14 May 2008 - 10:34amAndroid Winners
A list of the 50 winners of the first portion of the Android Challenge has been posted on the Android blog. After reading through the titles, I found a link at the bottom to the Phandriod site where links to many of the winner’s websites or videos have been aggregated. Take a look at them. These people developed some pretty outstanding applications. I looked at several of the 50 that sounded interesting based on the description and I’ve picked a few favorites.
- Commandro – A new take on social networking, Commandro utilizes the Android platform’s location-based services to show you where your friends are and what they’re doing at all times. It makes good use of the Google Maps functionality available on the device and the interface looks very intuitive.
- AndroidScan – This application is really cool. Using the phone’s camera, AndroidScan allows you to take a picture of a barcode that it will then process, giving you a list of places where you can buy it and the price it’s being sold for there. In addition to websites carrying that item (which you can view by clicking a link), the application also searches for nearby stores with that product and, in the case of a book, nearby libraries. One thing I thought was particularly cool is that if the barcode you scanned belongs to a CD, the phone will access the Amazon MP3 store and give you the option to listen to the 30 second previews for each track on the album. The AndroidScan website has a 3 minute video that shows it off pretty well.
- ShapeWriter WritingPad – This application is truly phenomenal. Developed by ShapeWriter Inc., this application facilitates entering text into your touchscreen phone in a way I’ve never even imagined. The best way for you to see what I mean is to just watch the video. This application is really cool.
Now I can see more clearly why our application was not among the top 50. The applications that won had truly innovative ideas that were almost flawlessly implemented. Though I thought (and still think) that our idea was innovative, taking the whole social networking thing from a different angle, we didn’t have the skills or the time to implement it in such a complete way.
Edit (3/9/09): Thought I’d add in some information about our entry to the Contest. Our team consisted of 6 students from Clarkson University (all undergraduates of various class levels) and one professor. We developed an application we call “Digital Lifelines.” Basically, it allows the user to custom create timelines of any type by choosing what fields to include for each entry. These are created by following a simple XML format and then pulling that XML file from the internet for loading into the program. Users add entries at will and then have the ability to browse through all their entries in a timeline-like fashion. Our goal was to develop a web component where users could log on and see their timelines presented in a more visually appealling format, but that feature has yet to come. We do, however, have a website you can visit where the source code will hopefully be posted sometime in the near future (we’ve been neglectful in attending to that).