Since Apple introduced the App Store with the iPhone in 2008, apps have been a major part of the smartphone experience. They allow the user to turn their smartphone into a multi-functional device that can do almost anything. Apps give you the ability to watch a movie on your phone, play an endless amount of addicting games, and even complete a home inspection on your tablet. The opportunities and possibilities are endless. This article is going to discuss the mobile app stores that are currently leading the pack.

Apple’s App Store for iOS devices comes pre-installed on all iPhones, iPads, and compatible iPods and features over 500,000 apps. The App Store officially opened on July 10, 2008 and changed the way people would use smartphones forever. Since then over 18 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store. Along with apps, the App Store also offers books, music, movies, and games. Of their vast collection of apps, about 37% of them are free. Apps that are submitted to the store are subject to approval by Apple, which means every app that you find here has been reviewed and approved. Apple also makes it easy to find apps by separating them into several categories, as well as, offering the top rated, newest, and recommended apps.

Google developed the Android Market as an online store for devices running the Android operating system, such as phones and tablet computers. The Android Market comes pre-installed on most Android devices and features over 400,000 applications. The Android Market allows users to browse, purchase, and download a wide variety of apps, as well as, movies, music, games, and books. More than any other major app store, 67% of the apps in the Android Market are free of charge. This is great for the user because it gives them a huge selection of apps to choose from without having to pay a lot or anything at all. As of the end of 2011, over 10 billion apps have been downloaded around the world from the Android Market. Android makes it easy to see what apps are most popular, which ones are trending, and even offers some editor picks.

Although the Apple App Store and the Android Market are the two biggest destinations for apps, there are others as well. Amazon has a marketplace that continues to grow and gives their users a variety of entertainment type applications to choose from. BlackBerry also has a mobile store called BlackBerry App World. Lastly, Windows is looking to become a much bigger player in the smartphone with their own mobile app store, the Windows Phone Marketplace.

All of the mobile app stores mentioned offer their users a large selection of apps that can truly benefit their everyday lives. These apps are not only convenient and a great source of entertainment, but some actually are necessary for work and allow them to do their job. Apps and mobile app stores are only going to continue to grow and get bigger and better in the future.

Source by B Allen