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Get ready for Android apps mania

Last updated on: March 7, 2011 11:55 IST

Get ready for Android apps mania

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Surajeet Das Gupta in Barcelona

From health tips to free books, Google is set to woo its users with new apps.

The battle between Microsoft and Google in the tablet and mobile space is heating up.

But, if the response to Andriod devices in the biggest technology fair -- the Mobile World Congress 2011 -- is anything to go by, Android seems to be pulling ahead in the race.

Google's chief executive officer Eric Schmidt in his keynote address said Android was seeing 300,000 activations a day.

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Image: Motorola Droid.

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The operating system can run on 170 different devices manufactured by 27 Original Equipment Manufacturers in 69 countries and boasts of over 150,000 applications in its app store.

Whichever way you look at it, these are impressive numbers.

Google stole the show with innovative applications on the Android at the fair.

This, despite the recent Microsoft-Nokia tie-up to use its Windows operating system on smartphones.

The Symbian operating system used by the world's largest mobile handset manufacturer had earlier failed to compete with the Android and iPhone OS.

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Intuitive, intelligent apps

With nearly three per cent of all searches on Google seeking information on health, Schmidt believes the category would lead the growth trajectory.

Android app developers seem to agree -- the launch of wi-fi-enabled weighing machines that calculates your weight, BMI and then transfers the data on your mobile using an app, only adds to the belief.

The app also helps keep health records, suggests remedial measures and even generates diet charts.

Even with the multitude of new Android tablets announced at the MWC, developers seem to be keeping up with the flow of technologically-advanced devices.

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For instance, augmented reality will make an appearance on Android mobile phones with Layar, a browser that uses the phone's camera, shows the image it captures on screen and adds an extra layer of information on it, complete with icons and navigation features.

Android tablets running the latest Android 3.0 Honeycomb mobile platform, can also download the Dolphin browser that will soon be available in the Android market.

Features like built-in social networking and conversion of traditional websites content into digital magazines, make Dolphin a compelling browser for tablet users.

The latter feature is especially useful for those who wish to read multimedia-rich websites in a more simple and clean format.

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Google is also making it easier to access content in its ebookstore.

Users can search its database by genre, buy books or even have them for free.

Books can be viewed on the Web or can be downloaded to smartphones with a free Google Books app.
While e-books for Android may not give Google much of a competitive edge initially, the free books section may encourage the users to buy some books.

For those who like to compare book prices before buying, developers are launching an app where the mobile phone can scan book covers and compare it with the price of the book on sites like Amazon.com, so that the user can choose to pay the best price.



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