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“What’s Open” The First Android App?
ValleyWag speculates that a local search startup called “What’s Open” has written the first Android application. The site has some screenshots, which suggest a fairly familiar local search tool, with a map and some social networking features. The differentiator is likely — as the name suggests — data about what local stores and businesses are open.
This data, likely gleaned from public “store hours” information, will eventually be widely disseminated on local sites throughout the Internet. But what’s more interesting to contemplate is that a wave of companies or startups could build Android applications, which either might help reinvent them or give them life they wouldn’t have had on the desktop.
For example, What’s Open (assuming I’m correct about the offering) might not gain any traction on the desktop vs. established local search sites (i.e., Yahoo Local, Google Maps, IYPs) and local social networking sites (e.g., Yelp). Yet it might seem, or be, completely novel in a mobile context and thus gain adoption.
All of this, of course, depends on the overall success of the Android platform itself. But the fact of this alleged “first application” suggests that there will be more to follow before the phones themselves make it into the market.
Postscript: Here’s a related piece from CNET that argues “Google will have to do more” to woo mobile application developers to write applications for the platform, which is the point of Andriod, of course. Many of them fear that Android will become “just another platform they have to support.”