We’ve spent the morning looking at the first batch of Google (GOOG) Android Developer Challenge winners, who competed for cash by developing apps for Google’s new mobile OS. We’ve picked five that we think are especially cool and/or useful.
Android Scan: Scan barcodes on any book or CD when you’re in a store and your phone will pull up Amazon (AMZN) reviews and check local library listings to see if the book is in stock.
Why it’s cool: Google’s been pushing mobile barcode scanning, so they might dig this app, too. We assume the developers have included their Amazon referral code in the app so they get a 5%+ commission on any purchases you make, too.
CookingCapsules: Look up recipes, find a store near you to get groceries, and get step-by-step cooking directions.
Why it’s cool: We’ve brought our laptop out to the kitchen before, running frantically back and forth between the stove and the computer trying to figure out what to do next. It would be much easier to have it in our hands. (Not sure we’d want to risk dropping our expensive phone in boiling pasta water, though.)
Eco2Go: Calculate the carbon footprint you leave every time you take a trip, and buy carbon credits to offset.
Why it’s cool: Cashes in on the “going green” trend in a creative way. But mostly helpful for people in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, or other cities with good public transit. It won’t help some of us, who are relegated to driving almost all of the time.
Locale: Your phone automatically adjusts itself when you’re in certain locations. For example, if you’re at the office, the phone automatically goes on silent, at home, it automatically re-routes calls to your land line.
Why it’s cool: Smart, handy, and convenient. Frankly, something Google should build into their operating system.
TuneWiki: A karaoke application and music player for your phone.
Why it’s cool: This app is already a hit on unlocked iPhones. The Android music player also does a good job apeing Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone music player app.
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