation looks great and the app ran quite smoothly, which gives it the upper hand on Google’s Finance app.
Developer: Evan Charlton
Mileage aims to track your vehicle’s fuel history, displaying data on how much you paid for gas and the distance you travelled between fill-up times.
The tool was created by a software engineering student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, who promised to keep the app free for download.
Despite being developed in the U.S., users will be able to track and display results in litres and kilometres. The app also offers a variety of graphical chart options for uses who want to get deep into the numbers when tracking their fuel use and costs.
Developer: Kurt Radwanski
Some might call it useless, but I spent way more time than I should have playing around with this app. Basically, it does what it says and transforms your Android phone into an actual metal detecting device. I downloaded the tool thinking it was going to be some kind of gag, but it actually works fairly well.
While it does have trouble detecting some objects, such as ones with aluminum in them, nearly everything else I tried it with was detected without a hitch.
The developer apparently used the magnetic compass built-into HTC G1 to create the tool. If anything you’ll want this app for the same reason its description made me click on it. It “turns your cell phone into a metal detector, and makes people with iPhones jealous.”
Waste of Time
BATTERY PERCENTAGE TRIAL
Developer: Seize Command
The selling point of this useless app is that it puts the battery percentage of your phone into your Android status bar. Without the app, the developers assume you will be confused as to whether that flashing red battery sign actually means that your phone is running out of power.
The Android phone I used did give a notification when there was 10 per cent battery life left, which I felt was an accurate enough indicator. But if you must get one of these battery percentage widgets, let it be known that this one isn’t the most useful. While it accurately displays the battery percentage as advertised, it also drains your battery in the process.
Any noticeable battery drain is unacceptable and I definitely saw that with this app. The trial version available in Canada only gives you five days with the widget. If you lived elsewhere, you would be able to waste US$1 on the app.