Raspberry Pi App Store Launches for Christmas

by Dale Wright

Waiting for Santa to deliver your Raspberry Pi? Good news: on Christmas Day, you’ll be able to access a range of custom-built apps for your brand new budget computer.

The Raspberry Pi is a super-small computer that runs the Linux operating system. It has no case, no fancy logo and no hard drive – it boots from an SD card. Although designed to promote learning and education, gadget lovers have been gobbling up Raspberry Pis because the tiny computers make perfect media centres. The team behind the computer, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, expected to sell 10,000 units in 2012. They have now reportedly shipped 750,000, and many stores still don’t have stock to sell.

Now, the Pi-makers have just announced a brand new Raspberry Pi app store to promote DIY programming and make Linux less daunting for new coders. The Pi Store is launching with just 23 apps, including LibreOffice, an office suite, DeSpotify, a Spotify player, and GrafX2, a basic drawing and painting program. There are also a few games, including Storm in a Teacup, Freeciv and Iridium Rising.

The majority of the apps in the store are free, but the makers of the Pi Store hope that more paid apps will be added as the platform matures. However, if you really like one of the apps, you’re encouraged to make a donation. Many of the apps will be developed by young people who are just getting into programming.

The onboard HDMI port and Blu-ray support means the Raspberry Pi can easily be connected to a TV, and for a small additional fee, you can purchase a model with an ethernet port for convenient media streaming. Users in the know have been installing the powerful XMBC media player onto their Pis, and the addition of the Pi Store will make their ultra-cheap computers even more useful.