Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Cellphones Software

Competition For the App Store Is Mounting 136

Posted by Soulskill
from the playing-catch-up dept.
MojoKid writes "Right now the only real 'competition' to Apple's App Store is the Android Market. Presently, anyone using an Android-based phone can download applications from the Android Market, which first started offering free applications in October '08. A drawback to Android application developers, however, is the fact that the potential Android Market user base is fairly small right now, as there is presently only one Android phone available, the T-Mobile G1. However, in the coming months we're also going to see more app stores come online for additional smartphone platforms. Nokia will officially launch an app store for its Symbian OS-based smartphones at Mobile World Congress on Monday. Microsoft is also getting in the game for smartphones that run the Windows Mobile OS, with Steve Ballmer delivering the keynote speech at Mobile World Congress as well."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Competition For the App Store Is Mounting

Comments Filter:
  • by radimvice (762083) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:25AM (#26854643) Homepage
    The company I work for launched a public beta of our third-party app store this week, called Xpressed [xpressed.com] (the site is brand new, so feedback is welcome). Unlike the app stores mentioned in this article, it's a true "third-party" app store meaning that we're unaffiliated with any device manufacturer or carrier, and so we plan to support any and all phones out on the market that allow applications to be downloaded and installed from non-proprietary websites. Right now this pretty much means most of the Java-based phones on the market (several hundred current phones, plus the hundreds more old and obsolete devices).

    It will be interesting to see which model wins out after all of the industry players have their say in this growing application space - whether manufacturer-supported app stores (presumably) integrated with the devices themselves will continue to dominate, or whether third-party app stores like Xpressed will be able to find a footing, especially among developers targeting their apps across multiple platforms.
    • by alsutton (218963)

      "Right now this pretty much means most of the Java-based phones on the market"...

      If you think it's limited to J2ME 'phones then have a look at AndAppStore.com who've been offering Android apps for months and aren't Google affiliated in any way.

      • by radimvice (762083)

        If you think it's limited to J2ME 'phones then have a look at AndAppStore.com who've been offering Android apps for months and aren't Google affiliated in any way.

        Java != J2ME. The Android platform is most certainly also Java-based, even though it's a little different from Sun's CLDC/MIDP/J2ME platform, and third-party app stores can definitely support those devices as well, as we also have plans to down the road.

    • by Animaether (411575) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @08:36AM (#26855121) Journal

      Although I would say that your 'app store' isn't so much an 'app store' as a 'game store', I think my biggest beef with all of the 'app stores' out there is that they already existed in one form or another.

      One of the biggest sites for mobile downloads, for example, is Handango. It carries utilities, tools, games, etc. for all of the open platforms (e.g. no iPhone, obviously).

      So the availability has never been a problem, and opening a new 'app store' that does much the same isn't going to make things much better.
      ( I will say, though, that judging by the flashy banners, you guys are at least offering a little extra (e.g. the subscription plan and the app that will let users keep an eye on apps from their own mobile device )

      The reason the Apple app store is as successful as it is, is because you can manage everything from that single site - browsing, buying, downloading, installing. Once installed, it's also guaranteed to *work* on your mobile device; yes, I know, that's rather easy since there only really is 1 'device', but if you keep in mind how many of the apps for, say, Windows Mobile come in at least 2 different flavors just to deal with square display vs 4:3 display devices, not to mention the resolution separation, then a user easily gets lost.

      Thankfully, you were smart enough to add a filter-by-phone so that only compatible games are listed... but then you have to make absolutely sure you get (or collect) the correct information and you have to keep up-to-date on all of the different phone models out there... that's nearly a day-job for one of your staff.

      Anyway - good luck with the site, it looks polished (I'm not a big fan of the animated bits, but I know your target audience is), the featureset and what-does-it-offer-extra-over-other-sites looks pretty good (for those who missed it - click on a game, there's a good chance you can play it on-line for 10 minutes so you can decide whether or not it's something you'd like to actually buy... that's brilliant), it's a bit slow to navigate at the moment but that might just be other slashdotters eating your bandwidth a bit.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rolfwind (528248)

        The reason the Apple app store is as successful as it is, is because you can manage everything from that single site - browsing, buying, downloading, installing. Once installed, it's also guaranteed to *work* on your mobile device; yes, I know, that's rather easy since there only really is 1 'device', but if you keep in mind how many of the apps for, say, Windows Mobile come in at least 2 different flavors just to deal with square display vs 4:3 display devices, not to mention the resolution separation, the

        • by mikael_j (106439)

          Well, if Apple ever wants to upgrade its iPhone's display resolution for play with the form factor, hopefully the API can handle that easily enough without most apps having overlapping elements and the like. But I'm sure that apps will eventually have compatibility icons for which versions of the iPhone its guaranteed to work with (when there are more versions in the future).

