SXSW has proved to be the perfect breeding ground for mobile apps, and while the iPhone tends to get most the attention, there were plenty of comparable Android apps to shine at this year’s springtime geek fest. The trendy ambient social discovery trend found plenty of Android love from Forecast, while M-Go, Rdio and Jelli Radio took up the charge for social entertainment. Marvel Comics has high hopes for augmented reality, though the world has higher hopes for Instagram’s Android debut.
Smarter check-ins and smarter entertainment
Jelli Radio also made a splash at SXSW this year, with a curated, SXSW artist-themed streaming radio station created just for the festival’s music fans. It’s another example of an app leveraging SXSW to prove its worth, enhancing the social music experience with an immediate use-case for attendees. You can vote for artists and songs you want to hear, creating dynamic playlists that change in real-time across the country. Jelli also features live chat rooms and other ways to collaborate on music selections, creating a shared listening experience that’s social and fun.
Comics and photographs
Hoping to better marry your tangible comic books with the digital capabilities of your Android device, Marvel Comics has layered in new augmented reality features into its upcoming Marvel AR app. It responds to augmented reality triggers built into the actual comic books, starting with the new Avengers Vs. X-Men #1, due to hit stores April 4 (which is when the app should launch as well). Marvel AR was demoed at the House of Ideas panel at SXSW’s Screenburn Arcade, bringing to life full-color 3D renditions of Iron Man. During the demo editor-in-chief Alex Alonso says “every issue of Avengers Vs. X-Men is going to be jam-packed with these. Our goal is to enrich your comic reading experience and tell stories in a new way.”
Instagram hasn’t yet launched on Android, but it gets an honorable mention in this list for sharing its Android plans and a demo during SXSW. The popular photo-sharing app has taken the iPhone by storm, and millions of anxious Android users await Instagram’s Android debut. Co-founder Kevin Systrom showed off the Instagram for Android app during a private event at SXSW, fulfilling an earlier promise to drop the curtains of exclusivity on their impressive app. Expect Instagram to actually hit Google Play “very soon.”