BlackBerry aims to show it can keep popular apps updated

Summary:BlackBerry 10 appears to be off to a solid start, but to be a long term winner popular applications have to keep up with other platforms. That reality means BlackBerry developers may be adding features.

BlackBerry has updated its Facebook and Twitter app with new features that integrate with its BlackBerry 10 platform. The catch: Facebook and Twitter aren't the ones adding the features.

The new versions of Facebook and Twitter are being built by BlackBerry developers not the social sites. BlackBerry also developed Facebook and Twitter apps for its BlackBerry 7 platform too and got complaints after awhile.

This behind the scenes development won't be a big deal to the actual app user---unless the experience is horrible---but does highlight the following nuances with the BlackBerry platform.

  • First, BlackBerry hasn't proven its latest platform is a consumer hit so app developers aren't likely to rush to go native. These developers are likely to stick with iOS and Android until another platform proves itself.
  • BlackBerry has Android apps in its market place and that has given it scale. However, BlackBerry has to develop popular apps if it wants to integrate the features unique to its platform.
  • If BlackBerry 10 devices are going to be a contender for bring your own device set-ups it needs the experience for the core mobile applications to be a good one.

More:  BlackBerry's BES 10 real key to profit potential  |  Cheaper BlackBerry 10 handset due around September, BlackBerry chief confirms  |  BlackBerry earnings: 10 key things CEO Thorsten Heins said on the call  |  BlackBerry Q4 better than expected; 1M BlackBerry Z10 devices shipped

The new version of Facebook for BlackBerry 10 integrates location and check-ins, photo sharing and local saving and event planning. BlackBerry also updated its Twitter app with a tab to view all interactions in one place, add photos to tweets and see the number of times a mention has been favorited.

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Note that none of these features will make you want to drop another platform, but BlackBerry is making sure it's top applications are competitive. And for now that means BlackBerry will be building in updates to core applications. In the long run, BlackBerry will have to make sure popular apps are updated no matter who does the code. 

Should BlackBerry grab market share, companies like Facebook and Twitter would theoretically take over the updates with native versions of their apps.

Topics: BlackBerry, Mobility, Smartphones, Social Enterprise

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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