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Android developers make Google's world go 'round

by Kristen Nicole

Developers are at the heart of the Android platform, creating applications that leverage this rapidly expanding marketplace for new products and services. Apps have become a major selling point for smartphones, and they’re creating an ecosystem all their own. It’s no wonder Google (GOOG) is dedicating so many of its resources to this developer community, launching a new dashboard tool for developers to better track the progress and demographic impact of their Android apps.

A new “Statistics” section has been added to the Android Developer Console, where they can obtain metrics on the number of handsets their apps have been downloaded to, along with the breakdown of handset manufacturers. New metrics around specific dates and date ranges delve deep into app performance for a given point in time, so an app update, for instance, can be better associated with user behavior. The insight will certainly aid developers in their quest to build better apps, but the toolkit also demonstrates Google’s dedication to its developer community.

NFC and productivity apps in the making

Google has been quick to test out its own apps as well, especially those that aim to change the game. The company’s already announced its early support of Near Field Communication (NFC), providing a platform for mobile payments that will essentially make credit card swipes a thing of the past. Google’s reportedly set out to test NFC technology in New York and San Francisco, leveraging the existing VeriFone cash-register system to enable retail payments. This means a shopper would only have to tap their phone on these special registers to pay for their order, expediting the check-out process and skipping the wallet pull-out all together.

This all speaks to a highly evolved ecosystem that centers around mobile devices and their penchant for pragmatic use. Some of the most successful developers quickly learned that a consumer-centric Android app is a big win, as it addresses their needs with emerging technology. The promise of Android’s platform is in leveraging new technology for its strong points, and for Wunderlist this ideal centers around the simplistic execution of its new mobile app.

“The most important thing a mobile app has to provide is the possibility to easily and quickly edit new tasks or new thoughts in our system,” says Robert Kock, CMO of Wunderkinder. For his productivity app, Android’s platform serves as a way to execute the goals of the classic GTD concepts, but also as a way to reach more users. “I think the big advantage is that a lot of the people that hadn’t thought about productivity software are now presented with these apps, so they get educated over time,” Kock continues, “and the awareness of productivity can go beyond...other products from the legacy generation.”