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The App Experience

Jackie Micucci
Thursday, Sep 29, 2011 at 3:00 PM

It’s very important to understand both mobile design and user experience when it comes time to create an app. But it’s also critical to understand the Apple iOS and Google Android application landscape. And while iPhone users may be staunch evangelists, Android has been increasingly gaining ground. Here are some stats from an August Nielsen survey that can provide a little insight:


  • 43 percent of all smartphone owners have an Android device.
  • If you ask only those who got a new smartphone in the past three months what kind of phone they chose, 56 percent have picked an Android.
  • The iPhone is solidly second with 28 percent of all smartphone users (and the same percentage among those who recently got a new device).
  • Android has overtaken the iPhone as the top operating system in the U.S. (38 percent as compared to 29 percent).

All this means is that it’s important to give some love to Android users when it comes time to design an application. With that in mind, Tag takes a look at some popular and well-designed Android applications.


Vignette


So many smartphone users are obsessed with taking photos that have artsy effects and posting them on their Facebook page. Vignette obliges the urge with a solid app that combines all those special effects with a bunch of straight shooting options that'll make having a separate digital camera all but pointless. There are more than 68 different effects, 56 unique frames and a boat load of shooting options such as fixed focus and fast shot.

 

Vignette image


MLB at Bat 2011


Full disclosure: I am a huge baseball fan and this is by far one of the best sports applications on any device (you heard me ESPN). Users can keep up with their favorite team on a cool customizable homescreen and stream live games (if you have an MLB.tv package) as well as listen to all the radio broadcasts (home, away and in Spanish). Other features include highlight videos, news and an up-to-the minute full scoreboard. It’s a must have for any smartphone toting baseball fan.


MLB app image


3G Watchdog


Many mobile providers are moving toward monthly data caps, so 3G Watchdog is designed to protect users from going over their limit. It shows data usage in either the notification window, through the app itself or widget.


3G Watchdog image


MenuPages


I’m from New York, so when I moved to Seattle I was bummed that my MenuPages app was rendered useless. But if you do live in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia (seriously, Philly but no Seattle?), Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C. or South Florida and you like dining out (or ordering in), Menu Pages is an app that adds a whole other dimension that other restaurant apps don’t accomplish. It has the full menus for a huge roster of restaurants, so users can decide if the restaurant they picked is truly right for them before ever leaving the house.


Menu Pages image

TripIt


TripIt is like having your own personal travel assistant. Users forward their travel confirmation emails to TripIt and it will automatically organize it for them. So your itinerary is always right there with you on your trusty smartphone.

 

TripIt image


What are your favorite Android apps? Let us know with your comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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