          It's been a while since I was reading about the iPhone SDK but IIRC it's both possible and recommended to write your apps in a resolution-independent manner although I'm sure there are people out there doing things that would make Apple's engineers wonder if they're deliberately trying to make sure their apps AREN'T resolution independent...

          /Mikael

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            It's been a while since I was reading about the iPhone SDK but IIRC it's both possible and recommended to write your apps in a resolution-independent manner although I'm sure there are people out there doing things that would make Apple's engineers wonder if they're deliberately trying to make sure their apps AREN'T resolution independent...

            That's practically a definitive. One thing that's a truism in the developer world is, developers are stupid. They will do things you don't wnat them to. Windows has a hu

        • by samkass (174571)

          The current iPhone SDK makes no assumptions about screen size, and Interface Builder lets you specify how things shift/squeeze as the screen size changes. That being said, there are third-party game libraries that encourage such assumptions that may take some tweaking. But not much. Moving to alternate screen sizes is going to be pretty easy, and Apple already has an app compatibility mechanism so apps can declare their compatibility.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Tacvek (948259)

        Handango is currently severely broken, now that it requires you to specify which mobile device you are using, even if all that is relevant is what version of the OS you are using.

        I should be able to specify that I want to see All applications compatible with Windows Mobile 6 PPC (as opposed to Windows Mobile Smartphone which ironically refers to phones without touchscreens (i.e. what most people would call dumb-phones)), including the applications that require the presence of a phone.

        As it is right now, if

      • by radimvice (762083)

        Thanks for the comments, and yeah I should have mentioned that we're focusing on games specifically for now. The site is still very beta so we're still trying to figure out the best parts to focus on building and improving.

        I think my biggest beef with all of the 'app stores' out there is that they already existed in one form or another.

        Well, sure, but in a much lesser form. There have always been sites that can put up a bunch of Java games for sale, but I wouldn't consider those sites to be the same class of store that Apple first introduced, and that all of the upcoming 'app store competition' will offer. The huge diff

    • I am hesitant to download free stuff to me mobile that hasn't been checked for malware. It would be wise to require some modicum of accountability from the developers whose app you sell - if you were to spread malware you'd face on huge PR storm..

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by EvilNTUser (573674)

        I am hesitant to download free stuff to me mobile that hasn't been checked for malware.

        How about free as in freedom? [sourceforge.net]

        • by wampus (1932)

          Do you audit all of the open source software you use? Sure, you COULD, but you don't. You probably have better things to do with your time, though I do wonder about some zealots some times.

  • by beelsebob (529313) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:34AM (#26854679)

    A drawback to Android application developers, however, is the fact that the potential Android Market user base is fairly small right now, as there is presently only one Android phone available, the T-Mobile G1.
    No, there's only one iPhone too... the drawback is that no one wants a G1, because it's a cheep plasticy lump of crap.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      iPhone 3G vs. iPhone 2.5G

    • Eh, I have one. It's really not that bad. Anyway, you neglect to mention that the G1 has only been available for 4 months, and in two countries - contrast with the iPhone which has been around since 2007 and has had international presence for much longer.

      • by smilindog2000 (907665) <bill@billrocks.org> on Saturday February 14, 2009 @09:02AM (#26855219) Homepage

        I've had an iPhone, and currently own a T-Mobile G1. In short, Android is a solid competitor (the only competitor IMO) to the iPhone OS. The actual G1 phone however, sucks big time, as GP suggests, though he didn't get close as to why:

        - The speaker slot gets clogged with lint, and now I have trouble hearing the phone
        - While the camera has auto-focus and more pixels than iPhone, HTC screwed up with a crappy lens that ruins all photos
        - There's no headphone jack. Instead, HTC provides crappy headphones using a non-standard extension to the micro-USB jack
        - The phone is too thick, and not nearly as sleek or well designed or packaged as the iPhone
        - The battery is tiny in comparison to the iPhone.

