Finding BlackBerry apps: 3 App World alternatives

By Joe Doherty, ITworld |  Mobile & Wireless, App World, BlackBerry

As a rather avid user of my BlackBerry Storm, I am always looking for new applications to augment my user experience (dang, I sound like a sales brochure). So when BlackBerry's App World opened its virtual doors, I was drooling with anticipation to see what I could download.

Naturally, there have been comparisons to Apple's App Store, and the reviews of App World have been less than favorable in comparison. Does that matter? Not really. What other options do you have for getting applications? Well, as it turns out, we do and have had some options for a while.

In previous posts, I've reviewed BlackBerry weather apps and pointed out some good (and free) Android apps, but if you don't want to rely on me to suss out the apps for you, these three online stores might be just what you're looking for.

Handango
Handango offers apps for a wide range of phones, including HTC, Palm and Windows Mobile. Handango offers a download called "Handango InHand" which is the storefront application. The interface is slick with sliding menus and easy navigation. I found the setup a little arduous in comparison to BlackBerry App World, but this is understandable as you do need to select your model of phone and carrier. InHand also offers a few other features on its main screen, such as local weather, traffic, stock reports and news.

Pinstack.com
Pinstack.com also offers a downloadable application for browsing their selection of downloadable applications (I work at the Department of Redundancy Dept.). This site also offers applications for a wide variety of phones and carriers -- including iPhones. Nifty. The site itself is a mecca for smartphone enthusiasts and developers, so it's a good site to keep bookmarked.

Epic Applications
There are also a number of independent smartphone developers out there. One such site is Epic Applications. This developer has many free applications for trial and is generally priced below the more mainstream stores at $0.99 per app. At the time of this writing, the site is having some issues with a Ruby on Rails library. But I've checked this site out before and there are some interesting applications available.

Any others out there? I would love to hear from smartphone developers with downloads available for trial.

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