Tomorrow we’ll get a glimpse of the first ever Android mobile phone, when T-Mobile unveils the HTC Dream. If the device proves to be as smart as we hope it will, Google’s new open source mobile OS could really steal a march on the iPhone. Android is already available to test using the device emulator, and some of the apps around even at this early stage look pretty impressive. Many of the programs produced as part of the Android Developer Challenge have utilised the powerful mapping and location tracking tools inside the OS to stunning effect. Although it’s unclear at this stage whether the HTC Dream will actually go on sale tomorrow, if it does then these should be the first apps you should install:
Opera Mini – Although the browser bundled with Android is OK, the best way to experience the web on your new device will be to install king of the small-screen surfing, Opera Mini. As well as being simple to use and packed with neat features, the application compresses pages via a remote server to give you much quicker page loading speeds.
Locale – Harnessing the GPS technology included in Android, this app switches your phone profiles without you lifting a finger. It can automatically detect whether you are in work, at home, in a meeting, etc. based on your location data. This way, it can switch off inappropriate ringtones or change offensive wallpapers without you even lifting a finger.
TuneWiki – An awesome social media player TuneWiki features synchronized lyrics for audio or video, translation, music maps and a social network. It’s great for organizing your tunes and even better for finding other tracks that you might like thanks to tight integration with YouTube and ‘Top 50’ lists.
PhoneBook 2.0 – One of the best contacts management apps you’ll find on any device, PhoneBook 2.0 links your address book with social networking you to keep track of what your contacts are up to, and even find out exactly where they are via location tracking in Google Maps.
BioWallet – Not only does this app keep your personal data secure, it will also make you feel like James Bond. BioWallet stores sensitive information such as passwords, documents, bank details, etc. and the only way you can retrieve this information is through iris or handwriting-based user authentication, using your Android camera phone.