The Samsung Application Store has been launched, at least for owners of the Samsung i8910 HD and the Omnia i900.

The i8910 HD runs the Symbian operating system, and we think it does a much better job of it than Symbian's biggest champion, Nokia, did with its touchscreen effort, the N97. The Omnia i900 runs Windows Mobile 6.1, which makes us feel sad inside due to its tiny, tappy icons.

Both phones support installing your own applications, and there are tonnes of great ones out there for both operating systems, but finding and installing them has been no easy task in the past. Nokia's solution is the Ovi Store and Microsoft has promised Windows Marketplace for Mobile is on the horizon, so it's no wonder that Samsung didn't want to leave its fans out in the cold.

Omnia i900 users need to install the inventively named Samsung Application Store as an application, while i8910 HD users will get it after upgrading their OS. Either way, you should head to the store to get started.

As we'd expect of a new store, there aren't many apps available yet -- Samsung told us 300 are currently up for grabs. It promised that support for other Samsung phones will be coming soon.

We gave the store a whirl on our Omnia i900, and, once we got over our rage at having to use a stylus, it was a pretty painless experience. Click 'continue' to see the Application Store in action.

You can install the Application Store application on the Omnia i900 by downloading it to your PC and syncing with a USB cable, but we decided to get it directly by visiting the Web site on the phone's browser. Downloading over Wi-Fi only took a few seconds, and then we were away. The whole process took less than 2 minutes.
Apps in the store are organised in the tried and tested format we've seen in Apple's App Store and the Android Market -- the top free and top paid-for apps are lined up for your perusal on their own screens.
There are also categories to browse through, and a search function. We were sad to see that, as of yet, there are no fart apps available for the Omnia i900, although, because apps are filtered so that you only see those that'll work on your handset, there may be farting going on for the i8910 HD.
Each app has a detailed screen that shows a description and screenshots. You don't need to register with the store to get started using free apps -- just tap to download.
For paid-for apps, you can either register on your phone or do it online, and you have the choice of pre-registering a credit card on the Web site or entering the details as you buy. The choices are Visa or MasterCard on the phone, and you have the third option of using Computop, a German online payment company, if you register online.


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