        Basically, some US company (Qualcom? T-Mobile?) must have said "Here's the specs for you, HTC", and then HTC delivered on the specs, but screwed up the phone.

        While there are fewer users of the G1, there are proportionally fewer developers. Many of the best application spaces are already dominated on iPhone, while they're still open on Android. I believe that future Android phones will gain in market share vs iPhone, making development for Android a wise choice.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by binarylarry (1338699)

          One important thing for developers is that you can develop on any platform for the G1 with the G1 dev kit.

          You have to purchase an Apple computer to develop for the iPhone.

        • by lunartik (94926) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @12:48PM (#26856457) Homepage Journal

          I have a G1 and an iPod touch. If I am somewhere with wifi I find myself using the iPod to surf the net or check email. I thought I would prefer the G1 for the keyboard, but I don't think it's interface is that great, the apps I get are either buggy, not very useful or not very well done and it seems to hang a lot.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by oakgrove (845019)
          You say the G1 phone "sucks big time". And I suppose for you, that's the case. However, I feel exactly the opposite about mine.

          I don't mind the thickness, as I vastly prefer the tactile response of the slide-out keyboard vs. the on-screen only iPhone.

          As far as the camera, I haven't taken the first picture, I have a real camera for that.

          The headphone jack dongle doesn't particularly bother me though, I do admit, I'd like to be able to charge the phone and listen to tunes at the same time.

          As far as the

    • by alsutton (218963)

      My problem with the G1 is it just "feel" right. I have a G1 and a Sony Ericsson c702 and I find I use the c702 all the time, and the G1 only sees the light of day when someone asks me what it's like.

      It's bulky, there no virtual keyboard so you need to pop the keyboard to type anything, it's camera is pretty poor, and Android is sluggish on it (sometimes I need to tap two or three times to get a response to something, and I know the phone has detected the press because the icon flashes).

      But who knows, but th

      • by ivucica (1001089) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @07:31AM (#26854877) Homepage

        I for one extremely dislike virtual keyboards. It's quite clumsy to type on them, unless you have a stylus, and even then I'd prefer Graffiti. I don't mean Graffiti-like method, I mean Graffiti; both Graffiti2 from Palm and Letter Recognizer from MS are bad. Transcriber may be interesting ... if I only wanted to enter English text. In full. All the time.

        I use acronyms, I use Croatian language, I use programming language keywords and variable names. I don't enter plain English text.

        Graffiti is the best entry method to date, seconded by physical keyboards of any format.

        • by blind biker (1066130) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @10:44AM (#26855689) Journal

          I for one extremely dislike virtual keyboards. It's quite clumsy to type on them, unless you have a stylus, and even then I'd prefer Graffiti.

          Not to mention that they are impossible to use by blind people, and hard to use by visually-impaired people.

          Sure, I know Slashdot readers don't give a fuck about the needs of impaired people - but it's a minority that has otherwise great potential. I'd love to see manufacturers targeting specifically blind and visually-impaired people as part of their strategy.

          • I'd love to see manufacturers targeting specifically blind and visually-impaired people as part of their strategy.

            They're called "keypads". You may have heard of them. Most phones even have voice dial.

            OMG blind people can't use all technologies! Society is putting someone down AGAIN!

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Rutefoot (1338385)
            Blind and visually impaired people are a small fraction of the population. There is a much larger market being neglected with many touch screen systems.

            People who don't live in sunny California who have to wear gloves for part of the year. It's actually been the deciding factor around our Toronto office when coworkers have been picking their new smart phone. Most have been opting for non-touch screen phones, or the Blackberry Storm. The inability to use the iPhone without hassle while you're on the go
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by lunartik (94926)

              People who don't live in sunny California who have to wear gloves for part of the year. It's actually been the deciding factor around our Toronto office when coworkers have been picking their new smart phone. Most have been opting for non-touch screen phones, or the Blackberry Storm. The inability to use the iPhone without hassle while you're on the go has ruined its chances of entering the business market.

              I live in a cold weather area and I have never owned a cellphone that I could use properly with gloves on.

            • Do they work outside a lot? I ask this because although I live in Minnesota, it never occurred to me. The only time I have gloves on is if I'm working outside (I live on a farm) whether it's winter, or I just need to protect my hands, and I don't remember ever getting a call when I was wearing gloves. Then again, if I'm home, my phone is normally indoors, so...

