1. Computing

What You’ll Find in the Google Android Market

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BreadCrumbz

BreadCrumbz helps you navigate using visual images.

BreadCrumbz

Your Google Android-based smartphone comes with plenty of software loaded on it. But that doesn’t mean you won’t want to add more. All Google Android phones—including the T-Mobile G1—come with access to the Android Market, where you can browse through available software apps and download them directly to your phone.

Cocktail:

If you’re interested in whipping up a few drinks, this application will allow you to play professional bartender. You can browse through drink recipes, or you can list the ingredients you have available, and Cocktail is supposed to tell you which drinks you can make. I found it a bit buggy, but fun to browse.

The Market is Android’s answer to Apple’s App Store, which offers the same feature to iPhone users. The Android Market is still in its infancy, though, so its selection can’t yet rival that of the App Store. (I counted about 40 applications available in there at launch; the good news is that most—if not all—of them were free.) Still, you can find some applications that are quite fun, and some others that may even help you make the world a better place.

Here are just a few of the applications you can find in the Android Market.

PAC-MAN:

This game looks remarkably like the old PAC-MAN arcade games of the 1980s—and, yes, that’s a good thing. You use the G1’s trackball to guide your Pac Man around the game board, gobbling up pellets while staying away from the little goblins trying to track you down. The trackball can’t replace a joystick for ease of movement, but it’s not a bad alternative.

BreadCrumbz:

This application helps you find your way through pictures instead of maps. You can snap pictures with the G1’s camera to create a visual set of directions. You can share your routes with friends or the entire BreadCrumbz community, and can access their shared routes as well.

iSkoot for Skype:

If you use Skype—the handy computer-based calling service—you’ll appreciate iSkoot for Skype. This application allows you to take your Skype account, including all of your contacts, with you on your mobile phone. You can use it to chat via text or make voice calls. All calls are made over the phone’s radio, so it doesn’t require a Wi-Fi connection—but it could use up your voice minutes.

Locale:

You can determine when and where your phone rings with this handy application. It allows you to set up profiles for certain locations (which the G1 will track with its built-in GPS) and times of day. You can tell your phone to ring freely when you’re in your house—or you can choose to have the calls forwarded to your home phone instead. Or you could have your phone set to vibrate when you’re in your office. Now you never have to worry about your ringer going off in church ever again.

Ecorio:

Use your Google phone to help make the planet a little greener. That’s the idea behind Ecorio, an application that takes advantage of the G1’s built-in GPS capabilities. You enter some information about yourself, such as whether you drive a car or take public transportation. Ecorio then tracks your movements (if you allow it to do so), and it calculates your carbon footprint and the cost to offset it.

Maverick:

This application lets you use Google Talk to chat with your Google or iChat contacts (or other Maverick users) in a neat little interface. You can see who’s online and who’s not, and you can also use it to easily access your Gmail inbox (if the direct links to your Gmail account on the G1’s home page aren’t enough for you). Maverick also allows you to publish content to blogs hosted by Blogger.
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