Back in the good ole days when I was a happy Palm os user, I had an account on Handango. I bought hundreds of quality apps from them. From Agendus to Pocket Tunes to Documents to Go – I plunked down my cash to support my growing habit.

When it was evident that Palm was going the way of the dinosaur, I switched to Windows Mobile. And I gave Handango even more of my money.

All the while, happy Blackberry users were doing likewise, and buying apps left and right, increasing the purchased apps database on Handango.

Handango loved its customers, and loved the developers as well. How many of you remember the Champion Awards, and the value of having that logo on your website to prove your coding skills! Handango would find bloggers and industry analysts who knew the field and could properly evaluate programs – and the best were rewarded with their seal.

But today developers don’t get much choice over where they sell their wares. If you are an iOS developer, you can sell your apps in iTunes. That’s it, case closed. (We won’t delve into jailbreak or root apps.) If you program for Android, you have a slightly larger market, but, you won’t find Android devs selling their apps on their own sites either. You really have to go to Google or Amazon. Web OS had its App Catalog. Windows Phone? Yes, even they have a marketplace of their own, although it’s a brand new one, and not the one Microsoft attempted for Windows Mobile 6.

So where does this leave Handango? They are closing up shop slowly. All paid content has been moved off Handango. Although they still partner with some carriers, they are not selling directly, and they don’t even sell “premium” apps through their carrier partners. They maximum price point is $19.99.

We have entered a new world when it comes to loading our smartphones: App World, iTunes, Google Play. I am reminded of people complaining about Apple’s “walled garden,” but it’s no longer just Apple. WalMart has done its best to kill off the mom and pop stores in our neighborhoods, and these big app stores have done the same in the land of technology.

Goodbye, Handango. In my memory, you’ll always be the Champion.