25
Feb
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So you want more than Google Play can deliver, and the Amazon Appstore leaves you cold. Russian Google competitor Yandex is here to help: they've just launched their own branded app store, creatively titled Yandex.Store. The APK is a freely-available download for any Android device, and after a standard account setup process, you've got access to an impressive selection of mainstream apps. Big titles like Angry Birds, ES File Explorer, SoundHound, Twitter and Opera Mobile are all sitting on the front page. Beneath that is a cache of apps 50,000 strong and growing.

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The vast majority of apps on display are free, but there are paid options as well, with support for credit card and cell phone bill payments from dozens of countries including the United States. The store app itself is no slouch, either: it's an appealing mix of the Holo standards in Google Play and the dark theme of the Amazon Appstore. Yandex has partnered with Opera to provide the backend and many of the current apps. All in all, you could do a lot worse, especially if you're using hardware that doesn't have access to official Google apps. Our Russian readers are probably already familiar with Yandex's suite of Android apps and services, including email, maps, navigation, weather, shopping, and quite a bit more.

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There's also been a major revision to Yandex's branded Android homescreen replacement, Yandex.Shell, available on the Google Play Store. Version 2.0 brings some whiz-bang 3D animation, as well as more useful features like the ability to hide apps from the drawer and resize the homescreen grid. It's a free download, but at present it's only available in Russia. The customizable launcher is targeted at smaller handset makers and regional carriers.

Via TechCrunch

Yandex.Store APK Download

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • ProductFRED

    Well it definitely LOOKS better than Google Play. I'll give them that. I always found it annoying that I had to scroll down a single column when searching for apps while the Amazon App Store looks like the Yandex Store (double column).

  • Guest

    Says "This item cannot be installed in your device's country".Challenge Accepted!

    • Jamie

      Shell different to the store app

      Shell app: Install the shell app through the yandex store!

      Challenge Complete! :)

    • PhoenixPath

      Not sure I'd want to...anyone get a good look at the security access?

      recieve SMS, record audio...why would an app-store need these two??

    • http://twitter.com/Dave_BG Dave Bg

      Downloadfrom the site http://m.store.yandex.com/

  • Guest

    The app itself cannot be installed in my country. LOL

    • Jamie

      Its russian! Free from restrictions through Yandex at the moment

  • flippingthecoins

    Is it giving any offer like free paid app every day or week?

    • http://profiles.google.com/kstagg Kevin Stagg

      Download the Amazon Android Store app. You get a free app every day.

  • haxor99

    One question... WHY?

    • gooks

      Why not?

      • Dipish

        And this is one of the major reasons why a huge part of Russian Internet is terrible...

  • Dude

    what's the added value with this store?

    • Dipish

      Pst!.. n-o-n-e! Just like the added value of their Chromium-based browser...

  • mldi

    Why? And any app developers care to speak up about submitting their app into this store?

    • Sam Lee

      Maybe an option for developers to make money for paid apps that are not available in some countries.

      • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

        I'm thinking this will be a real thing for Android OEMs that don't want to pay Google for its services, i.e. in countries like China.

  • wickets

    security of apps??

    • Jamie

      Mentions during install: Kaspersky AV scanned

  • Dipish

    Yandex: "Hey, we're on Internet too! Please look at us!"...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      You'd be surprised - Yandex is extremely popular and is taking over the web 1 million pageviews at a time.

      http://www.yandex.ru is #20 Alexa alone, and they have a ton of other properties.

      Yandex is #4 largest search engine in the world according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yandex.

      Still thinking they're begging for attention? This is just all part of a master plan.

      • Dipish

        I know, I live in Russia, but I'd never say they're doing much innovation. Their only web products that are useful to me are Yandex.Market and Yandex.Maps/Navigator (mostly cause their cartographic data for Russia is better than Google's, the UX is not very good).

        The bottom line: it's not quantity that counts.

