October 31, 2014

8 Android Apps I Want From Google

If anybody knows Android, it’s the Google team. And if anyone is capable of putting out an app that takes advantage of the platform, it’s the Mountain View guys. After recently releasing a pair of great applications in Scoreboard and Picasa, I started to think about some other Google properties that I’d like to see show up on Android. Here are 8 that I came up with. These are by no means, the only apps I’d want. I’m quite sure you guys can think of some of your own too.

Some of these applications could work as standalone widgets or could be enhanced with one. Keep in mind, I’m not a developer, nor do I know what it takes to bring one of these to light. For all I know, some of these might already be in the works. Most of these could run automatically based on your Google username and password, so information should be readily available without logging into a webpage.

AdSense/AdWords
I’d like to see a widget for AdSense if for nothing else, to see live earnings. It’s not like I am getting rich off of it, but it would a lot easier for me to look at a widget than to pull up the internet and head to a bookmarked page. Until T-Mobile gets 3G in the Cleveland market, logging into AdSense is a pain. It would also be convenient to see how certain adds were performing and see what kind of clicks I’m getting.

Feedburner
Like most sites today, we offer RSS feeds to AndroidGuys. It’s nice to be able to gauge growth and interest in our work so Feedburner is a tool that I use. It would be convenient to get daily stats for things like popular articles, subscribers, and other usage. I’m hoping that if/when Adobe flash gets Android support, we see some great AIR stuff. I’ve played with an Adobe AIR app for Analytics on my desktop and absolutely love it. I’m crossing my fingers for a Feedburner app along the same lines.

Analytics
There’s not a lot to say here as I already touched on it above, but there are some handy stats that I’d like to have closer to me at all times. What web admin doesn’t want to know how certain articles are performing or where the inbound links are coming from? I can’t imagine this working too well as a widget due to the abundance of information available, but a nice clean native app would be welcome in my book.

Google Talk
Of course, I already know about the IM app that comes loaded with Android and that Google Talk is in there. What I’m talking about is a more fuller realized app that offers things like file transfer and video chat. Naturally, video chat has to wait for devices with front side cameras, but they shouldn’t be too far off. After seeing some of the things coming from CES last week, I’m optimistic that at some point this year, we’ll see something that offers one.

Blogger
Our site started out hosted as a free Blogger page, so the service always holds a special place in my heart. In fact, I still use a Blogger page for our podcasts. It offers a no-hassle set up and updates with new features all the time. I really like the WordPress for iPhone app and hope to see it translate to Android at some point. Google has to be working on something similar to this for Android as well. A native app that allows for quick posts, picture uploads, and links would be ideal.

Google Reader
This is probably one of the apps I’d like to see first. As part of my duties here at AndroidGuys, I have to scour RSS feeds all day. Sometimes I am at my desktop, but most of my day is away. I’d to to be able to log in and check my feeds and skip past the stuff I’ve seen. With most RSS readers, I’m forced to look at the same articles, marked as new, each time I access them at different locations. An Android Reader app would be an immense help to me, I’m sure, a lot of you.

Notebook
Throughout my day, I stumble across little things I’d like to read later or share with you guys. It could be a picture, an article, or some video I found. Notebook would be incredibly useful to me in this regard. If I find something in my RSS feeds that I’d like to go back to once I get to the office, I could pull up the notebook I keep. It would the virtual equivolent of having a pad and paper.

GrandCentral
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could quickly access all of your voice mails and recorded conversations directly from your phone? You already use it to make and receive those calls anyhow. Why do we have to go to a PC with Flash to access the messages and/or insert them into websites? Yes, I know I can listen to them over the phone, but there’s no benefit visually.  Nobody wants to go through their archived stuff blindly.  A nice app that has quick buttons and options would be a great tool for those who use GrandCentral.

Like I said above, I’m not a developer.  I don’t know what goes into the making of some of these apps.  I’ve seen some recent stuff show up in the market from other developers that gives me hope.  I know that the Google Mobile team is not the same group of people who work on Android so they have to treat it like any other OS.