          • Take a modern smartphone, with physical buttons for every letter. A blind person could feel his way around the buttons to type something, but how often are they going to? Why send SMS back and forth, only to have the phone use text-to-speech to read it out, why not just call the person in the first place?

            Someone who's merely visually impaired might actually be better served with a virtual keyboard; the iPhone's keys are not only larger than the Blackberries I've seen, it zooms in on the key you're pressing

          • Why would blind people buy a phone which is nothing but a large screen? There are other phones on the market which serve there needs, right?

          • by rtechie (244489) *

            I'd love to see manufacturers targeting specifically blind and visually-impaired people as part of their strategy.

            Remember that these devices have the big screen largely to play video. Visually-impaired people are almost explicitly excluded by design. By the same token, MP3 players aren't very useful for deaf people (hard of hearing people complain they're not loud enough). Designing UI for smartphones is tough enough, especially when the same interface has to work in English and Chinese. Designing with handicaps in mind would really hurt time to market for negligible returns.

            Stay away from Apple. It's very unlikely Ap

      • by wfWebber (715881)
        I'm the other way around. I bought a developer phone (basically an unlocked G1) to see if it would be a reasonable platform to develop for. I switched from my HTC Touch HD (which I thought was one of the best phones around) and haven't looked back since. This is the phone that feels great. It's fast, it has a shitload of great little apps and hasn't let me down once so far. I've tried Symbian, WinMo and all kinds of other stuff, but Android really works best. Of course the G1 has issues; the battery sucks
    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      but iPhone lacks basic features

      • by toriver (11308)

        ... such as?

        MMS is not a "basic feature" it is a hack for low-bandwith, no-email-client phones.

    • by dbcad7 (771464)
      Strange that you say nobody wants it, and yet T-mobile keeps running out of stock of them. They are in limited stock today, but a week ago when I checked they were out.
  • Malware sites (Score:4, Informative)

    by Macrat (638047) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:45AM (#26854719)

    And how long before the malware stores pop up for the unsuspecting?

    That's at least one benefit to a manufacturer run app store.

  • by javipas (1086007) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:49AM (#26854729)
    The company announced some months ago its own version of the App Store for BlackBerry, the BlackBerry Application StoreFront [rim.com]
  • by mlts (1038732) * on Saturday February 14, 2009 @06:54AM (#26854749)

    I can see MS making an app store, but the rub is to get people to be using Windows Mobile based smartphones. So, the key is to get Nokia, LG, and other cellphone makers who are using JVMs on their low end phones to move to WM as the OS of choice. These are the cellphones that people obtain for free with a one or two year service contract, such as Motorola RAZRs. The trick is to get the phones out there in volume. I don't know if this can be done, though.

    Once WM is very common, as opposed to now where it pretty much is in a limited selection of phones, both Microsoft, and the WM app makers would benefit. Windows Mobile is a decent platform to write code on. It does require signed code for smartphones for the most part (less with PocketPC devices), but app makers can buy their own certificates and do the distribution themselves.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Shag (3737)

      Once WM is very common, as opposed to now where it pretty much is in a limited selection of phones, both Microsoft, and the WM app makers would benefit

      Same question I posed to the guy who said things would change once Android gained market share: what circumstances are going to change that will cause WM to gain market share?

      Also, OS X is in a very limited selection of phones. Ditto Android. I can name those phones, as can probably all Slashdotters and I suspect a decent number of people on the street who don't even have smartphones could, too. What phones run WM? Uh... I think some Palms do. Other than that, I have no idea. And my life doesn't seem

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by timmyf2371 (586051)
      If Nokia's low-end handsets were powerful enough, they would be running S60 with full multi-tasking. Not S40 and certainly not Windows Mobile.
      • by sznupi (719324)

        Middle-range ones are getting there, E50 for example, which can be had for 100 now, new, without contract. Or practically free with one.

        As for the TRUE low-end...remember that's not a typical phone that people in the western world get with their contracts; they're getting middle-range. Low-end means Nokia 1100, 1200, 1208, etc. And I kinda like them the way they are... (exceptionally good not only if all you need is phonecalls & sms, also for second/emergency phone/backpacking)

        • By low-end I suppose I was really referring to those handsets which currently run S40. But you are correct - there are even more low-end/"basic" handsets which are exceptionally good for battery life & basic voice/text usage.
    • by footnmouth (665025) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @10:05AM (#26855513) Homepage
      Over the last 10 years I've had 3 different versions of Windows Mobile and every time initial "shinyness" has worn off very quickly to be replaced by annoyance at stupid, stupid user experience mistakes.

