Now that Android phone sales are really starting to pick up (about 200,000 every day), Android developers may actually start seeing revenue coming their way from App sales and not just voluntary donations. Since Google still needs to enable paid app downloads/purchases in most of the countries where Android devices are sold, the potential to earn is definitely bigger than the iPhone App market. However, till now it is just a potential.
It is, however, interesting to see the quality of apps in the Android Market increase in-spite of the currently limited earning potential. One such application that I recently came across is aCar. As our smart phones become more and more integrated into our daily activities, apps like aCar will definitely be more in demand.
aCar is an application that you can use on your Android device to effectively track the the fuel efficiency, maintenance record and expenses that you incur on all your vehicles. I currently have it set-up to track all these for my car and my motorcycle. aCar allows you to store data for each fuel fill-up that you do for your vehicle and calculates values for mileage, expenses and other metrics based on these details. You can also put in all your service records and future service details and aCar will remind you when the service is due.
When it comes to setting your service reminders, you can choose exactly which part of your vehicle requires service if its not a full service. The built in lists are extremely detailed and I have yet to not find an item that I needed.
Another interesting (while not very useful) feature are the charts that aCar can generate from all the data the you put into the application. The graphs and charts are extremely detailed and very nicely done. They are a bonus in an application that does its job well. While a lot of apps for Android try to emulate the iPhone-ish interface, aCar doesn’t. This gives it its own unique look and the interface is very pleasing.
The author of this application accepts donations to unlock some additional features. So you don’t have to depend on the Android Market to get the paid app. The features that are unlocked after the donation are trivial enough to ignore. I am quite certain that people would donate the minimum $5 for the application as it is.
While there are other applications that can do the same thing, it is definitely not enough to just offer the basics. aCar offers a lot more than just basic data storage and retrieval and that is why this is my choice for tracking my fuel and service data. This is definitely an application I can see myself using on a regular basis.