Coolest Android Apps

By: Mel Joelle


In Android Market, there are tens of thousands of apps. Many of them are very good and serve a purpose, but aren't flashy. Sometimes, you just want to check out an app that uses your device's technology in an interesting way.



One very cool Android app is Google's own sky map. The app integrates several of your phone's features together, including GPS and your device's accelerometer. With the assistance of the GPS, the app detects your location. It then loads a map of the sky for the area. This map includes all of the different stars, planets, constellations and other interesting things there are to observe in the sky at night. When you hold your phone up with the app open, it will use the accelerometer to determine the angle from which you are looking at the sky. The app then rotates the map to match the angle. Thus, Google Sky Map makes it very easy to find things in the night sky. Just point the phone where you're looking, and it will tell you what to look for! The app even features a "time travel" feature. Just input a date and time, and the Sky Map will let you get a preview of the sky that night. This is useful for when certain planets are supposed to be visible.



Another Android app that makes good use of the technology built into your device is called Layar Reality Browser. It works similar to Google Sky Map, by acting as a window to the world using your device's GPS and accelerometer. However, instead of showing objects in the sky, Layar shows things in your city. It can be used to go sightseeing in an unfamiliar city, or find new interesting places in your own area. Different maps can be loaded into Layar, including one that loads corresponding Wikipedia articles. For example, point your phone at the Empire State Building, and Layar will load a tag over it that includes information on it from Wikipedia.



PSX4Droid is yet another app that will impress your friends. As the name suggests, PSX4Droid allows you to play PlayStation games on your phone. You load the app and the game of your choosing, and the phone runs it as though it were a PlayStation. On devices with keyboards, you can use the keyboard to control the game. Otherwise, your device will be limited to using touchscreen controls. Still, PSX4Droid is a testament to how advanced Android devices are in terms of sheer computing power. Similar emulators for old systems such as the Super Nintendo are also available.



There are dozens, if not hundreds of apps that show off Android's capabilities. We didn't even have time in this article to discuss apps like Google Body and Google Voice, both of which you'll want to check out. There are even products available that let you start your car or change your TV's channel using an Android app. Don't be afraid to dream. If you can imagine the potential for an app, it's likely available!

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