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Google spotlights, open-sources experimental Android apps

Google spotlights, open-sources experimental Android apps

The company wants developers to submit their apps for Android devices including smartwatches

Google's Android Experiments site showcases novel Android apps and their source code.

Google's Android Experiments site showcases novel Android apps and their source code.

Google is putting some of the most Google-y Android apps in the spotlight, and is sharing their source code to spur development of other apps.

The site Android Experiments is showcasing Android apps that perform novel and unusual functions. A compass app, called Landmarker, for instance, puts a spin on navigational tools by letting users explore nearby landmarks by rotating their Android device around them.

Another, called IOIO Plotter, is an Android tablet app that converts photos from the tablet's camera into abstract drawings using physical markers suspended from strings.

There are also apps for smartwatches running Google's Android Wear software. An app called Coubertin Rings displays animated graphics on the watch face to motivate daily physical activity. It uses built-in sensors on the watch to display rings that represent the wearer's daily step count.

There's also Time Mesh, a motion-based Android Wear watch face.

There were just under 20 apps listed on the site on Wednesday. But Google wants developers to submit their own. The company says it's most interested in projects that explore how people interact with devices, with unique visual aesthetics.

Apps should work on Android 4.4 and higher, Google said. It's fine if the apps are targeted at specific devices, like tablets or smartwatches.

The apps already selected employ various programming systems, including Unity, Processing and Cinder.

Google maintains a similar site for Chrome called Chrome Experiments.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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