Tips:  Got Apps?

[Last update: 4/22/13 - ]

Where to look for apps for your device
We used to call computer software 'Applications' or 'Programs' back in the purely PC/Mac era. :-) Little applications were usually called 'Utilities', but are generally what have evolved into what we now call 'Apps', for small devices like phones, tablets and game consoles.

Now everyone calls everything 'Apps'. {sigh} ;-) There are actually many places to get Apps, but as phone and tablet folk are finding out, TOO many where you can get infected by viruses and Ad/Spyware. (welcome to the REAL world Apple folk ;-)

Stick to your OS' own store for the most part. Great selection, well integrated with your device for updates and payment. Maybe a few too costly apps, but still plenty of free apps. For others places, look to recognized 'brands' like Amazon and CNet and your device's manufacturer, like Samsung or LG. Look for the icons below for safe places to look for Apps.

Where NOT to look!
Do NOT get apps from emails; text messages; on-line ads; blogs; game sites; review websites; toolbars; aquarium screensavers; ZIP files!! App installs and music/video files are ALREADY compressed! Don't let someone fool you by saying its a Zip file so you can download it faster. Its just a way of slipping you a virus!

Hover over links to supposedly great apps. Even a link that has text that says a legit site like, may ACTUALLY be pointing somewhere ELSE in the link reference. Hover over it to see before clicking. If it blocks you and doesn't show the link address, DON'T CLICK! There's a REASON they don't want you to see where the link is really going. And its NOT good for you!

And I know its cool to Root your phone and gain cool access that you didn't have before, but that access also goes to any rogue app you run into. Do you really want something having THAT much access to your stuff? Same goes for allowing 'Unknown Sources' in 'Settings|Security' to install apps.

How to find FREE Apps
There are plenty of good, safe, free apps out there. In all my time with my Android phones, I've only paid for 1 app, my backup app! Now granted there are more free apps in Android-world than there are in the Apple-universe, but my daughter says she hardly ever pays for an app there either. So there's lots to be had. Just watch out for 'free trials', as they will only work for a while and/or will only work if you give your credit card beforehand, but 'they won't charge you right away'. Stick to REAL free. Of course, if you DO love an app, by all means buy it! It will help the developer survive and make more great apps hopefully. Otherwise, check out the icons below for great, safe, free Apps!

Here are the safest locations to check out...
(let me know if you find others)

The granddaddy of all the 'stores', Apple's iTunes Store. Originally created to sell music in a totally different way from the music mogul's 'album' format, iTunes specialized in selling individual tracks of songs! Turned the music industry on its ear! Later, movies and books were added, leading to even more lawsuits and shitgun agreements between media and Apple. Then came the addition of Apps, for small devices and now even software for traditional computers, like Macs. Problem was, Apple was the only game in town, until Android came around...
iPhone, iPad, iTouch - Apple Store:     
Macs - Mac Store:     
Macs - Amazon Software:     
With the advent of Google's Android OS for phones and tablets, there was now competition in the market. Sort of. iTunes was so dominant and Mac apps far smoother and sexier than the first Android apps. But Google did its homework and had a vast store of books to leverage its open platform, to become the dominant one in the market now, much as PCs did in the past to the closed and small Mac market. But that market is still somewhat fragmented. Book companies like Amazon and Barnes & Noble liked the closed idea of the Apple ecosystem and built fairly closed systems of their own within the open Android market. So they allow very few of the 'regular' Android apps from the Google Play store, prefering their own 'approved' apps. So neither has dominated as much as it could, but both generate money for both concerns.
Google Android - Google Play Store:     
Google Android - Amazon Appstore for Android:     
Amazon Kindle Fire - Kindle Fire Apps:     
Barnes & Noble Nook - Nook Apps:     
Microsoft recently opened its own store for its new line of Windows 8 PCs, tablets and phones. Tiny compared to Apple or Google, they are late to the game, but moving fast, using their huge lead in available developers from the PC era. And there are many outlets for 'apps' for previous versions of Windows as well.
Windows 8 & Surface tablets - Windows Store:     
All Windows - Amazon Software:     
All Windows -     
All Windows - PC World:  
Blackberry is trying to make a comeback from destroying their once dominant position in the corporate communications world. Will their new line of phones and tablets convince their old users and developers to jump over to their line and at least eek past Microsoft in this arena? Only time will tell.
BlackBerry - BlackBerry World: