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An app for every season

Tired of haggling with the auto drivers? Your Android phone could come handy. MiD DAY caught up with city techies and found the five coolest Android apps that you can download for free

Google's Android Market has always been an easy foothold for third party developers to launch applications (apps) for Android devices. Users of Android devices are allowed to browse and download the apps hosted by the developers without Google's participation in it.



With the Android market expanding in India and the easy accessibility to integrate an app in the app store, many app developers have come up with interesting and useful apps. Here's a list of some of the coolest apps developed by some of the city's techies.

Low Price
If the price tag on a book is keeping you away from it, this app is for you. The Low Price app scans the bar-code of the book and on identifying the ISB number (which is unique for each book) it provides the online price of the book along with the addresses of the e-commerce websites. 

"Currently the app shares the prices available at flipkart.com, infibeam.com and rediffbooks.com. The user can compare the prices and buy the book at the cheapest available price.
 
Clicking on the buying option, the app navigates the user to the retailer's webpage, where they can place e-orders. If the user is not ready to buy the book at the moment, he can even add it to his wish list," says Pranay Airan, the developer of the app.

Coupon Calculator
This smart app can relieve you of the hassle you encounter at the billing counters while using Sodexo coupons. "Paying by the coupons, which are often in odd denominations (like Rs 47) lead to wrong calculations.
 


It is also difficult to keep track of the amount of coupons spent. So I came up with this app which makes the transactions simple and hassle free," says Raghu Saboo, the developer of the app. All you need to do is just load the number of coupons in the app and feed in the bill amount.

The app tells you the coupon combinations to match the bill amount, while it also maintains a history of the number of coupons spent along with the time and place, where it was spent etc. The app also entertains you with witty quotes while you are waiting in a queue at the billing counter.

India TV Guide
You can stream in your favourite movie or daily soap for free with this app. On opening the app, browsing through the electronic program guide, you can see the schedules of more than 200 TV channels in 15 languages. The schedules can be viewed offline as well.



The app allows you to set a reminder for a programme and sync it with Google Calendar. You can also watch movies for free via YouTube. "We launched the app in May 2011 and since then there has been more than 80,000 downloads.

We keep updating the app and the users get an auto update," says Prathibha Sastry, Co-founder of Jinilabs(the developer of the app.)

Mobile Customer Relationship Management (mCRM)
This is a business app developed by Naga Chokkanathan, keeping customer relations in mind. Naga believes Android phones have the potential to become the next standard business phones after the nemesis of Blackberry in the smartphone market.

Blackberry was once the most preferred phone at work but now it has lost its stronghold, with shares of Research In Motion, makers of Blackberry,  dropping heavily against the boom of iPhones and Android in the smartphone market.

Naga Chokkanathan


According to Naga, availability of Android software in a diverse range of phones, unlike Blackberry, make it easier to attain popularity. He introduced the mCRM app in Android Market to simplify the customer chain management.

"When a customer relationship manager is out on field interacting with customers, he can use the app to put in the details and synchronize it with the centralised server. The synchronization happens through a technology called Sugar CRM," says Naga.

This simplifies inter-team co-ordination. The company can keep track of customer interactions happening in and outside the campus instantly. If you are stuck at a place where there is no internet connectivity, you can store the details in the phone offline and upload it in the server once you get access to the network.

Auto Complaint Bangalore

If you are troubled by the auto-drivers harassing you and you haven't figured out yet who to approach to teach them a lesson, here's a handy solution for you.

Auto Complaint Bangalore is a free app that enables you to take on an auto driver when he asks for more money or takes a longer route. All you have to do is enter the Auto number, the location details and state the kind of issue you are facing by clicking on the check box.
 
You can also take a snap of the auto and upload it. The app puts it in an email format and sends it across to the police or Regional Transport Office (RTO). "The app is capable of identifying the nature of the issue and it forwards the mail accordingly," says Saurabh Minni, the developer of the app.

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