Android apps you can’t get on Verizon’s iPhone

by Kristen Nicole

Verizon has finally announced the upcoming availability of the iPhone on its network, ending an era of exclusivity for AT&T. The new deal has raised lots of questions for iPhone users, like LTE network compatibility or what’s up with the separate data plan? iPhone users, even on Verizon, will also have a different app experience than Android users. If you’re an Android user on Verizon, here’s some apps that your new iPhone neighbors will envy.

Android standards

The Amazon MP3 app is one of the few Amazon apps not in the iTunes App Store. Sure, iPhone users have iTunes itself, but Amazon often offers lower prices for songs than its Apple counterpart. Android users get their own “version” of iTunes with the free MP3 app store, with music downloads that load directly into your phone’s media player and can be saved on your computer.

For many Android users on Verizon’s network, the VCAST app comes pre-installed (and it's not available for general download in the Android Market). Apple won’t allow pre-installed items, so iPhone users on their new network won’t readily find this app. An entertainment portal, VCAST comes with music by Rhapsody, a media manager, video one-demand and mobile TV channels.

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Listen is a nifty app by Google Labs, with a podcast catcher for managing your audio feeds. With Listen, you can subscribe to your favorite podcasts, sync them with Google Reader on your desktop, and even save streaming items for later. This Android app is free and is a great way to keep informed.

Another Google app you can’t yet get on the iPhone is Google Sky Map. It’s a great educational app for learning all about the galaxy—just hold the phone skyward, and view the stellar overlay, complete with constellations, info on stars, moon cycles and more. This Android app is also free.

Air of exclusivity

Adobe Flash 10.1 is something you won’t find on the iPhone, though Adobe has managed to get a few apps in the iTunes App Store that can use it. The Flash battle has been an epic one, with Android users still taking the lead. This free plug-in enables a full web browsing experience, so you can enjoy Flash videos and games on your phone.

There’s also a growing number of Android browsers that now support the iPhone, like the recently launched Skyfire. But Dolphin Browser HD is one that’s still unique to Android. Free to download, the Dolphin browser has bookmarks, multi-tab browsing, multiple language support and add-ons.

Swype has been elevated to pre-installation status on certain Android devices, but the optimized mobile keyboard has not found its way to the iPhone. Offering a faster, easier way to input text on your tiny mobile screen, Swype is accurate even when you’re not. This Android app is not yet available in the Market, however.

Live Wallpapers are another Android perk iPhone users don’t get, keeping them from being able to show off dynamic home screens like those offered by Living Music. Free, this live wallpaper is for music lovers, displaying album art from your phone’s playlist, with live effects for a personal touch.

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