And we're back, Android Market appears to be well populated again

Summary:The day before I received my black G1 (DO NOT BUY the brown one because you won't be able to see the keyboard in most lighting conditions) Google took the Android Market offline for maintenance to make sure things were up and running for the full retail launch. Applications then slowly started trickling back onto the Android Market and now there are 47 applications and 15 games currently available to download and install for free. All the ones I wrote about using on my evaluation device are back up after the Video Player finally appeared overnight. You can also load up applications found online and I think we will soon see these on the Android Market too. I also discovered a few new applications that have now become part of my daily usage and have some favorites already.

And we're back, Android Market appears to be well populated again
The day before I received my black G1 (DO NOT BUY the brown one because you won't be able to see the keyboard in most lighting conditions) Google took the Android Market offline for maintenance to make sure things were up and running for the full retail launch. Applications then slowly started trickling back onto the Android Market and now there are 47 applications and 15 games currently available to download and install for free. All the ones I wrote about using on my evaluation device are back up after the Video Player finally appeared overnight. You can also load up applications found online and I think we will soon see these on the Android Market too. I also discovered a few new applications that have now become part of my daily usage and have some favorites already.

imeem Mobile: I have to admit I skipped over this application after reading quickly through the description because I thought you had to have an account with a service and then it just played selected content. I then tried it and discovered it is like Pandora for the G1 and is now my FAVORITE application. I listened to music with it all the way to work on the train this morning and so far find it to be an excellent application. It even plays extremely well with an EDGE connection because it buffers the music far in advance on the server (or something like that) so it never skips a beat. With my new JAVOedge 11 pin to 3.5mm adapter and my Ultimate Ears headphones I am rocking with the G1.

Video Player: There should be a video player included on the G1, but thankfully Jeff Hamilton provided one for free that just reappeared on the Android Market. It supports MPEG4 or 3GPP with H.264 or H.263 encoding and MP3, AAC, and AMR audio. Your video needs to be 480x352 or smaller to play properly and the ones I tested played flawlessly. Let's hope support for more codecs is coming as well.

The Weather Channel: There are a couple weather applications on the G1 and I like The Weather Channel one that gives me quick access to my current weather, hourly weather forecast, 36 hour forecast, and 10-day forecast. With the Menu key you can even view a video of your current weather conditions so there appears to be a built-in video player with the application. A very cool radar map overlayed on a Google Map is also available in the application.

T-Mobile HotSpot locator: With the G1 data plan you get WiFi access at T-Mobile HotSpots for free with your account. When I first launched the utility and was walking in Seattle it showed me locations back home 45 miles away. I then turned on the GPS receiver and it gave me localized locations so it looks to default to your mobile phone number without the GPS receiver turned on. Did you also know you can tap and hold on an address, even if it doesn't look like a hyperlink, and open it up in Google Maps? Google Maps integration is very good throughout the OS.

Plusmo Pro and College Football: Even though my team is one of the worst, if not the worst, team in the NFL this year I still enjoy using these two football applications for following the latest action and reading the latest news.

Bonsai Blast: This is my favorite game so far and has some great animations and sound effects that looks wonderful on the G1 display. It is quite addicting too and tough to put down.

mem: This game was called Android Says before, but maybe there were some legal naming issues. It still plays the same and is pretty basic, but enjoyable. There are no themes available for it yet.

Pac-Man: Pac-Man is quite fun using the trackball and has all of the cut scenes you remember from the good old days. The accelerometer controls are pretty useless since you have to hold the device almost vertical to start at center and then move it from this orientation. You can give it a try, but I think you will find the trackball to be much more functions.

I know this device is supposed to be a phone first, but it would still be great to see more quality games available for the G1. Maybe the highest quality games are waiting for the payment system to be in place. As I said before, I also look forward to an Office compatible application and an Exchange syncing application (we may not ever see this though). I am a bit surprised there are not 10 tip calculators like there were when the iPhone App Store launched and would actually like to see a good calculator soon.

UPDATE: I also just read on ReadWriteWeb that there are two other mobile software retailers who have Android applications available, Handango and Mobihand. There look to be several commercial applications at these stores too. For now, I'll stick with the Android Market on my G1 since I am able to work with what is available right now. If a few key applications appear elsewhere then I may hop over to buy them, but think that T-Mobile should focus on the Android Market to keep a consistent experience for the end user.

Topics: Hardware, Apps, Mobility

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.