Nearly a quarter of mobile phone users (in the United States, I assume) are the owners of smart phones, according to a recent report from Nielsen. Of those, 9% are owners of phones running the Android operating system. Small potatoes, you might think, but this is a 2% increase over the previous quarter, with expectations of continued growth.
If you recently bought a smart phone, chances are you bought one running Android. If not, why are you reading this article? All kidding aside, the trend towards smart phone purchases for consumers not on the AT&T network has been towards Android phones, and until Apple begins selling the iPhone through other networks, I expect to see more Android phones on the market.
One of the first things I hear from my iPhone-toting friends is that they have more apps available to them than Android users. This is true, for now. In the past couple of years, the number of Android apps has gone from zero to over 70,000, with more released every day. Sounds impressive, right?
Personally, I find it overwhelming to wade through the piles of apps, whether they be from the Android Market or the iTunes Store. Thankfully, we have folks like Mike Hendrickson and Brian Sawyer to cull through the heap and pull out some of the best, as they have done in their new book, Best Android Apps: The Guide for Discriminating Downloaders.
The first chapter of apps are 32 of the “best of the best” apps selected in the 2009 Android Developer Challenge. The rest of the book is broken out into chapters that cover the authors' picks for best business, communication, lifestyle, entertainment, games, utilities/tools, and reference apps, along with a few honorable mentions. For each app, they give a brief synopsis (under 100 words), show some screen shots with helpful hints or tips related to them, indicate the free/pay status (as of the publication deadline), and list the name of the developer.