RealTime IT News

Palm Does its Own App Store

Palm has launched a new online mobile application storefront stuffed with free and paid versions of applications for over 25 Palm devices.

The quiet Software Store debut, which it didn't announce officially, houses 1,000 free applications and 2,000 games.

Users can search through categories for applications for personal productivity, fun and games, to professional. You can browse applications listed by device type and also by mobile platform. There are even sub-storefronts for Windows Mobile and Palm's OS applications.

Is it enough to keep the legions of Palm device users faithful? Palm did not return a call seeking comment.

Applications for the Palm platform have long enjoyed a huge following, and have been a key reason many Palm device users, such as Treo and Centro, are sticking with Palm while others are leaving the device for others.

Palm has been offering software through its own Shop MyPalm site which is still active. Palm fans can also go to third-party developer sites, like Handango.com, visit retail stores and download applications from wireless carrier sites as well.

While Palm is still more than a few steps behind Apple, it can take solace that's it's still way ahead of Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) on the mobile application storefront.

The Blackberry maker announcedin October it's planning to launch its first official mobile software store next March.

The news comes as mobile applications are gaining in popularity as users become much more comfortable with devices. A recent survey from Amplitude Research said 39 percent of device users it polled have downloaded games, online photo tools, stock tickers and business applications onto devices. Just over 21 percent have added at least six or more applications.