Sep 24th, 2008

I’ve been following Android for almost a year now, but when friends asked me why I was headed to NYC for the T-Mobile Press Conference, I still couldn’t explain to them what Android was in a simple, concise manner. Most people just don’t get it… “so its just a phone?” No… its not just a phone. “Well then, what the heck is it?”

The way I explain Android to friends and family is by saying, “Imagine if your phone could do this:” and I proceed to describe the barcode scanning software offered by Shop Savvy. Its the single best way to help the average person understand what Android means. Its almost poetic how beautifully it illustrates the potential of Android.

Don’t take my word for it… watch Rylan Barnes of “Big In Japan” – the company that company that made ShopSavvy – explain it to myself (while CNBC listens in hehe jk):

I’m not sure if his Harry Potter comment was intentionally funny or if I just have an odd sense of humor (I do, I know) but cmon, tell me you didn’t at least SMIRK?

These guys just got $750,000 in funding on top of winning $250,000 in the Android Developer Challenge itself. And thus is the power of Open Source. Literally ANY developer can start writing software today and in a few months time, the sky is the limit.

And for developer’s out there, don’t say “well someone else already did it” or even “someone else will probably do it before me”. There is PLENTY of room for competition and to be honest, the more the better. Those who have been following Android for awhile probably know that Jeffrey Sharkey has a similar application originally called “Scan” that has since been renamed “CompareEverywhere”. I’m sure his application will be equally as successful and he should be commended and noticed as well. Open Source represents choice and you can’t have too much. Its not necessarily which application is “better”… often times it comes down to a matter of preference.

I also recorded a really quick version of the Shop Savvy App Overview so that when friends ask me what the heck Android is I can just send them this link and 1 minute later they’ll better understand what Android is and my breath will be saved. All thanks to Rylan Barnes and the folks behind ShopSavvy:

Seriously, checking this application out and meeting some of the guys behind it was an awesome. The bar code scanning application is, quite literally, the frame of reference I use on almost a daily basis to explain Android to people who aren’t as tech savvy big of dorks as I am.

By the way, take a look at their initial Android Developer Challenge submission/demo video below. It seems like they’ve come a LONG way. Awesome job guys… I can’t wait to show off your application to everyone when I get my G1! I can’t imagine showing it off AND being one of the developers… freakin rock stars.

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