technology notes… mobile and embedded.

Innovative iPhone (and Android) apps: –2011 edition

with 3 comments

    Of all my blog posts, my brief review on  iPhone and Android apps have been the most popular. So here is a 2011 edition covering some of the newer ones!

When the iPhone was  launched ,the ‘proximity sensor’ and the ‘accelerometer’ were the hot things and most apps were using these sensors. Fast forward to 2011 and the new theme is AR and NFC. Of this NFC apps are really hot and may well be the next disruption after AR.


AR.Pursuit:  First demoed at the CES 2010, the AR drone was drawing lot of interest event at the recent  CES 2011. Parrots’ quadricopter supports an inbuilt wifi system and video  streaming.

 logo_arpursuit The AR.Pursuit integrates all these into a nice iPhone app to give you a very impressive game. The demo video says it all.


SkyGaze : While AR.Pursuit is mainly recreational here is another AR app that I think would be appreciated by all amateur sky gazers. Using Sky Gaze is very simple.

sceen_shotJust point your  iPhone to the sky and the app shows you exactly what you are looking at . Full marks for this very simple utility app that serves a great need for anyone interested in sky gazing.


Venmo:  After looking at some recreational apps, here are some apps that may one day become big utility apps of your mobile. Venmo is a service that links your phone to a credit card and make or receive payments . Predictably its still not for huge transactions and there is also a trust factor ..so its only between ‘friends’ .

  The Venmo service/app, solves a very subtle problem of keeping balances between friends. Imagine you had dinner with your friends and you had to split the bill among them. Venmo allows you to charge your friends the split amount either online or via a text message.


Starbucks Card mobile:  Launched as a pilot program sometime back the card mobile app is a imageshit and now it is available throughout the United states. The payment is not via WiFi or Bluetooth (considering security)  but a unique ‘bar code’ that is scanned by the system.

side note: The barcode is unique but you could take a snap and reuse it as explained here .


 nfc_logo NFC apps are yet to catch-up .Actually we are all waiting for the iPhone5 to go big time with NFC payments. Google’s Android 2.3 (GingerBread) already supports NFC. Some of the rumored apps for the iPhone5 are very interesting .

Taglet is one of the first NFC apps available for Android. The use case is similar to exchanging phone information over BT but may be much more easier and could be able to read any kind of information.


To me the NFC technology also seems a security threat.  The protocol by itself doesn’t ensure secure communication and its possible  to have passive NFC listeners eavesdropping your data once it enters the field of communication.

So that’s my little list of cool iPhone and Android apps. The Angry Birds is not part of this review.Don’t get angry for that !


Google Translate – This list missed a very innovative app. Google Translate app for Android has been  has been around for  quite sometime . And lot of enhancements have been made to it recently. But the latest (experimental) Conversation mode is something from the sci-fi era.

It brings to reality the Universal translator  of sci-fi movies. You could speak in your native language,the phone translates and plays back in another language. Real time speech to speech that is.

Pretty cool technology and would really come handy if you are a tourist and want to
buy something from a dealer who does not know English. Here is a nice demo of this feature by Eric Schmidt.


Written by sujai

February 14, 2011 at 8:59 am

3 Responses

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  1. On your opinion? Which is the best between Android and Iphone, need suggestion please 🙂


    February 18, 2011 at 6:08 am

  2. @david – welcome to Whitenoise.
    As a software development platform, i like the Android platform.It has many good things, its open source and lot of community development /freedom there.
    But as a ‘consumable end product’ ,the iPhone is a clear winner. May be Motorola/HTC or some Android OEM should hire Jonathan Ive for a month 🙂


    March 7, 2011 at 8:28 am

  3. Nice to see you wrote about the Parrot ARDRONE. I actually flew it here in UCSD 🙂

    Seemanta Dutta

    May 2, 2011 at 11:20 pm

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