RealTime IT News

Google Highlights Best Android App Winners

Google has released the winners of its second annual Android Develop Challenge, a contest designed to spur innovative apps for the Android mobile platform. Results were based both on scoring by thousands of Android users and a panel of judges, according to Google (NASDAQ: GOOG).

There were 11 different categories including Best Overall, Productivity/Tools, Entertainment and Education. The three Overall winners – SweetDreams, What the Doodle!? and WaveSecure – fall into a mix of categories described here.

WaveSecure is described as a "complete mobile security solution that protects your device, data and privacy." Features include the ability to track your phone's location and who is using it; lock down your phone remotely; making it worthless to the thief; backup all your data; wipe out your data remotely; and restore it.

SweetDreams lets Android users put their mobile devices to sleep to avoid unwanted late night calls without having to change phone settings. The program also helps you save battery power during inactivity.

WTD!? is a real-time online multiplayer game where one player tries to draw out a given phrase and others try to guess it.

Other notable winners include Speed Forge 3D and Graviturn in the Entertainment category. In Speed Forge 3D, heavy-duty hover vehicles normally used for interplanetary mining are now used in illegal races organized in abandoned factories and dark Marsian alleys. The rock crushing explosives once used by these machines are part of the game.

The other two Productivity/Tools winners were Hoccer and Tasker. Hoccer is an app designed for ad-hoc data exchange. Users can "throw" data through the air using gestures for other mobile users to "catch" without a prior setup or exchange of contact details.

Tasker lets you link any action set (task) to the Contexts (application, time, day, location, event, widget press) where it should run. A description includes examples such as sending an SMS at 3:15 Monday, make per-app settings or locks, map the camera button to a menu, launching a music app when the headphone jack is inserted, time-lapse photos and on-the-fly encryption.

Winners under the Miscellaneous category include Andrometer designed to let you measure the approximate distance from where you are to an object that you can see. Andrometer uses GPS, accelerometer and a geomagnetic sensor. The description notes the app only works outside with a clear view of the sky and that it works best under a distance of 1 KM.