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View Full Version : The Android Killer App: Does One Exist?

Jason Lee
11-22-2010, 08:00 AM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://daringfireball.net/2010/11/where_are_the_android_killer_apps' target='_blank'>http://daringfireball.net/2010/11/w...oid_killer_apps</a><br /><br /></div><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/adt/auto/1290278369.usr206.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #d2d2bb;" /></p><p>The author brings up a good point, if you can get past him carefully crafting his argument to&nbsp;eliminate&nbsp;everything about Android that makes it far superior to IOS. Once you rule out the OS, any apps directly from&nbsp;Google, and apps that are&nbsp;available&nbsp;on both platforms, what is there to bring an&nbsp;iPhone&nbsp;user over to the Android world? Yeah I know, just bare with me a moment. One thing he&nbsp;conveniently&nbsp;seems to forget is Flash, though I'm sure he'd argue that Flash isn't an app but a plugin so it doesn't count. ;) &nbsp;Besides Flash and anything listed above is there anything that Android can do that the&nbsp;iPhone&nbsp;cannot? And I think more to his point, why are the developers focusing more on IOS than Android?</p><p>I think before this might have been a valid question but now? At the rate Android is growing developers and software companies cannot ignore it. I think that has been the case in the past, however, with a robot army now marching across the world they have to stand up and take notice. Really, when you get down to it what can the&nbsp;iPhone&nbsp;do that Android cannot? The first things that come to mind for me are Netflix and Hulu, two things I would very much like to have on my phone.</p><p>Besides&nbsp;these few differences I think the smartphone world may almost be to the point of the PC world. Apps won't really matter anymore. There isn't much can or can't do on one platform versus the other. At this point the platform itself becomes the choice. What do you guys think? Does Android have a killer app (as&nbsp;defined&nbsp;by the author)? Does it even need one?</p>

Craig Horlacher
11-22-2010, 02:41 PM
Any phone can do apps. My first mobile phone, an old Kyocera with a monochrome screen, had BREW - Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless. It had it's own app store and I could choose from a small selection of free and paid apps. Apps are nothing new! Apple didn't invent them!!!

To me, Android's killer apps are not the apps at all but just basic design elements of the OS. If I had to list 2 killer features that set Android apart, and far ahead, of the competition, it would be the notification bar and the widgets.

Widgets are a huge time saver. Microsoft it trying to show how you can save time with "live tiles" and you can, but Widgets are far more flexible.

The notification bar on Android is awesome! Not only can it show static notifications but it can show things like download progress bars or other dynamic information. It can be used as a launcher for some special apps as well. It's just great to have a notification system that can handle lots of notifications at a time and never gets in the way of what you're doing while always being accessible.

To me, those are the Android killer apps but I think flexibility of the OS as a whole is Android's greatest asset.

Sure it would be great to have Netflix and Hulu on Android. I'm not worried about those. Any smartphone OS can handle any streaming app. It's a matter of drm policies and things which will be worked out. It was the same for the PSP. It took Sony a while to come up with a good way to protect downloaded video content on an open storage device but they eventually came up with a method. Someone will figure this out on Android too.

The Yaz
11-22-2010, 04:43 PM
I think the "killer" apps for Android over iOS are the program launchers. I always loved personalizing my device way back with the PocketPCs and the ability to utilize multiple screens with dedicated widgets to save me from opening features I use constantly are the inherent advantage.

What's more is that the environment allows others to offer launchers that present the device is many different ways. Its something that Apple has never understood. Different people enjoy viewing information in different ways. iOS can't do that, Windows 7 has overdone that, but Android can only be held back by the imagination of the developers.


Jason Lee
11-26-2010, 11:28 PM
I fully agree with you guys. I think the best thing about Android is Android itself. The home screens and lunchers and widgets most of all. I don't know how many of my iphone user friends see some cool widget i'm running and say, "Oh, I wish my phone could do something like that."
Or how the system notifications work. Simple yet amazing.

And most of all freedom. There is a reason I switched to Android from Windows Mobile instead of moving to Windows Phone 7.

11-30-2010, 09:07 PM
How bout a non Google sync solution ? One of the frustrations I had when playing with a Galaxy Tab for a week was no bundled sync solution. I shouldn't have to search for one.

11-30-2010, 09:09 PM
And most of all freedom. There is a reason I switched to Android from Windows Mobile instead of moving to Windows Phone 7.

Freedom as in what ? I keep reading this chant but what does it really mean ?

Jason Lee
11-30-2010, 09:46 PM
Freedom as in what ? I keep reading this chant but what does it really mean ?

For me, it means the freedom to install any programs I choose, not just those allowed into a market. Of course there are some Android devices locked down like this but I also have the freedom to choose not to buy those devices. *cough* AT&T *cough*

It also means the freedom to completely change my user experience to suit my needs/wants and not be forced to use what the OS manufacturer thinks that I need. Though I will admit that I do prefer the stock Android launcher to any other. :)

It means the freedom to flash any custom rom or OS I choose onto my device. Or even just root my device and tweak any little thing I want.

Freedom for me also means choice of what device I want to use and on what carrier when at home or abroad. Why I chose the unlocked nexus one.

I know many of these things can be done when you jail break your iphone and I'm sure the WP7 hacking is on it's way but not everything can be done. And sure I may not even need or want to do half of these things but I have the choice.

That to me is freedom. And that is also why my next phone is going to be a very difficult choice.

Phillip Dyson
12-01-2010, 11:03 PM
I agree with some other.
The notification bar and widgets are superior to both iOS and WP7.

Chris Hordley
01-29-2011, 06:15 PM
At present you can't get Swype keyboard on Apple and when we put Galaxy Tab against iPad, Swype did it for me. I' ve got the beta version on my Desire. Agree with most of above about Android strengths.