Facebook officially launched its own app store late Thursday with a collection of free social apps for the web as well as Android and iOS mobile platforms. The move comes as the company looks to capitalize on the increasing number of users accessing its popular social network with mobile devices.
App Center opens with around 600 apps, with an emphasis on quality, and includes apps such as Nike+ GPS, Pinterest and Draw Something, web apps and many popular games for Android, iPhone and iPad owners.
Those using Windows Phone or BlackBerry will be disappointed however, as App Center doesn't currently support these devices, and it's currently unclear if the situation will change with future updates.
"The App Center gives you personalized recommendations, and lets you browse the apps your friends use. It only lists high-quality apps, based on feedback from people who use the app," said Matt Wydnowe, Facebook's product manager for apps and games.
Every one of the apps in the new store includes detailed descriptions and screenshots so users can learn more about each particular app before installing it. For some apps, installing is as simple as clicking the "send to mobile" button on the app's page. For those that need to be downloaded, you'll be sent automatically to the correct store pages of Google Play or the Apple App Store, depending on your device.
Referring to the usual privacy concerns associated with Facebook, Wydnowe said App Center actually "helps you control your privacy by showing the information an app needs and letting you choose who can see your activity on Facebook. If you decide you want to use an app, you can get started directly from the App Center."
Wall Street didn't seem too impressed with the social network's latest move however, with shares down 1.79% to $26.33 at the end of trading yesterday. Those in the US will get access to the new Facebook App Center first, with the rest of the world to follow very shortly.
The Apple iPad (3rd-gen) includes a Retina Display operating at a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536. Powering the new iPad is a dual-core A5X processor with quad-core graphics, it also gets upgraded optics in the form of a 5MP backside illuminated sensor that features a 5-element lens, IR filter and ISP built into the A5X chip. Apple claims The new iPad is good for 10 hours of battery life and nine hours when using 4G LTE.
The HTC One X runs Android 4 OS with the new Sense 4 user interface and the phone's powerful NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, which has 4 processing cores that can run at speeds of up to 1.5GHz. On the front face of the phone is the secondary 1.3 megapixel camera for video chatting, which supports the primary 8 megapixel camera, with LED flash. It measures 134.5mm x 70.8mm (5.3in x 2.8in) and weight only 134g (4.7oz).
The iPhone 4S looks identical to last year's model but comes in a new 64GB flavor and upgrades the camera to include an 8-megapixel sensor with improved low-light performance and 1080p video capture. In terms of performance the new iPhone is reportedly up to 2x faster and is also capable of running on faster HSPA+ networks, reaching theoretical download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.
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