An app store for handsets other than the iPhone


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It’s easy to feel jealous of the iPhone, no matter how cool your own phone is. Why? Because Apple has the App Store, which lets iPhone users download such cool applications as iBeer. No matter how nifty your new handset is, it probably doesn’t have easy access to as many apps as an iPhone.

The problem, of course, is that the huge variety of carriers and handset models makes it difficult for developers to design applications that work everywhere. But today, Hands-On Mobile launched a beta version of its Hands-On Mobile Developer Network, which will allow developers design rich mobile applications that work on any phone. The San Francisco company will also soon release Mixt, which makes it easier for cellphone users to find the applications, once they’re developed.


Eventually, the applications will work with all four major carriers.

‘Apple made really a big splash when it launched the iPhone, and it had a built-in developer community,’ said Michael Temkin, chief technology officer of Hands-On Mobile. He said that developers are looking for ways to easily develop similar applications for other phones. ‘I think there’s really a pent-up demand for it,’ he said.

So far, Hands-On has a variety of applications, including a Magic 8 ball on phones that will answer users’ questions and a local search feature. We’ll know it has caught up to the App Store when people with lots of different handsets can go to the bar after work and all drink iBeers from their own separate phones.

-- Alana Semuels