Apple’s iPhone is currently the most popular smart phone, not only in the US, but also worldwide. This is unlikely to change, as clearly demonstrated by the record sales of both the iPad and the brand new iPhone 4, which sold over 1.7 million units in the first 3 days! Yes, that’s 1,700,000 – a big number, wouldn’t you agree?
But, despite that, there are still competitors to the iOS, which runs on both of the above mentioned devices. There is Windows Mobile (albeit it can be considered dead), Palm WebOS, Blackberry, Windows 7 Phone (has just been released, we’ll see how it’ll do in the future), and most importantly, the Android operating system, which is the second most popular mobile OS in the world, after iOS, of course.
The Android OS is free and open source, unlike iOS, which makes it pretty unique and more desirable for some people. Thanks to that, the devices that are running it are most often cheaper and there are a lot more apps on the marketplace that are completely free.
If you decided that paying $1000 is too much for a new iPhone 4 and decided that you’ll get a Nexus One with the same features but at half the price, you’ll most definitely be happy, but there is one small problem. You see, despite the fact that you will definitely find an alternative to any application you used on the iPhone, sometimes that’s not enough and you want the real deal.
Thankfully, most developers have already started to port their iPhone apps to the Android platform, and soon most of the others will follow. The popularity of Android practically guarantees that. But for now, here is a small list of great iPhone apps that are also available for Android.
This was one of the most popular third party media player for the iPhone, and it has almost instantly become one of the best for the Android OS. TuneWiki allows you to play music and watch videos while looking at lyrics and subtitles. The interface is very nice and the player also has an integrated streaming feature that lets you stream songs through SHOUTCAST.
Shazam is an amazing app for the iPhone and iPad and it’s now become available for Android devices as well. It lets the user identify songs by playing them to the phone’s microphone, either directly from a TV show or radio station or by singing the yourself (the recognition rate in the latter case is of course, lower). You then have the option to store the song artist/title for later reviewing or buy it right then from an online music store.
This app is a pretty useful tool from Bank of America that first appeared for the iPhone. It gives you the possibility to view your accounts balance and find the nearest Bank of America ATM or banking center using your phone’s GPS and Google Maps or any other maps application. I used to view my balance and transfer money on the move using a browser, which was quite uncomfortable because of the small screen and non-optimized Bank of America site pages.
MyLite is the best flashlight apps, hands down. It was first released for the iPhone (for the 1st generation, I think) and has since evolved quite a lot. It now includes the usual white screen flashlight and also a strobe, emergency, tripping, Police, Fire Truck, Caution Flare, SOS and Traffic Light functions. You can also fully customize and modify any of the colors and the way they appear, which can be useful for your own, custom alarms or other purposes.
PicSay is the best mobile photo editing application for both the iPhone and Android. It has a lot of features that let you quickly and painlessly edit a photo for sending via MMS or email or posting it on a social network like Flickr, Twitter and Facebook. You can edit a picture’s size, crop and rotate it, apply various effects and layers, type some text on any photo and do other useful things. The only other tool that can rival PicSay is Photoshop.com Mobile, another photo editing tool for Android and iPhone, but even that one has less features.
This is one of the best puzzle games ever created for the iPhone and now, the Android OS. It is like an improved version of Tetris, only it features rolling orbs instead of falling blocks. The graphics and controls quality is perfect, and you can play it over and over again without getting tired of it.
Judging by this year’s explosive rate of new Android apps releases (over 9000 per month and growing!), we can safely assume that most iPhone apps will be available for Android in maximum a year or two. So if you already bought an Android based phone, do not be disappointed if you can’t find your favorite app. Try an alternative, maybe you’ll like it better. If not, just wait a couple of months and you will most probably see a port released for Android.