Google Launches New Site To Showcase Experimental Open Source Apps For Android And Android Wear

Google launched Android Experiments today, the mobile apps counterpart to its Chrome Experiments site.

Just like with Chrome Experiments, the idea behind Android experiments is to showcase apps that use new and cutting-edge technology, aesthetics and interfaces. All of the apps in the Android Experiments Gallery will be open source so other developers can see how they were made.

The gallery currently has about 20 experiments that range from innovative watch faces for Android Wear to the IOIO Plotter, an Android tablet-powered “easel-mounted wall-style plotter” that can draw on flip charts.

Google says the current batch of apps was built using tools like the Android SDK and NDK, Android Wear, the IOIO board, Cinder, Processing, OpenFrameworks and Unity. “Each project challenges in small and big ways how we think of the devices we interact with every day,” Google design advocate Roman Nurik (whose own Muzei app is included in the collection) and Google Creative Lab member Richard The write today.


Developers who want to have their apps included on the site can now submit them.

As a Google spokesperson told me, the experiments will not get their own dedicated collection on the Google Play store, but they will be searchable and available for download there.

This looks like a fun way to showcase what’s possible with the technologies in Android and modern phones. More importantly, though, the fact that all of the apps will be open source will allow other developers to learn from these experiments. While there are quite a few open-source apps and virtually all developers use some open source framework in building their apps, open source never quite caught on in the mobile apps world and that’s not exactly making things easier for newcomers.