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While Zipcar finally emerged out of beta to fully-fledged app glory, it was also a milestone-marking week for several top Android Market apps, starting with Pulse. The news reader app for Android tablets has already set standards in design and mobile interfacing, reaching 4 million downloads across Android and iOS this month. Along with $9 million in funding, Pulse is well on its way to be a leader in its sector. Social location-sharing app Glympse has also pulled additional funds, adding another $7.5 million to grow its popular Android app.
Zipcar’s shed the beta phase, officially launching an Android app for its car-sharing network. The Android app helps you speedily book cars on the go, searching for available vehicles nearby, or extend a reservation when you need the car a little while longer. Tapping into its innovative spirit, the Zipcar app takes things to the next level, enabling you to honk the horn and unlock doors from your Android device. Zipcar’s always used technology to make its service efficient and attractive to consumers, green or not. A mobile app is a natural progression for Zipcar, adding sensible functions and usable features.
Goby gives you a custom set of ideas of things you can do with your free time. Launching version 3.0, Goby’s been overhauled with a major new feature called the "Fun Feed." It’s a recommendation engine that works in addition to its search function, basing results on your interests. Goby looks at your Facebook account to get an idea of what you’d like to do on the weekend, offering ideas on concerts, venues, bars and upcoming events. Pushing suggestions to you lets you skip the manual search, acting as a mobile point of inspiration.
PowerME, Personal Productivity ($9.99)
Your Android is certainly a life management tool, but what about an app that centralizes many of the functions that require separate apps? PowerME has created an inclusive life management app to make you more productive. It organizes and centralizes notes and computer files, all categorized by custom folder layers according to your design. Take notes via voice or text, filter tasks by person or location, and sort through documents based on file type, media type or associated project. PowerME is social too, letting you assign tasks and projects to others, even if they haven’t coughed up $9.99 for the productivity app. It's storage, backup and access you’re paying for, three key areas of importance for today’s mobile workers and savvy consumers. Get the app early, as it’s currently half off.
Pulse News (Free)
Pulse’s news app is popular with mobile users and investors, as the startup just landed $9 million in funding, led by Greycroft Partners and Lerer Ventures. With a well-designed news reader app that gained rapid traction on iOS, Pulse eventually made its way to Android, initially launching for Android tablets. The move set a certain standard for Pulse’s Android strategy, hoping to extend its iPad experience to the Android tablet, which is lacking in terms of optimized apps. Pulse pulls content from a range of websites and delivers a curated news stream, with options for saving items for later reading, and sharing across Facebook and Twitter. Add the sites you want, import your Google Reader, and sync articles for offline reading.
Glympse is another mobile app that’s gaining the attention of investors, validating the booming economy that’s become global thanks to platforms like Android. With $7.5 million in a Series B round, Glympse follows another mobile trend: location. It’s a social service that lets you manage your location-sharing, as you select which friends are privy to this information. Your location is shared with this private group in real time, for a limited amount of time. The biggest perk Glympse offers is consumer control, which is only growing in demand as location-sharing methods come under scrutiny, threatening the tactics of both Google and Apple.