An APP for the com­puter

APPS ARE NO LONGER LIMITED TO THE SMART­PHONE OR TABLET, EVEN YOUR DESK­TOP CAN AC­QUIRE SOME.

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - LAUNCH PAD - BY NANDAGOPAL RAJAN

If you think of apps as a smart­phone or tablet phe­nom­e­non, you are mis­taken. Maybe in­spired by their suc­cess on smaller de­vices, apps have started mak­ing in­roads into the com­put­ers space too.

While wid­gets and docks, giv­ing an app feel to pro­grams, have been there for a cou­ple of years, apps got their big­gest push on larger ma­chines with the launch of the Mac App store in early 2011 along with an up­date of Mac OS X Snow Leop­ard. In July, Ap­ple re­leased its Mac OS X Lion on the App store, end­ing the era of DVDS to vend new pro­grammes.

Mac users no longer need to buy soft­ware phys­i­cally, they just need to click the App Store icon in the dock to see the apps on of­fer. Down­load and in­stal­la­tion is as easy as on tablets. A year af­ter its launch with 1,000 apps, the Mac App Store has nearly 9,000 apps that have to­gether logged 100 mil­lion downloads. But down­load­ing an app does not mean it comes free. Yes, there are free apps on the store, but the av­er­age price of the top 50 paid apps is around $26.

But free seems to be the key­word for the other big app player in the com­puter space. The Chrome Web Store was re­leased in late 2010 and al­lows you to down­load apps to your Chrome browser, not the PC. The Web Store works like the Mac App Store on the web-based Chrome­book, which sadly is not yet avail­able in In­dia. Even with­out the Chrome­book, the store can add some use­ful apps and util­i­ties to your com­puter, pro­vided you spend most of your time on the Chrome browser.

Some other browsers too give you app-like fea­tures through add- ons, but none of them have the feel of the Chrome browser. How­ever, there is a draw­back. Many of the apps, es­pe­cially the games, down­loaded from the store do not work off­line. They can be slug­gish, even if the In­ter­net con­nec­tion is slow. Some of the Chrome apps have paid ver­sions, es­pe­cially if you need more cloud space or the pre­mium fea­tures.

There are many third party web­sites that let you in­stall apps di­rectly on to your PC. But we do not rec­om­mend them as there is the risk of them car­ry­ing mal­ware.

Still, if you are in love with your An­droid apps and have al­ways won­dered how to play them on the PC, Blues­tack.com is your an­swer. This startup has found a way to bring An­droid apps to the PC. It’s is not a per­fect tech­nol­ogy as the apps are not in­tended for larger screens, but that does not mean they have lesser util­ity on the com­puter. How­ever, you will have to in­stall the Blues­tack soft­ware to run the apps on your PC.

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