Hall of apps for PCs & netbooks

Last Updated: Sun, May 15, 2011 20:00 hrs

The buzz around apps just got louder. Apps are no more restricted to smartphones and tablet PCs. Thank Intel and Apple for the mini-programs for netbooks, PCs and Macs.

Intel AppUp is an installable market place for Windows PCs with the netbook audience in mind. It comes pre-installed in the new generation of Windows netbooks from Asus, Acer and Lenovo. Or you can install the AppUp Center from the site www.appup.com. It was originally designed for netbooks and tablets running Intel’s Linux OS, Moblin v2.1, for Atom-based devices, but Intel realised the apps could also work on PCs or laptops running Windows XP or Windows 7.

First time users are required to create an account and provide billing infor-mation. Registration is not necessary for downloading free apps. Buying apps is a simple, one click process. AppUp has all the standard app store fixings — several app categories, staff recommendations, hottest apps, newest releases and a large graphic at the top reserved for featured apps. Apps will be downloaded externally and saved on your machine with separate shortcuts for each app on your desktop. AppUp appears expensive since the average price is in the range of Rs 135-Rs 450 — way above the price of apps for smartphones (Rs 45-Rs 90).

Verdict: Intel AppUp is a valid source of quality apps for Windows PCs. Intel, which was becoming ‘just a PC chip company”, makes a serious attempt to address the growing needs of the consumer with its app store. But can it take on Apple and Google. Time will tell.

The Mac App Store from Apple runs only on Mac PCs and notebooks with an Intel processor and the latest version of the Mac operating system, MacOS X 10.6.6. It also comes pre-installed on all new models of Macs.

The Mac App Store provides a one-stop shopping place for finding, buying and downloading software for your Mac. The user interface of the App store mirrors that of iTunes for the iPhone or iPad. Simple buttons are there across the top of the page for featured apps, top charts, categories, purchases, and updates. When you first launch the Mac App Store, the application asks for the iTunes ID you use for iTunes Store purchases and your password. (First time users will have to create a new account and provide payment details to proceed.)

The App store allows Mac users to buy Apple-designed software, like iWork without having to go out and purchase a box set edition or order the retail version from the Apple website. Click on the iWork app, make the payment and then you can downloaded. There are other new features as well: Like the App Store detects what's on your machine. For example, if you already own iPhoto software, then it will show that as installed. Besides, there are many popular software selections available — like numerous Twitter or Facebook apps, Apple's Pro apps, a zillion games, typing apps, video editors and pure entertainment apps. It has simplified the software buying (and updating) experience.

Verdict: The site sports the familiar interface of iTunes for smartphones, iPods or iPads and the process to buy software is easy for Mac users. Let's hope we see several new apps in the future.

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