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An app store (or app marketplace) is a type of digital distribution platform for
computer software, often in a mobile context. Apps provide a specific set of functions
which, by definition, do not include the running of the computer itself. Apps are
designed to run on specific devices, and are written for a specific operating system (such
as iOS, Mac OS X,Windows, or Android). Complex software designed for use on
a personal computer, for example, may have a related app designed for use on a mobile
Such a mobile app may offer similar, if limited, functionality compared to the complete
software running on the computer. Apps optimize the appearance of displayed data,
taking into consideration the device screen size and resolution. Besides providing
continuity of functionality over two different types of devices, such apps may also be
capable of a file synchronization between two dissimilar devices, even between two
different operating system platforms. App stores typically organize the apps they offer
based on these considerations: the function(s) provided by the app (including games,
multimedia or productivity), the device for which the app was designed, and the
operating system on which the app will run.
App stores typically take the form of an online store, where users can browse through
these different app categories, view information about each app (such as reviews or
ratings), and acquire the app (including app purchase, if necessary - many apps are
offered at no cost). The selected app is offered as an automatic download, after which
the app installs. Some app stores may also include a system to automatically remove an
installed program from devices under certain conditions, with the goal of protecting the
user against malicious software.
Many app stores are curated by their owners, requiring that submissions of prospective
apps go through an approval process. These apps are inspected for compliance with
certain guidelines (such as those for quality control and censorship), including the
requirement that a commission be collected on each sale of a paid app. With the ease of
use apps offer, and their presence on most mobile devices, app stores rose to
prominence at the beginning of the 21st century with their adoption by iOS (iOS App
Store) and Android (Google Play). Similar systems for the distribution of apps written
for other operating systems have also been available for some time
(particularly Linux distributions since the early 1990s), through package management
systems and their graphical front-ends.
The Electronic AppWrapper  was the first commercial electronic software distribution
catalog to collectively manage encryption and provide digital rights for apps and digital
media (issue #3 was the app store originally demonstrated to Steve Jobs at
NeXTWorld EXPO). While a Senior Editor at NeXTWORLD Magazine, Simson
Garfinkel, rated The Electronic AppWrapper 4 3/4 Cubes (out of 5), in his formal
review. Paget's Electronic AppWrapper was named a finalist in the highly competitive
InVision Multimedia '93 awards in January, 1993 and won the Best of Breed award for
Content and Information at NeXTWORLD Expo in May, 1993.
apple app store
A Screen Shot of Stone Design's 3DReality running on the Electronic AppWrapper, the
first app store
Many Linux distributions and other Unix-like systems provide a tool known as
a package manager, which allows a user to automatically manage the software installed
on their systems (including both operating system components and third-party
software) using command line tools—new software (and the packages required for its
proper operation) can be retrieved from local or remote mirrors and automatically
installed in a single process. Notable package managers in Unix-like operating systems
have included pkgsrc (1997),Debian's APT (1998), YUM, and Gentoo's Portage (which
unlike most package managers, distributes packages containing source codethat is
automatically compiled instead of executables). Some package managers
have graphical front-end software which can be used to browse available packages and
perform operations, such as Synaptic (which is often used as a front-end for APT).
In 1996, the SUSE Linux distribution has YaST as frontend for its own app repository.
Mandriva Linux has urpmi with GUI frontend calledRpmdrake. Fedora and Red Hat
Enterprise Linux has YUM in 2003 as a successor of YUP (developed at Duke
University for Red Hat Linux).
In 1997, BeDepot a third-party app store and package manager (Software Valet)
for BeOS was launched, which operated until 2001. It was eventually acquired by Be Inc.
BeDepot allowed for both commercial and free apps as well as handling updates
In 1998, Information Technologies India Ltd (ITIL) launched Palmix, a web based App
Store exclusively for mobile and handheld devices. Palmix sold apps for the three major
PDA platforms of the time: the Palm OS based Palm Pilots, Windows CE based devices,
and Psion Epoc handhelds.
