SnappLife app store at Carphone Warehouse

Carphone Warehouse has caught the app store bug and is promoting SnappLife, which can deliver apps like Facebook and Twitter onto even more mobile phones

Flora Graham
2 min read

Amazing, awesome, abundant apps -- if you don't have your own app store, you're stuck in neutral and coasting down the road to nowheresville.

Just in case there's still a mobile phone somewhere that doesn't already sport a Facebook app, Carphone Warehouse has announced that it's offering its own version of an app store: the SnappLife app platform.

SnappLife is an app store with an app, if you will. It's installed on your phone and replaces the home screen, giving your phone the ability to run multiple apps simultaneously and get real-time alerts -- Twitter updates, for example.

SnappLife gets those apps to you in a few different ways. It acts as a virtual machine, running apps written especially for it in JavaScript. It can also launch apps that are installed already on the device, or it can launch the Web browser for accessing sites like Google mobile.

You can also make phone calls, check text messages and all the usual home screen tasks from within SnappLife.

Like Vodafone's forthcoming app store, the idea is that SnappLife will deliver apps to a range of handsets, making life a lot easier for developers by getting everyone on board the app train to fun town. But for now, it is getting the ball rolling by only supporting a handful of Nokia Symbian S60 handsets.

We tried out the app store wannabe on our Nokia E51 and we liked the extra functionality that it gave to the phone. The apps that come with SnappLife are easy to use and made tweeting and googling a bit quicker, since we could access them right from the home screen and not bother launching the Web browser through the phone menu.

But the apps are still in their early stages, and there's room for improvement. For example, there's no predictive text when typing Twitter messages. And with Nokia's own Ovi Store on it's way, we're not sure if SnappLife has the legs to be worth having in the long term.

Right now you can't buy extra SnappLife apps -- that's coming this Summer, Carphone Warehouse tells us. But it does come with a bunch of apps including Twitter, Facebook, Google search and Sky News. The SnappLife developer portal went live today, so we should be seeing more apps on their way.

The SnappLife store will charge via PayPal, like the BlackBerry App World, but for now, it's all free.You can get SnappLife by entering your mobile number at the Carphone Warehouse Web site or by texting "snapp" to 64246.