Judging by the results of Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG ) second annual Android developer contest, The Big G badly wants the robot to help coders create business software. Here's a look at the three overall winners:
- SweetDreams. This app with the cuddly name automatically configures handsets to conserve power and shut down unneeded services when idle at night. It'll also stop inbound calls from arriving at obscene hours. On a business rating scale of 1-5, I give this one a modest 2.5, because I can see the utility for business travelers jumping across multiple time zones.
- What the Doodle!? This one's a multiplayer game, pitched as if it were Android's version of Pictionary. "One player tries to draw out a given phrase and others try to guess it," reads Google's description. Obviously a zero on my made-up business rating scale.
- WaveSecure. What's the most important business app you can load onto a smartphone? The one that protects your data. WaveSecure combines the features of a data storage and retrieval system with that of a LoJack, a combo that I rate five stars for business use.
I'm guessing that Google's endorsement will add weight to these software programs among Android owners, but whether they download them or not isn't really the point. Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) iPhone is gaining traction as a business device, thanks in part to software from Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL ) and salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM ) .
Research In Motion's (Nasdaq: RIMM ) BlackBerry, meanwhile, is already an established leader among businesses, and Palm (Nasdaq: PALM ) and Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) want a bigger share of the pie. Android may be winning converts, but, as Google surely realizes, more business software development is needed to win this arms race.
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