In December 2001, Sprint PCS launched the Sprint PCS Ringers & More(SM) Wireless
Download Service for their then-new 3G wireless network. This allowed subscribers to
the Sprint PCS mobile phone network to download ringtones, wallpaper, J2ME
applications and later full music tracks to certain phones. The user interface worked
through a web browser on the desktop computer, and a version was available through
In 2002, the commercial Linux distribution Linspire (then known as LindowsOS—which
was founded by Michael Robertson, founder of MP3.com) introduced an app store
known as Click'N'Run (CNR). For an annual subscription fee, users could perform oneclick installation of free and paid apps through the CNR software. Doc Searls believed
that the ease-of-use of CNR could help make desktop Linux a feasible reality.
In 2003 Handango introduced the first on-device app store for finding, installing and
buying software for smartphones. App download and purchasing are completed directly
on the device so sync with a computer is not necessary. Description, rating and
screenshot are available for any app.
In 2005 Nokia 770 Internet Tablet has graphical frontend for its app repository to easily
install app (its Maemo was based on Debian).
apple app store
The popular Linux distribution Ubuntu (also based on Debian) introduced its own
graphical software manager known as the Ubuntu Software Center on version 9.10 as a
replacement for Synaptic. On Ubuntu 10.10, released in October 2010, the Software
Center expanded beyond only offering existing software from its repositories by adding
the ability to purchase certain apps (which, at launch, was limited to Fluendo's
licensed DVD codecs).
Apple and the App Store
In 2007, Apple Computer launched the iPhone1.0 the company's first ever smartphone.
When the device launched, the device did not provide any support for third-party
software: Apple's CEO Steve Jobs believed that web apps served over the internet could
provide adequate functionality required for most users. Soon after its release, however,
developers had managed to "jailbreak" the iPhone and begin coding third-party apps for
the device, distributed through package managers such as Installer.app (which itself was
based on APT) and Cydia.
With the release of iPhone OS 2.0 in July 2008, Apple launched the App Store; officially
introducing third-party app development and distribution to the platform. The service
allows users to purchase and download new apps for their device through either the App
Store on the device, or through the iTunes Store on the iTunes desktop software. Apple
asserts a large number of restrictions on app developers: all apps are subject to a review
by Apple staff when submitted and can be rejected if they do not pass Apple's
technological and content guidelines. Additionally, Apple takes a 30% commission on
revenues for paid apps sold through the store. Even after the launch of the official App
Store, alternative app stores for jailbroken iOS devices, such as Cydia (which also
introduced the ability to charge for apps), have remained active as an alternative
platform to allow developers to distribute apps that have been rejected by Apple, or for
those who do not wish to distribute through the App Store.
While Apple has been criticized by some for how it operates the App Store, it has been a
major financial success for the company: reaching over 40 billion app downloads as of
2013, with a library of over 800,000 apps available. The popularity of Apple's App
Store led to the introduction of equivalent marketplaces by competing mobile operating
systems: the Android Market (later renamed to Google Play) launched alongside the
release of the first Android smartphone (the HTC Dream) in September
2008, andBlackBerry's App World launched in April 2009. In January 2011,
Apple also launched the Mac App Store, a similar distribution platform for OS
X software on Macintoshcomputers; while developers can still distribute apps for Macs
via traditional methods, the Mac App Store features similar certification requirements
to its iOS counterpart to ensure security and reliability.
"App Store" trademark
Due to its popularity, the term "app store" (first used by The Electronic
AppWrapper  and later popularized by Apple's App Store for iOS device) has
frequently been used as ageneric trademark to refer to other distribution platforms of a
similar nature. Apple asserted trademark claims over the phrase, and filed a trademark
registration for "App Store" in 2008. In 2011, Apple sued both Amazon.com (who runs
the Amazon Appstore for Android-based devices) and GetJar (who has offered its
services since 2004) for trademark infringement and false advertising regarding the use
of the term "app store" to refer to their services. Microsoft filed multiple objections
against Apple's attempt to register the name as a trademark, considering it to already be
a generic term.
