About Those Other App StoresS

Why does the iPhone get its own app roundup every week? W-w-what about the rest of us? WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THIS SMARTPHONE? We should explain.

We've given Apple's App Store quite a bit of coverage from the start, and rightly so—it was (and is) a flawed product, but it's consistently updated with new, interesting material. The other thing is, people use it. A lot.

Seeing this, other companies have since joined in, or announced plans to do so in the near future. Some of these solutions have been around for months, others for much less, but so far none have earned the same steady coverage as the App Store, and a lot of you have asked us why.

In short, these other stores hadn't really hit their stride. The Android Market suffered from late implementation of paid apps and limited developer interest; now it's got a fine payment system, more users, and sits on the cusp of exploding. BlackBerry App World materialized almost spontaneously, met with apathy by a userbase that was used to getting apps elsewhere, and debuted chock full of content we'd already seen; now, it's gaining steam. Microsoft is about to open their solution, and Nokia just did. Palm's is basically imminent. So we're doing something about it.

Starting tomorrow with the Android Market, we'll be doing periodic roundups for non-iPhone app stores. Since none of these stores have the same kind of volume Apple's does (yet!), our roundups will fall on a rotating schedule, so no matter which smartphone you've got in your pocket you can expect a heaping, fresh serving of nutritious, delicious apps every few weeks.

Of course, you're all part of this: if anything useful, interesting or strange shows up in your phone's app store, shoot us a link at our tips line, with "BlackBerry/Android/Whatever App Roundup" in the subject. Happy downloading.