A college class mines the Android for a set of apps that will change the way we phone

Future Phone With Android, Google is betting that the future of computing will be handheld.

When MIT professor Hal Abelson heard that Google was about to release the software-development kit for its free, open-source Android mobile-phone operating system, he immediately decided to teach a class that would design programs for it. “Android is about to change people’s experience of what they can do with computers,” he says, because the computers in our cellphones will soon be the ones we use the most. These seven applications, developed by students in Abelson’s class, show what Android-equipped phones will be able to do.

Loco will track your friends on a map by picking up GPS signals from other Android phones, so you can search for nearby parties.

Set your phone to change settings based on your location. You can make your ringer automatically switch to “vibrate” when you’re at work and then back to “normal” when you’re at home. Google has singled out this application for funding.

This app will send you reminders based on location instead of time. For example, as you approach a grocery store, it will remind you to pick up milk.

Like a location-based, community-oriented Digg, Snap will show you the most popular locations (museums, stores and so on) near you, based on user submissions and feedback.

Re:Public will let you browse profiles of other users in the neighborhood, see what events they’re attending, and track their their location in real time.

By communicating with Bluetooth-enabled hardware in your car, Kei will unlock your car door and start the vehicle without a key.

Flare allows you to track mobile employees, such as food deliverers, in real time through their Android phones.


This is awesome! Im just about to buy a new phone and I will definitly opt for this one. Google is like the opposite of microsoft. They release amazing products really cheaply, or, more commonly, free. Now if only google could develop an open source computer....

Dustin H

I think the all map related applications should work like this:

1. Load map by GPS location or address & navigate map.
2. Touch building and do any of the following:
2.1 Get phone number and call the business.
2.2 Do any of the following without making phone call, per business type:
a. Get Reservations
b. Get Tickets
c. Purchase any service or goods at that location
d. Make appointment

Why phone numbers when you can connect directly?


from Montreal, Quebec

I think its a great invention, but yet again, anything that can be used against you, I would avoid.
Give you an example. GPS says yoyu can track your friends. I assume, its when they let you track them. BUT hackers can skip that permission checkbox and follow you around. Possibilities from there are endless. Chances are that the more advanmced the system, the more things you will do with it: online banking, shopping, emailing etc. That would mean exposing all of this information to intruders.

I agree with Diggy, people got so freaked out with google maps new street view system, surely a phone with easily accessible gps is a million,billion times worse? there is just far too many things a teenage hacker with a grudge could do. especially with open-source.

njdevil said "there is just far too many things a teenage hacker with a grudge could do. especially with open-source."

Traditionally open source is much more secure because when bugs are exposed they are fixed immediately. And people should be held accountable to not download potentially malicious software on any platform, Free or proprietary.

The bottom line is that the Open Source community combined with responsible computer use leads to almost perfect security.

Well, I have to agree with diggy, google isn't exactly the best when it comes to privacy.
Dustin H


from New York, NY

"The bottom line is that the Open Source community combined with responsible computer use leads to almost perfect security."

They key word here is _responsible_ computer use. Unfortunately, computer use(or use of anything else, for that matter) isn't always responsible.

Mobile computing is definitely where its at atm but there's something that needs to be said for a fullsized keyboard as well :)

Moshable Music

I agree with diggy cause i have lots of experience.I was lost one time and they found me by tracking my gps.