How to download apps and games onto the Nokia N900

Published by AAM Staff at 17:25 UTC, February 18th 2010


Click here for a complete list of All About Maemo's Nokia N900 Tutorials


There are two main methods for installing applications and games on the N900: through the free software catalogue built into the App Manager, and through Nokia's own Ovi Store application shop. Both of these methods are demonstrated in the video below, which is intended for beginners.



(You can also view this video on All About Maemo's YouTube Channel.)


If you cannot see all the categories in the App Manager's Download section, you may need to activate the Extras catalogue. You can find out how to unlock / Maemo Extras by clicking here. Catalogue vs Ovi Store

Some people may wonder why there are two different sources of software built into the N900. The answer to this is in the origins of the Maemo Linux platform. Because Maemo so similar to other versions of Linux, and because there are so many open source enthusiasts using it, there are a lot of open source apps and games available for the platform. These are what you'll find in the App Manager's Extras catalogue, and that's why they're all free of charge as well as open source.

Ovi Store by contrast is Nokia's own commercial application shop, and it's intended mainly for commercial closed source software. That's why the selection of apps and games in Ovi Store is totally different to what you find in


Unofficial Software Catalogues

Maemo is an open platform, anyone can release software for it without having to get anyone's permission. If you only download software from sources like Ovi Store or Extras, it should be safe and reasonably reliable.

However, you can also download software from other less official sources which can be added to the Application Manager's catalogue system. These less official sources can contain a lot of interesting and experimental apps, but they are also generally much less tested so they may be risky to use. Just like on a PC, it's your own responsibility if an app from an unofficial catalogue does something nasty on your N900, so be careful.

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