      The worst of these is Windows constant delivery of messages to the user. On a desktop the "you have unused desktop icons" bubble is annoying - on a Windows mobile device, a bubble that takes the user focus away from, say
      • typing an SMS
      • typing a number
      • typing a note
      • accepting a call

      is a serious barrier to usage.

      The other thing that finally caused me to switch to a Crackberry (which is fantastic) was that it would crash on receiving a call occasionally - brilliant. It was the HTC Tytan if anybody cares.

    • I think you're wrong.

      The kind of people not prepared to pay for a premium 'phone are unlikely to be prepared to pay for apps.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by GaryPatterson (852699)

      Once WM is very common...

      After about ten years with Microsoft pushing CE/WM and using whatever resources it could to gain adoption and marketshare, if it's not very common by now there's no chance it ever will be. I could be wrong, but I don't think so in this case - there's no sign of anything amazing in the pipeline from Microsoft, and the upcoming cuts to their staffing are all but killing development in many areas.

      If Microsoft couldn't do it by now, what makes you think they'll ever do it?

  • I have been happy with my BlackBerry for years, and no, I have not been tempted by iPhone. As Android phones come of age and become competitive, however, I'm sure I'll give them a look.
  • Is it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dancingmad (128588) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @07:08AM (#26854801)

    I don't really have a dog in this fight - my brother owns an iPod Touch and I have a Blackberry Curve - but it doesn't seem to me that there's much competition on any front for Apple's App Store. For most of the smart phones I wouldn't even consider buying software (I don't think my Curve delivers an experience that I want - I would rather use other portable devices to do what software could do).

    The one thing that may be able to mount a challenge is the DSi's app store - but here in Japan where the DSi is already out, I am not really getting the impression that it is a must have feature.

    Until someone is even mildly successful in the area, no one competition is really "mounting" for the app store.

  • by Servo (9177) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .fgnirtsd.> on Saturday February 14, 2009 @07:12AM (#26854819) Journal

    There is only one iPhone, but App developers haven't stopped producing. I like the G1 better than the iPhone since it includes a slide-out keyboard and still packs in all the other features of an iPhone. Once the G1 has been around for longer and Android gets more market share I expect the Android Market to go head to head with the App Store.

    • by Shag (3737)

      Once the G1 has been around for longer and Android gets more market share I expect the Android Market to go head to head with the App Store.

      The G1 being around longer seems likely to happen, but I don't know whether that necessarily translates to Android getting more market share. Not saying it won't - the increasing popularity of smartphones is a rising tide that lifts all boats - but I'm not sure what circumstances will change to make it dominant.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Servo (9177)

        Dominant and competitive are two separate beasts. The G1, or Android in general, need not dominate the market to be successful.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      There is only one iPhone, but with some 12M users plus iPod Touch owners as well is a much larger customer base. We've been looking at support for mobile smart phones recently and hands down the iPhone became the priority 1 application to develop for followed by a generic mobile version of our site for everyone else.

  • and will fail, because, unlike iPhone, there are no support of that app store in current firmwares.
  • Did Ballmer throw any wheelchairs?
  • The Android store and the App Store at the moment serve two different markets. Android phone users and IPhone users. The store that the user would choose is determined by the phone in posession. Since neither store can offer anything to users of the other kind of phone the title is misleading, or at least premature.
  • A drawback to Android application developers, however, is the fact that the potential Android Market user base is fairly small right now, as there is presently only one Android phone available, the T-Mobile G1.

    You mean as opposed to the several dozen different phones Apple has on the market? Way to end a horribly fragmented run-on sentence with a cringe inducing logical fallacy, buddy.

    • You mean as opposed to the several dozen different phones Apple has on the market?

      As opposed to the several dozen phones Android has the potential to have on the market in the not-too-distant-future. The G1 has a potential to sharply grow that the iPhone doesn't have since it's unlikely Apple will release more than one phone every year or two.

      Way to end a horribly fragmented run-on sentence with a cringe inducing logical fallacy, buddy.

      not deserving of a mod-point.

