What is an App Store?

An app store is an online store where people can buy apps for mobile devices. The original app store was the App Store run by Apple to provide apps for its iPhone® and iPod Touch® users, and other companies adopted the concept so they could build and sell apps for their users as well. Apps in an app store can range in cost from free downloads to quite expensive, depending on who developed the app and its purpose. Most paid downloads have relatively low prices.

Many apps sold on the Apple App Store were designed specifically for the iPad.

Many manufacturers design apps on their own as they respond to user feedback from members of the public who use their devices. The app store may also include apps from other developers, with the manufacturer reviewing the apps to confirm that they are functional, secure, and work as intended. Employees can also review apps to address issues about young children’s access to adult content and to help people who are concerned about offensive content avoid apps that might annoy them.

Applications can be downloaded to the iPod Touch.

Applications are designed to expand the functionality of a mobile device. They can include things like personal planners, games, joke programs, and a wide variety of other types of apps. To be included in an app store run by a manufacturer, apps usually must be coded so that they conform to a very specific standard; many manufacturers publish their standards and specifications so that programmers can create applications for their devices. Privately managed app stores may not have these strict standards.

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Apple developed the original App Store as a marketplace for apps for its iPhone.

Typically, users can access an app store from their mobile device, with some manufacturers providing a hotkey that users can use to go straight to the store. Once there, users can search for an app by name or browse by type. Often, many competing apps serve more or less the same function, with users choosing by price, design, reputation, or style.

When people download from an app store, they may be asked to enter a username and password linked to financial information stored by the store itself, or a credit card number. People should be careful when downloading, confirming that their information is stored securely and used responsibly and that they are downloading the apps they intend to download. They should also be aware that offers on a third-party store may not be verified for security, which means they could download something potentially dangerous, such as an app with a virus embedded in it or an app that collects personal information.

The Apple-managed App Store allows users to download apps to their iPhone®.

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