Android apps brought to you by big brands

Apr 26, 2010
Tech

Big brands have recognized the power of social media marketing, and that’s extended to the mobile realm as well.  iPhone apps for some of the most recognized brands such as Starbucks (Priceless Picks) have created a direct channel for communication between the company and its customers. Recent launches of mobile apps on other platforms have extended the […]

Big brands have recognized the power of social media marketing, and that’s extended to the mobile realm as well.  iPhone apps for some of the most recognized brands such as Starbucks (Priceless Pickshave created a direct channel for communication between the company and its customers.

Recent launches of mobile apps on other platforms have extended the reach of big brands, with more and more moving to Android devices as part of their overall branding efforts. 

Utilities

Progressive’s new Android app took a jab at Geico, who’s recent mobile push didn’t include an Android app.  While you can receive quotes from competitors on Progressive’s free Android app, existing customers can also file claims, complete with photos and GPS locales of accidents.

Bank of America is one of the few financial institutions with a secure and official presence in the Android Market.  The free Android app offers access to your bank account for paying bills and transferring funds. You can also receive balance updates, and search for bank and ATM locations based on GPS.

Shopping & entertainment

Amazon was an early adopter of the Android platform, teaming up with Google to become a default app on most devices. With an Amazon storefront and mp3 shop, this brand retains its image as a technology-driven tool to save consumers time and money. Both Amazon apps are free.

Online shopping website eBay was a little later to the Android market, but it’s looking to recapture the real-time excitement of auction bidding and treasure-hunting.  The free Android app has voice search and alerts, but its improved search tool is how eBay is really looking to provide value to its customers.

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Not too many entertainment brands have mobile apps at all, so it’s nice to see a dedicated Android app for the Discovery Channel.  View videos from shows, add them to your favorites or share them across your phone’s other social media apps. The free Android app offers access to photos and news, show info and schedules. All that’s missing are alerts for upcoming shows.

DirecTV may be a more encompassing entertainment Android app, but it proves the potential of mobile devices as tools for direct consumer access.  The app, which is free for customers, lets you schedule your DVR, view show details, and order movies. Associated apps like NFL Superfan deliver premium DirecTV content straight to your phone.

One brand that transcends shopping and entertainment is Oprah, who recently launched mobile apps across all the major platforms.  The $1.99 Oprah Mobile Android app leaves a little to be desired, but the future potential for accessing the aggregate of all her content is evident. See show clips, read magazine articles, search for local show times and tune into her radio station.

The whole kit & caboodle

Facebook has been good about offering native apps across the major platforms, though its free Android app could use some work. As Facebook  makes swift moves to make the entire web social, however, much of that will affect the mobile industry as well.   Making its brand accessible anytime, anywhere, will strengthen Facebook’s presence and consumer interaction.

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Sears2Go is primarily for retail shoppers, but its utility as a time-saver is a great way to combine its brand with a mobile app’s capabilities. Search for products, purchase them directly through the free Android app, or arrange for in-store pick up. With associated apps for Kmart shopping and a personal shopper tool, Sears’ branding is on the right track.

As AOL is seeking multiple ways in which to stabilize and grow its brand, the company has launched a handful of free apps for Android.  AOL Lifestream, for instance, combines your social networking activity, with search filters to dig through your friends’ posted content.

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