Safely Choosing Android Applications

Possibilities continue to flourish in the Android application arena with more and more applications coming out all the time.

There are now more than 100,000 different applications in the Android application store, known as the Android Market. According to Google, there are more than 180,000 active Android developers who have contributed more than 50,000 applications to the Android Market and new Android applications are being developed on a daily basis.

Much of the software for choosing Android is open source and the operating system is built by a community of developers. Android was developed under Linux and complies with Open Handset Alliance, meaning anyone can develop Android on their hardware. The key to figuring out which application may just be that Android supports GSM/EDGE, CDMA, EV-DO, UMTS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity and manufacturers support includes Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson and others.

With more and more people choosing Android, the market has started to get some really great applications. While there are many awesome free applications in the Android Market, the question of how to make a choice on the applications that will be right for you, remains. One alternative may be considering there are both free and paid applications.

Another option comes from Google which offers a section called User Comments for users to generate comments and ratings. Users can leave short reviews of the applications and it also provides a star rating up to 5 stars in the Android Market.

Earlier this year Google announced its latest update, Android 2.2, which delivers new tools and options for developers and for consumers, Android 2.2 offers new portable hotspot functionality, support for Adobe Flash within the Android browser and improvements to Android Market.

For further information, users can find a link to a developer website from the application page in the Android Market. At the Phandroid website, information such as the number of downloads of various Android applications is available. For example, One Nightstand has 10,000+ downloads; Michigan Wolverines has more than 5,000+ downloads and Dragon Ball has more than 5,000+ downloads.

Some of the top free Android applications downloaded in the Android Market include cab4me, which utilizes Android’s Google Maps to locate not only the user’s location but the location of the nearest cab company. PicSay will liven up the pictures on your mobile phone by enabling the user to add text, graphics and more effects while IMEasy, which is designed for mobile Android users, is an instant messaging based application that comes equipped with handwriting input, video chat and map marking.

Another free Android application, Calorie Counter, works by scanning bar codes with the camera in the phone and then displaying the nutrient content and value of the food item which was just scanned. You can also take advantage of the application to track all of the food that you are eating.

One of the paid Android applications is called MyBackupPro which creates a backup of all your applications, phone call history, contacts, settings, Internet bookmarks, and more. One of the more popular paid Android applications, QuickOffice for Android, opens Microsoft Word and Excel files that you store on the hard disk. The application features table formatting and text wrapping and images.

The red-hot Android market will dominate the worldwide mobile operating system market by 2014 according to one analyst group. The analyst firm predicts open source platforms will continue to dominate more than 60 percent of the market for smartphones in 2014.

Specifically Android-based devices will account for 17.6 percent of all smartphones sold this year and 29.6 percent in 2014. Samsung is expected to launch many new budget Android devices in the second half of 2010 that will drive Android into mass market segments, with other manufacturers such as Sony Ericsson, LG and Motorola following a similar strategy.

Analysts predict communication service providers’ marketing and vendor support for Android-based smartphones will drive the platform to become the second-largest platform, following Symbian, by year-end 2010.