The battle for mobile supremacy is getting more serious by the day, thanks to Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) . Last week, the company announced the winning software applications in its first Android developers contest, all of which are expected to be made available via the new Android Market.
Here's the complete list. A sampling of my favorites:
- GoCart. Uses your phone's camera to scan a bar code and compare prices with local stores and what's available online. Talk about disruptive.
- Life360. A messaging system that combines with your phone's built-in global positioning system to create a lifeline in times of crisis. Think of it as a rudimentary OnStar system.
- Softrace. A social network for workout junkies who like to compete against each other in different physical activities. But, here, the course is the world and the competition unlimited.
- TuneWiki. A media player that synchronizes lyrics with video or audio playback. Also includes a location-based social network that shows top songs by region or GPS location. Can you imagine what Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG ) might pay for that kind of demographic data?
Millions, I'd bet. But every one of these applications has serious potential. Serious enough to make me wonder if Google CEO Eric Schmidt will soon be forced to resign from Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) board.
Think about it. Even if Google doesn't enter the handset design business -- don't laugh, DoubleGoo designs its own servers -- the iPhone and Android are on a collision course. Developers are what's at stake. Much as the hardware makes a handset fun, and the network keeps you connected, it's the software that matters most. Google wants the best software for Android; Apple wants the best software for the App Store.
And they should: It's software that delivers the crack to Research In Motion's (Nasdaq: RIMM ) "CrackBerry." It's software that compelled Palm (Nasdaq: PALM ) to build Treos around Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT ) Windows Mobile. And it's software that will bring this Android to life.
Your move, Mr. Mac.
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