O2 Litmus app store opens up

The MWC app store party has kicked off in earnest, with O2 confirming plans to throw open the doors to its Litmus app platform. First launched to sele

The new service will let developers interact with tech geeks across the UK, who can try out early versions of cool new mobile extras. There'll be apps for everything from WinMo to Symbian, although O2 told us last week that the iPhone is out of bounds.

The idea is to cherry pick the hottest apps available, so every O2 user can get involved when the network launches its full blown store later in 2009. Those who test apps will get the finished article for free, and can even get paid to test by bidding on how much they think an app is worth. Developers will then front up cash for your time.

O2 says they're not looking at this as a way to go head–to?head with Apple's App store or Android Market, rather a way to find the coolest new apps. It certainly is a novel approach to bring developers and mobile fanatics together. How the big mobile players feel remains to be seen, with O2 saying many of these apps could well make it onto other stores too.

If you want to get involved. boost over to the Litmus site now. And keep it locked for all the MWC news as it happens. And read our 5 phones we want to see in Barcelona now!