Google Android developers push location-based apps

Google Android developers push location-based apps

Summary: Location-based apps featured prominently during the first round of judging for Google's Android Developer Challenge

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TOPICS: Mobility
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Expect there to be at least one application incorporating location-based services in the upcoming Android phone.

In accordance with the recent interest around location-based services, a wave of such applications made it through to the first round of judging for Google's new mobile platform, in the Android Developer Challenge.

The search giant received 1,788 submissions that were reviewed by some 100 judges, and last week gave $25,000 (£12,800) apiece to the 50 projects that made it through this first round of judging.

According to Google's Android developer blog, the second round will begin after the second half of the year, when the first handsets built on the platform are expected. Round two will pick the top 20 projects, which will compete for 10 $275,000 awards and 10 $100,000 awards.

Speaking with ZDNet Asia, Huang Liang, one of the competition hopefuls, based in China, said his application, Follow Me, would tag user feedback to points on Google Maps using the device's GPS chip, allowing users to "share location-specific experiences".

Huang said ease of use is most important in ensuring consumer uptake. Pitted against Microsoft Windows Mobile and Symbian devices, which are both popular in China, Android needs to beat them on usability to be accepted, Huang added.

Among the winners of the first round are several applications which mash up photographs and mapping services. Beetaun is "a social network around geographical content", according to its developers. BreadCrumbz allows routes to be mapped based on photographs.

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Another two winning applications use location-based services to track people. According to its developers, "Commandro shows where your friends really are and what they're doing at the moment". LifeAware helps parents track children.

According to Google, a second Android Developer Challenge is expected later this year, and those who didn't make it through this first round will be able to resubmit their entries.

Analyst house Gartner in February of this year predicted that the mainstream adoption of location-based services will happen between two and five years from now.

Topic: Mobility

Victoria Ho

About Victoria Ho

Victoria Ho is a tech journalist based in Singapore, whose writing has appeared in publications such as ZDNet, TechCrunch, and The Business Times. When she's not obsessing about IT, you can find her tinkering with music and daydreaming about which guitar to buy next.

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  • Do we really need so many location based services?

    Recently I browsed around about the location-based services (LBS).

    A more detailed explanation of LBS for mobiles can be found by
    http://to.swang.googlepages.com/
    http://to.swang.googlepages.com/lbs

    Most people believe it would be the next big thing or killer app. Quite a few others have different opinion. e.g.,

    http://www.smallsurfaces.com/2008/06/do-we-need-lbs/
    http://www.lewebmobile.com/2008/06/do-humans-really-need-location-based.html

    Here I can possibly present one opinion from the consumer/end-user perspective, which I have posted in some other places too.

    Do we need LBS so badly?

    Before I really go to the details. Let me give a review of one simple concept and theory here, which are called
    Elibom