  • The key is to charge (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bogtha (906264) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @09:25AM (#26855307)

    The reason why the App Store has taken off so phenomenally is because they handle commercial applications. This means that any geek who can knock together a mobile application is tempted to do so by potential profits. Think about it, write an app, get it approved, and then instantly make it available to millions of iPhone users who are only a click away from paying you. That's a huge advantage for Apple - because those geeks will be writing their applications for the iPhone and not the other platforms. This is why there are so many applications for the iPhone already. Apple were really smart here. If you look at the numbers, there are more 99c applications than free applications, and taken as a whole, free applications are a minority.

    Android Market is soon going to be rolling out support for paid applications in much the same way as the App Store. Once this happens, you'll see a similar surge in the number of applications available for Android. It won't be as pronounced as the App Store's curve, because Apple have a head-start now, but it will certainly put Android in the game. Although the iPhone has the client numbers, Android has the developer numbers simply because you don't need a Mac to develop Android applications.

    • by Bogtha (906264)

      Android Market is soon going to be rolling out support for paid applications in much the same way as the App Store.

      Correction: Android Market gained support for paid applications yesterday [blogspot.com], although at the moment, it is restricted to developers from the USA and UK, and consumers from the USA, with more countries to follow.

    • I think you'll see a huge surge. Everybody wants to be the *first* or *original* 'easy to program, easy to profit' application developer.

      If your idea isn't terribly original or difficult to execute you'll be cloned immediately so being first to market is huge.

  • While the app store is a good thing, it's slightly overrated. Unless you consider a "farting" app the pinnacle of mobile development.
  • Uh, I hate to break it to the detractors of the Android Market, but the Apple app store applies to only one phone as well. And while the iPhone IS the New Hotness status symbol and so forth, there are still a hundred and one Razr/Blackberry/HTC/Envy/Blackjack owners for a single iPhone owner. Despite its popularity, the iPhone is far from ubiquitous.

    • by Bogtha (906264)

      there are still a hundred and one Razr/Blackberry/HTC/Envy/Blackjack owners for a single iPhone owner.

      Actually, the iPhone has 1.1% of the entire mobile phone market, not just smartphones. So there's about 90 phone owners for a single iPhone owner.

    • Uh, I hate to break it to the detractors of the Android Market, but the Apple app store applies to only one phone as well.

      There's one big distinction between the App Store & the Android Market. App store also sells apps for the iPod Touch, which helps to extend the number of potential buyers by at least several million.

  • There is no competition for the Apple app store because without breaking the iPhone there is no way to get an unsanctioned app on the iPhone. Other app stores might provide competition for the iPhone, and now that Apple has shown, once again, that one can sell products at a premium if one offers customer service, it seems that many more are trying to cash in on the deal.

    The advantage of the Apple Store, though, is exactly what most people complain about. Apple vets the software, which means that iPhone u

  • What Policies? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Trojan35 (910785) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @12:41PM (#26856417)

    I'm interested what the policies are on all the different app stores. I know everyone here hates Apple's restrictive policies, but I do appreciate how I can download any app from their app store and not worry about it breaking my iphone, spreading viruses, changing system defaults, or worse (like stealing passwords).

    What approval processes and policies do these other stores have?

  • by LoudMusic (199347) on Saturday February 14, 2009 @01:32PM (#26856775)

    The App Store is the most important thing the iPhone has going for it. I have a Blackberry through work and enjoy using it (because it's free!), but getting apps is such a pain in the ass that the only thing I've installed is the Google package.

    It would be nice if desktop OSes had an easy way to find and install new programs as well. Oh wait ... BSD and Linux do have such a place! How has Apple not jumped on that?

    • by yelvington (8169)

      The web browser's default home page takes you to quite a few free downloads, but it's not a complete listing of the available Blackberry software. Nevertheless, with a bit of searching Twitterberry, Slacker Mobile, Viigo, AP News, etc., were not hard to find.

      The problem with "app stores" is that they're all hardwired to make money and/or extend a totalitarian control model (as in Apple), not make it easy for the user to find software (as in Linux/BSD distros).

      I installed Mobipocket Reader, and it has a buil

  • I love how optimistic these stories always are... Such a romantic bunch, thinking everything that comes down the pike is going to knock Apple off of it's current perch.

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.

Working...