Smartphone App Stores Compared: iPhone, Palm Pre, Blackberry, Android and More

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Google Android Market

Total Apps: 11,169
Opened: October 22, 2008

Google only lagged a few months behind Apple with the introduction of its own app marketplace, but without as successful a handset to latch onto, the Android Market has grown at a much more modest pace. (The G1 and Magic have both sold over 1 million units apiece, while Apple claims that it has sold over 50 million iPod Touches and iPhones combined.)

That said, Google has flung its weight around to help seed the market with some interesting apps, including contests like the Android Developers Challenge, which offers programmers up to $100,000 cash to craft the most innovative Android app. And the efforts show. For instance, Android was the first mobile platform to get “augmented reality” applications, which superimpose data over a live camera view, Terminator-style.

Google Android Market

And unlike Apple, Google doesn’t take a dictatorial approach to policing its marketplace, arbitrarily rejecting and accepting apps with no transparency. Looking for a NES emulator to relive your Nintendo glory days during your subway commute? NESoid will do the trick nicely for free if you’re running Android, while Apple has banned all emulators from its App Store. Want Google Voice for all sorts of extended phone capabilities? Not surprisingly, Android has been sporting it for weeks, while Google still has its horns locked with Apple over getting it into the App Store.

Because Google only allowed free apps on the Market for its first four months, it continues to host a substantial number of totally free apps developed during that infancy. And like Apple’s App Store, most paid apps fall into the 99 cent price range, delivering excellent value.

Google doesn’t offer a desktop app browsing software like iTunes, but the open nature of the Market has allowed third-party sites like AndroLib to organize the full library into a browsable Web page form.

Health & Fitness

Google’s redesigned Fit activity tracker is now an iOS app

Google Fit has landed for iOS. The activity tracker offers the same clean design that arrived with the major revamp of the Android version a year ago, with features such as Move Minutes and Heart Points also included.

Step into Childish Gambino’s musical universe with the Pharos AR app

Childish Gambino seems to be on a mission to take over everyone's smartphones. Now you can experience his musical and visual universe through his new Pharos AR app, available on Android now and iOS soon.

These parental control apps will help keep your kids' device habits in check

Looking for extra security and monitoring on mobile devices? Take a look at the best parental control apps for limiting time and keeping watch on your child's phone usage and behavior. We have the top options for Android and iOS here.

BlackBerry Messenger to shut down in May, be replaced by enterprise version

BlackBerry Messenger for consumers will shut down at the end of May, nearly six years after it was launched. The app is going back to its roots, in a way, as it is being replaced by the much simpler BlackBerry Messenger Enterprise.

We found the best trucks for everyone (including truck haters)

Pickup trucks have evolved to meet the demands of a shifting marketplace. They now have to compete with cars and crossovers, as well as other trucks. Here are the best trucks currently on the market.
Home Theater

5 gorgeous turntables that spin stacks of wax in style for less than $500

Vinyl records are awesome, but they're also finicky. To get the best out of your stacks of wax, it's best to play them on a quality turntable. Here are the best turntables to be had for under $500.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Smart Home

Keep your stuff safe and porch pirates away with the best home security cams

When it comes to the best home security cameras, the choice often comes down to the one that simply knows how to stay out of your way. Here are some of our favorites, both indoor and outdoor.
Home Theater

Six sensational subwoofers that will shake any room on any budget

Whether you're a film buff or a music junkie, sometimes you just need to go lower. Luckily, we've put together a guide to the best subwoofers, so you can feel your favorite movies instead of just hearing them.

Protect your gadget with our rundown of the best iPhone 6S cases and covers

If you’ve been wondering what kind of stylish cover or protective case is still available for the iPhone 6S, take a step inside and look at our top picks for the best iPhone 6s cases. From style to protection, we've got you covered.
Home Theater

The best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.
Smart Home

Hate messy wires? Check out the best wireless home security cameras

Home security cameras can give you piece of mind, but if they have wires, are limited in where you can put them. We've rounded up the best battery-operated home security cameras to give you flexibility along with your security.

Skip the studio and shoot like a pro with our favorite lenses for portraits

Looking for the best lenses for portrait photography for your mirrorless or DSLR camera? While there's no shortage of options, there are some that stand out. Here are a few of our favorites.

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras have quickly become the preferred interchangeable lens camera for many photographers, both beginners and professionals. Today's models offer great performance and loads of features -- here are our favorites.
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