Google Maps adds “Places” and other top Android Apps of the Week

Jul 29, 2010
Tech

It was a pretty good week for the Android Market, with several big brands unveiling their shiny new Android apps. Even Google got in on the fun, updating its Maps app with a dedicated “Places” icon. Barnes & Noble also took the plunge, launching Nook for Android, with Time.com and Gilt not far behind. Endless […]

It was a pretty good week for the Android Market, with several big brands unveiling their shiny new Android apps. Even Google got in on the fun, updating its Maps app with a dedicated “Places” icon.

Barnes & Noble also took the plunge, launching Nook for Android, with Time.com and Gilt not far behind.

Endless recommendations

The Google Maps update includes a “Places” icon for specialized information. For example, you can  filter local venues by category (gas stations, attractions). Venue details include menu links, photos and reviews, incorporating more of Google’s search data into Maps. It’s quite elegant to use, with voice search and custom categories.

AOL has recreated its web portal on your Android phone, with its new app aggregating news, mail, Mapquest and search.  Much of the content in the free app is from AOL’s own network, including blogs like Engadget. A second AOL app focusing on financal news is available as well.

Clicker Mobile’s free app has brought its Web TV guide to Android phones. Check in while viewing your favorite programs, see what your friends are watching and get custom playlist recommendations. See shows available on-demand, and stream them right from your phone.

ShareMyApps has gotten a handy update this week, enabling you to share apps via SMS text messaging. The update makes sharing that much easier amongst Android users, as the free app already supports sharing through email and QR code.  Send your friends direct web and Market links for the apps you recommend to them from your own app installs.

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From the publishers

Barnes & Noble has finally launched its anticipated Nook eReader. Already available on the iPhone and iPad, Nook arrived to the Android Market shortly after Amazon and Borders. The free app lets you search, purchase and download ebooks. A lending feature lets you loan and borrow ebooks to (and from) other users, for limited periods of time. Time.com has also landed in the Android Market, presenting award-winning photos, articles and videos from its popular publication.  Mark items as favorites, set a home screen widget for quick access, and share items with friends via email, Facebook or Twitter.

The BBC announced plans for an Android app, following closely behind the publication’s iPhone and BlackBerry apps.  As another major news provider, the BBC’s widespread move to the mobile platform is a sign of the times.  The app will be an effective and consumer-centric means of distributing BBC content.

Saving time and money

Groupon is now delivering group discounts to your mobile phone, letting you buy into deals and receive coupons anytime, anywhere.  Free, the Android app has mobile alerts for the daily deals, and the ability search for businesses that may have bargains for you. Access your Groupon purchases from the app for in-store redemption.

Gilt’s free Android app is a welcome perk for anyone addicted to their daily fashion retail fix. Get mobile alerts for upcoming and current sales, and make purchases directly via the app. Invite friends by sharing the app’s QR code, and be the first “in line” with Gilt’s “Sales Clock” widget on your home screen.

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SwiftKey launched only last week, but the app has seen 100,000 downloads already.  Anticipation around the keyboard alternative’s Android launch was high, and the consumer response has encouraged SwiftKey to offer an update already. The update is mostly bug fixes, so now is a good time for thumb warriors to try out the free app.

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