        • Anatoly Nechaev

          Well, lets count quality advantages:
          1) Better search in Russian segment of the net
          2) Superior maps of ex-USSR (it's better to say that Google's maps are utter crap, almost non-existent outside major cities).
          3) Mail is more not-geek-user-friendly
          4) Yandex.Money is more mature.
          5) Yandex.Music is free for desktop use. Subscription for mobile cost appropriate money for Russia.
          And so on. Basically it's more logical to use Yandex' services for regular ex-USSR (and may be Turkish) user.

          I'm not particularly advocating Yandex for worldwide use, since i'm not using it myself. Most of my searches are in English, and Google is better for every day use. So using Google's infrastructure makes more sense for me.

          But integrating Yandex' services into Russia-targeted devices definitely could be advantageous for both suppliers and users.

          • Dipish

            1) Better search in Russian segment of the net

            Let me agree on this, only the content in Russian segment of the net is not nearly as good as European/American. But that's a topic for holywar I guess :)

            2) Superior maps of ex-USSR (it's better to say that Google's maps are utter crap, almost non-existent outside major cities).

            I already agreed on this above. Their data is still better for Russia, especially traffic info and webcams. I have to say though that they should keep putting lots of effort in creating good UX or people will eventually switch to Google Maps/Navigation or even something like Waze.

            3) Mail is more not-geek-user-friendly

            Haven't used their mail web ui in ages so let me skip that. The fact that they support IMAP (unlike mail.ru for example) does give them enough credit though.

            4) Yandex.Money is more mature.

            More mature compared to what? The whole online shopping experience is VERY immature in Russia and I don't think that using some virtual currency instead of credit cards is considered mature at all! You don't get paid in Yandex.Money, right? Using virtual currency requires you to do extra steps to pay online and you usually get charged commission either when you buy virtual currency or when you pay with it or both.

            Webmoney? I forgot that thing even exists! People seem to have moved on years ago but in Russia people still use Yandex.Money, Webmoney, QIWI... and ICQ!!! (folks, raise your hands if you know what that is!).

            5) Yandex.Music is free for desktop use. Subscription for mobile cost appropriate money for Russia.

            Well, that's better than nothing but I believe Grooveshark is superior. Music selection is way broader (I didn't do a thorough search of Russian music but there seems to be a lot of it). It's free for desktop use and mobile subscription is a bit more expensive but seems like it buys you more value.

            Overall I see your point and I hope you don't take this personal but I'm just very sorry to see companies (and big companies!) creating products "just because they can" (let alone ripping off features from others) instead of really doing something better than the competition, something unique (in a positive way, not uniquely buggy and unusable!).

          • Anatoly Nechaev

            >> More mature compared to what?
            To G.Wallet of course. It's not a virtual currency like WM (oh gawd, that thing was awful from the get-go). You don't need to deal with shady exchange services, you just link your card to it and it's good to go. In addition to being payment provider (like G.W & PP) it has a fully featured browser and mobile clients. You don't need to jump about here and there to pay your bills (although you still could), you just pay from a single interface (like Sberbank@Online or QIWI).

            >> companies creating products "just because they can"
            I don't think they are. I think it's for the sake of integrating their services into devices targeted for Russian market. I've already seen Yandex.Maps and Opera pre-installed on low-cost phones and tablets. May be even Yandex.Shell, although i'm not sure about that one. At least "Texet" comes to mind.

            Innovation is a good word for marketing. But how about services that work?
            Google Now is innovative. And it's nothing but a battery drain for me. All it does right is showing me the weather. It thinks that i'm living in the middle of M7 highway. When i get home (my real home) i get spamed by checkin queries (into some bank, thank you very much). I disabled Google.Maps app. Now i see weather on the home screen (no need to call for Now), and i get additional 1.5 % _per hour_ of battery life. How about them apples?

          • Dipish

            >> More mature compared to what?

