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Monday, July 26, 2010

The Top 100 Free Apps for Your Phone 2010

By: Staff

Whether you're toting an iPhone, Droid, BlackBerry, or Palm Pre, it's the apps that make your smartphone brilliant. And the app scene is booming. The iPhone still leads the app race, with more than 225,000 apps, but developers are churning out apps for other platforms as well. Google's Android Market now has over 60,000 apps. Palm's App Catalog for the Pre and Pixi has risen from hundreds to more than 2,000 apps during the past several months alone. And there are thousands of apps for BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Symbian phones.

Six months ago, when we did our first "Top 100 Free Mobile Apps for Your Phone" story, our focus was clearly on the iPhone. The same holds true this time around, though we did rejigger the number of apps we cover for each of the other smartphone platforms.

While the iPhone isn't the number-one smartphone platform in America (that's BlackBerry), iPhone owners download more apps than owners of competing devices. We boosted our Android selection to 30 apps to reflect the huge number of Android-powered phones hitting the marketplace right now. Verizon and Sprint, especially, have been enthusiastic about Android, offering Google's OS as their hottest smartphone platform right now.

Palm's webOS now gets its own list of 10 free apps, as Palm phones are now available on Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and AT&T, and HP has said it's going to "double down" on the Palm system. The Symbian operating system gets a list of five free apps: Nokia's smartphones have barely hung on in the U.S. market.

The losers in this roundup are RIM's BlackBerrys and Microsoft's Windows Mobile phones. There are millions of BlackBerrys in the U.S., but our readership statistics have shown that BlackBerry owners are less interested in reading about apps than users of other platforms. That may be because RIM's App World is still difficult to use, and BlackBerry owners can find it difficult to figure out where to download their favorite apps.

Microsoft's Windows Mobile is in a chrysalis right now, as it transforms into Windows Phone 7 later this year. Microsoft shifted most developers' interest away from Windows Mobile 6.5. But because there are still millions of Windows Mobile 6.5 phones in consumers' hands, we're giving you five great free apps for that platform.

Given the thousands of great free apps out there, we know that our list can't possibly be comprehensive. If you know of some, jump over to the appropriate platform page and add your suggestion to the Comments area.

The Top 40 Free iPhone Apps
The Top 30 Free Google Android Apps
The Top 10 Free BlackBerry Apps
The Top 10 Free Palm webOS Apps
The Top 5 Free Symbian Apps
The Top 5 Free Windows Phone Apps

Sascha Segan, Gregg Binder, Sean Ludwig, and Jamie Lendino contributed to this report.