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Android Market Attracts Twitter, Weather Apps

Android G1
With the Android mobile application store now open for business, hot new apps are flooding in from developers -- including the platform's first Twitter client and a mobile weather alert program.

Twidroid is a full-featured Twitter client, launched just as the Android Market opened its doors for developers to register to add their wares to the listings.

The Weather Channel's Android application, which rocketed to the top of Android's most popular software applications shortly after its debut, delivers severe weather alerts based on Android devices' built-in GPS, which it uses to pinpoint users' locations.

The new apps may bode well for Android, the open source smartphone operating system built by Google and the Open Handset Alliance, which is seeking to gain traction in a space dominated by tightly controlled software models. While the T-Mobile G1 handset, built by HTC, is the only smartphone currently built on Android, a number of other handset manufacturers have plans to embrace the operating system.

Key to Android's future success may be its support for mobile software developers, by way of its Android Market. Experts believe mobile software development will be a key differentiator in the competitive smartphone industry going forward.

Their predictions are already being borne out: Apple, for instance, is doing a brisk business with its own iPhone App Store, which last week notched its 200-millionth download. Currently, the four-month-old iPhone App Store has around 5,500 apps. Apple's mobile application store also launched with more than 10 times the applications Android offered through its Market, which debuted with 62 downloads.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Android certainly aren't alone in the downloads space: Research in Motion plans an application store around its BlackBerry, while Microsoft has given hints about a