            To G.Wallet of course. It's not a virtual currency like WM (oh gawd, that thing was awful from the get-go). You don't need to deal with shady exchange services, you just link your card to it and it's good to go. In addition to being payment provider (like G.W & PP) it has a fully featured browser and mobile clients. You don't need to jump about here and there to pay your bills (although you still could), you just pay from a single interface (like Sberbank@Online or QIWI).

            Ok I hadn't checked it out in a long while... I think they used to be a virtual currency and sold pre-paid cards but looks like they stopped doing that. So what's the deal with commissions, do you ever pay them if you pay through YM?

            >> companies creating products "just because they can"
            I don't think they are. I think it's for the sake of integrating their services into devices targeted for Russian market. I've already seen Yandex.Maps and Opera pre-installed on low-cost phones and tablets. May be even Yandex.Shell, although i'm not sure about that one. At least "Texet" comes to mind.

            I only wish it doesn't turn into another "TouchWiz" or "Sense" only developed by Yandex. And definitely hope not to see Yandex.Shell on the upcoming YotaPhone :)

            Google Now - yes, that thing is rather experimental. I admit that Google does a lot of stuff that only geeks are excited about and regular users never care. Well, that's what they are and they definitely need to work more on UI of their products too.

            Thanks for the conversation!

          • Anatoly Nechaev

            >> what's the deal with commissions
            I'm not exactly sure about that. But last time i used them my cc was charged exact amount i was billed. Probably the same deal as paypal, everything is deducted from seller.

            >> hope not to see Yandex.Shell
            Amen to that. It was a gimmick from beginning. I don't think Yandex would push that shell though. If i remember correctly they acqhired SPB Software, then renamed their Shell and didn't do anything with it since. If they would make something more traditional (for example hire Nova launcher dev and some good designers for customizations) i wouldn't mind though. I have no problems with TouchWiz and Sense. Used both, and until 4.0 stock android interface haven't stood a chance against them. It was so bad i couldn't use it despite having 1.5 time battery life on my HTC Desire (Cyanogen against Sence). Now i'm on 4.1.2 with TouchWiz and still see pros and cons of Google experience against it.

            And i'm definitely not against fragmentation.All the less for Google to have a monopoly grip on architecture.

      • Dipish

        Edited my original comment to make my POV clearer

  • http://twitter.com/huythach83 Hoang Van Huy Thach

    The icon of Yandex.Shell look alike to SPB Shell 3D :)
    http://spb.com/android-software/shell/

  • Mike Larrabee

    I'd be curious about any developers that have submitted to them. What's the split in revenue? What sort of power do the developers have to protect their IP?

  • Sergii Pylypenko

    I've once submitted a game to the Amazon appstore, got 600 downloads in 3 months, duh - with Google Play that number is around 10000. So I'll skip this one.

  • http://www.twitter.com/RaptorHawk Hawk

    So I ask myself: Do I really need another Android app store?

    A: Maybe not.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AshutosDon1997 Ashutos Don Jain

    Yandex.store (appstore-android).apk says that there was a error n parsing the package.
    -using galaxy nexus takju

  • Paul

    How many items are in the Amazon Appstore vs Yandex? I think Google is beginning to see how they could lose control of Android, between Samsung's power, a free OS, and alternative stores, Google could lose Android. Imagine Samsung comes out with an Appstore or they partner with Amazon or Yandex as their only App store and Samsung sticks with all AOSP based ROM's for their phones with no Google certification or Google apps. Anyways, is Yandex better than Amazon? Is it worth having all 3 on the same device, or just Google Play + ... ?

  • http://profiles.google.com/kstagg Kevin Stagg

    Of COURSE I want to supply my credit card information to a Russian app site!

    • Alexei Vinidiktov

      Of course you do.

  • Michel

    i will download it for sure, we don't have access to google play in my country, we use alternative stores for free apps only, like "1Mobile Market".

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_BG Dave Bg

    It has many of the apps in the real store and it syncs with it and knows which is installed but it has running process all the time? Why?

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