In January 2013, Apple's claims were rejected by a US District judge, who argued that
the company presented no evidence that Amazon had "[attempted] to mimic Apple‟s site
or advertising", or communicated that its service "possesses the characteristics and
qualities that the public has come to expect from the Apple APP STORE and/or Apple
products" In July 2013, Apple dropped its case.
Hound voice assistant launches in the
App Store, but how does it compare
There are numerous companies competing to be the top dog in voice assistant software,
but the makers of sound-tagging service SoundHound have made another alternative
calledHound that promises an excellent voice assistant experience. Many initial reports
suggest it‟s even more capable than the voice assistants you‟re used to using already,
such as Siri, Google Now, and Cortana.
So just how capable is Hound? In this piece, we‟ll walk you through the new free-todownload Hound voice assistant for iOS and find out if it‟s as good as everyone says.
Hound: an alternative to other voice assistants
It seems like everyone‟s trying to make a better voice assistant these days because that‟s
where we‟re headed. The days of having to actually look at a screen and tap on results
are slowly disappearing as we move to voice-based technologies that can activate with
the sound of your voice and provide answers based on your vocal queries.
Siri, which comes standard on all iOS devices today, has been making strides in
usefulness over the years since its debut in iOS 5, but it still lacks some common
functionality that competing voice assistants have to offer. Likewise, competing voice
assistants aren‟t without their pitfalls.
Hound is another take on the voice assistant race that aims to give users a new voice
search experience; one where they aren‟t going to have to memorize key words and can
speak naturally as they would if they were talking to a person. Moreover, Hound
promises ultra-fast search results and even allows you to continue to fine-tune queries
as you ask questions with follow-up queries.
The strong points of Hound
One of the things worth pointing out about Hound is that it has a gorgeous user
interface with bold color usage, a good flow of information with each query, and wellorganized data so you know what you‟re actually looking at when you receive an answer.
Hound supports a lot of useful queries you might ask throughout your day, and these
apple app store
Information about the weather and temperature
Yelpsearches for restaurants and other locations
Getting directions from point A to point B via GPS
Booking hotels through Expedia
Finding anUber in your area
Making phone calls and text messages
Searching the web without having to type anything yourself
Performing mathematical calculations, no matter how complex
Translating from one language, currency, or unit to another
Information on flight times or stock prices
Setting alarms and timers
Finding out what that catch tune is with built-inSoundHound support
And much more
Because you can speak normally, you don‟t have to remember key words to make sure
you get the search results you‟re looking for. You can talk to Hound the same way you
would talk to a human being, rather than how you would talk to a robot, and you‟re
more likely yo find what you‟re looking for.
SoundHound integration means that you don‟t particularly have to be in microphone
distance of a catchy song to tag it; you can even hum a song that‟s stuck in your head
and Hound has a chance of being able to tag the song for you, which is better than
Siri‟sShazam support, in which you must have the song playing in audible microphone
distance for it to pick up.
Hound and Siri do a lot of the same things, but since Siri is still the operating system‟s
main voice control software, it‟s going to have key functionality that an App Store app
could never touch. For example, toggling system controls and being able to be accessed
from anywhere in iOS are just two of many reasons why Siri will always out-shine App
Moreover, without support for Wolfram Alpha, like Siri has, Hound is unable to process
some questions and will have to searching the web for your own answers instead, which
might not be as helpful for when you‟re trying to do things without your hands.
Although Hound supports “Hey Hound,” just like Siri‟s “Hey Siri” feature, the downside
is that the Hound app has to be open and in the foreground for this to be at all useful.
Because Siri is a system service, you can access Siri from anywhere in iOS, whether
you‟re in an app already, on the Lock screen, or on the Home screen.
Hound is a great new voice assistant, and because it‟s free in the App Store, we‟d
definitely recommend you try it out. With the fresh new user interface that telepathically
screams „welcome to your new voice assistant‟ and great voice recognition software that
lets you talk normally, Hound offers a great competition for alternative voice assistants.