June 9, 2010 | by Ed Clark
As promised, here is the second installment in Androinica’s “There’s an [Android] app for that” series, in which I present one of the many iPhone commercials that you have seen on TV, identify what apps are being shown in the ad (along with pricing for each app), and match them up with corresponding Android apps.
On one hand, the task is fairly easy because the Android Market is growing so rapidly. If you look at Androlib’s chart of the “Accumulated number of Application and Games in the Market,” you’ll see a stunning 70,000+ apps available for Android. Androidzoom has a different way of categorizing things, and if you tally up all of the apps there today you will get a total of 45,220. Of course, iPhone’s App Store is way ahead, with somewhere around 200,000 iPhone apps. These incredible numbers are also what makes this task difficult.
Both stores are so huge that it’s hard to search for an app and pick out what you want. And despite Apple’s obscure application “vetting system,” both stores are full of junk. Business Insider recently wrote about Apple’s need to fix its “App Store Spam Problem,” and many of us have written about the presence of similar junk apps on the Android Market. For these reasons, I am very grateful for sites like Androidzoom and Appbrain. If you haven’t used them, you should: they may change how you search for apps. As far as I know, there are no equivalents for Apple’s App Store.
iPhone Ad #2: “Dog Lover”
Today’s iPhone ad is titled “Dog Lover.” (Thanks to one of our readers for the suggestion!) Again, If I get it wrong, let us all know. If there is a better version or a cheaper app, tell us. Ready?
Doing it the Android Way
The commercial starts with the woman unlocking her iPhone with a picture of her dog in the background. Certainly you can do the same thing with your Android phone: just set your dog’s picture as the desktop background and lock/unlock your screen.
The next app she uses is currently only available for the iPhone: Pet Finder (free on the App Store) allows you to search for pets currently housed in your local Humane Society. That’s a shame, because I’m guessing many Android users also get their pets from the Humane Society. Until they get their act together, here’s the Android way to do the same thing: One of our readers just pointed out that the mobile version of Petfinder.com works just fine (Thanks, Heather!). If you’re happy just looking at cuddly cats and dogs, there is a very popular Android app called Pets Next Door -Dogs, Cats & More (10,000-50,000 downloads, free, 4.57 stars), which allows you to view pets in your neighborhood on a Google Map (or around the world) and also upload your own pet’s story.
Next, the woman talks about taking “millions of photos” and scrolls through dozens of pictures of her dog. Fairly standard stuff; I’d say use your built in Camera and Gallery apps. She then uploads one of the pictures to Facebook (in Gallery, long-click your picture, choose “Share,” and then “Facebook.”) and opens the Facebook app (Facebook).
Hey Walkies, the next app she uses, is free on the App Store and allows you to find local dog parks. For the Android app, I’m going with Pet Care Services (10,000-50,000 downloads, free, 4 stars) which “identifies your location & navigates you to the nearest Veterinarian, Dog Daycare, Dog Park, Pet Groomer, Dog Sitter, Dog Walker, Emergency Pet Clinic, Pet Food Supply, Pet Friendly Hotel, Pet Hospital, and Dog Trainer.” Sounds pretty good to me.
The commercial ends with the iCam app ($4.99 on the app store), which allows you to monitor a web cam (purchased separately) in your home. I had a good time setting up the same thing with my Android phone yesterday: IP Cam Viewer Lite (50,000-250,000 downloads, free, 4.15 stars) worked very well with my Logitech webcam (I used webcamXP 5 for the server side, free for personal use). Robert Chou has a paid version of his IP Cam Viewer app which allows you to add more than 4 cameras, but I only saw one camera used in the iPhone ad.
Congratulations! You now have the Android “Dog Lover.”