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Finding Droid Apps in the Android Market

There are some really fun and interesting applications being developed for the Google Android platform, and specifically for the Verizon Droid smartphone. So, I'd like to be able to link to more information about the apps, and show you some screen shots of the apps in action -- But no ...

On the Droid phone itself, the Android Market application provides a great interface to browse and search the available applications, in different categories, and just the paid or free apps.

And Google is not in the business of being a gatekeeper and judge of applications (in contrast to Apple and its App Store for iPhone), so the Android apps are primarily organized by popularity -- letting the market judge, in the form of user rankings. (The Android Market app does have a separate Verizon category, which appears to be a nice mix of mostly free representative apps in a range of categories.)

To help you evaluate apps, the Android Market listings also include helpful user comments, information about new releases, sample screen shots, and links to other apps from the same developer. (As an additional benefit, since there is no Apple-like approval bureaucracy, developers can respond to user comments and quickly post improved updates -- which the Droid then automatically informs you about in the status bar.)

However all this great information about Android apps apparently is not available for access on the Web. For the iPhone, the Apple Apps for iPhone site lists some featured apps and staff picks, and you can always just launch iTunes to browse the App Store directly on your Mac or PC.

In comparison, Google does have a Android Market highlights site, but it includes only a small selection of Featured apps, plus listings of some 50 to 100 Top Paid and Free apps. And, amazingly for a Google service, there's no search capability. (You can access basic Android Market Help online.)

Instead, you can search online for the developer sites for specific products, or look for sites and articles that discuss interesting Android apps, such as the AndroGeek Top List Of Free Productive Android Apps For Business.

There are also independent sites that accumulate information about Android apps, like AndroLib, which seems to maintain information on Android apps in parallel with the Android Market.

See my full article, Verizon Droid from Motorola: Android 2.0, for more on the Droid's design and features and technical specifications.

See my Mobile Communications Gallery for more on smartphones.

Find the Verizon Droid from Motorola on Amazon.com

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