The Power of Apps

If you read my recent Palm Pre 2 review then you'll know the importance of apps to the success of a smartphone. If you didn't, why the blazes not!? Apps, or to give them their full term, applications are now so important to the mobile world that they can make or break a smartphone. Of course there are other factors such as how the phone looks, how it plays and of course the gazillion features we've come to expect. Yet we as early adopters are by our very nature a greedy bunch and if we can't pimp up our handsets or tablets with the latest apps then sadly it's doomed to a life of gathering dust on a store shelf.

This again brings us nicely back to the Palm Pre 2. Now despite having the powers to singlehandedly take down mobile phone manufacturers with one sentence - I do of course jest. It takes at least two - I don't like predicting a doomed future for handsets. Particularly when they're as well assembled as the Palm Pre 2, what with its polished pebble design, finger-friendly QWERTY keyboard and tactile touch-screen it's a joy to use. Yet a visit to the Palm App Catalog and those pluses transform into a "so what, there's no Twitter app".

We'd be willing to give Palm the benefit of the doubt if the App Catalog was still in its infancy, but it's not having thrown the same criticism at the original Palm Pre. Moving away from the Palm bashing (that somehow sounds a little wrong), we'd like to see a little more from both the BlackBerry App World and Windows Marketplace, though in defence of the latter 10,000 apps since its launch in October is not too shabby. BlackBerry App World currently has over 20,000 apps which pale in comparison to what Apple and Android offers. However, with the BlackBerry PlayBook just around the corner and the fact that it is capable of playing flash, expect an influx of flash enabled apps hitting BlackBerry App World in the near future.

Yet with both Apple and Android offering around 350,000 apps on their various platforms it's no wonder that their handsets continue to sell like hot cakes.

Anyway its lunchtime and I'm off to find my nearest sandwich shop, navigating there via the latest sat nav app, before checking in on Facebook Places and retiring with a game of Angry Birds. Apps, where would we be without them!?

How much emphasis do you put on applications when choosing your smartphone? Are they more important to how a phone looks and plays or the number of features it boasts? What are your favourite apps?

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