In pictures: Smartphone app store comparison

We compare the interfaces of popular mobile app stores from Apple, Google, Microsoft, BlackBerry and Nokia

  • Like the App Store, Windows Marketplace groups apps into categories including communication, entertainment and games.

  • Unlike the App Store, the Android Market has a page allowing you to quickly view apps you've already downloaded and installed on your phone.

  • On the main page of the Apple App Store, users are greeted with a selection of new and hot applications. You can also sort by the most downloaded free and paid apps, as well as the top grossing apps.

  • The process of purchasing apps isn’t as quick and easy as it is with Apple's App Store. It involves pressing buy, re-entering your Ovi account password, choosing the payment method, and then finally purchasing. You will then receive a confirmation SMS with a transaction ID.

  • A list of Windows Marketplace apps includes a price and an average user star rating. Telstra will soon introduce mobile billing to pay for Marketplace apps, and you can also use a credit card.

  • Not yet released in Australia and with no firm release date, BlackBerry's [[xref:|App World]] is currently live in a number of countries including the US. App World also groups apps into various categories.

  • New to the app world after being released just last month, Microsoft's [[xref:|Windows Marketplace]] is the app store for all "Windows Phones". Available as an application itself on a Windows phone or accessible in a phone's browser, Windows Marketplace displays four of the most popular apps on the home page and allows you to quickly search for apps.

  • Similar to the App Store, the Android Market provides a brief description of each app along with user reviews. It doesn't incorporate screenshots as well as the App Store.

  • Apple's [[artnid:309245|iPhone]] may have kicked off the phenomenon, but believe it or not, there are alternatives to the ever popular App Store: Google's Android Market, Microsoft's Windows Marketplace, BlackBerry's App World and Nokia's Ovi Store.

    We take a look at the user interfaces of these application stores and how they differ from one another.

    With more than 2 billion downloads and almost 100,000 applications to choose from, Apple's [[xref:|App Store]] kicked off the mobile app phenomenon in a serious way in mid-2008. Apple groups apps into general categories such as games and entertainment, but with so many downloads available the search function often proves more useful when looking for apps.

  • Google's [[xref:|Android Market]] is the standard application store for all smartphones that run the Android operating system. Though much smaller than Apple's App Store at this stage, the Android Market is expected to become more competitive as more Android phones are released.

  • BlackBerry App World provides a user star rating average and the price (if applicable) when viewing a list of apps in a particular category. Though it isn't as slick or visually appealing as the alternatives, App World is simple to navigate.

  • The interface and layout of the Ovi Store is similar to competitors, with apps sorted into categories, such as recommended, games, audio and video and personalisation.

    Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: [[xref:|@Goodgearguide|Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter]]

  • Individual apps feature a description of the app, a small thumbnail of the app's icon, multiple screenshots and user reviews. iPhone users need an iTunes account to purchase apps and these can be paid for by a credit card linked to the account or by using iTunes gift cards.

  • BlackBerry App World users in the US require a PayPal account to purchase apps. It is not yet known whether this will also be the case in Australia.

  • The [[artnid:305942|Nokia Ovi Store]] was launched in May and at the time it was just the second mobile phone app store Australians could access that featured non-free apps — the Android Market and Windows Marketplace have since changed that.

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