CTIA 09: Hands-on walk through BlackBerry App World, 30% of apps are free

CTIA 09: Hands-on walk through BlackBerry App World, 30% of apps are free

Summary: We knew the BlackBerry App World launch was coming soon and rumors had it for 1 April. While in a conversation with fellow writers at the Showstoppers event an email appeared on my phone that the BlackBerry App World was available and ready for installation. I pulled out the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 and quickly installed the new application suite to give it a run through. Check out several screenshots in my image gallery and the video below, as well as my more in depth thoughts on this new application store.

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We knew the BlackBerry App World launch was coming soon and rumors had it for 1 April. While in a conversation with fellow writers at the Showstoppers event an email appeared on my phone that the BlackBerry App World was available and ready for installation. I pulled out the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 and quickly installed the new application suite to give it a run through. Check out several screenshots in my image gallery and the video below, as well as my more in depth thoughts on this new application store.


Image Gallery:A walk through the RIM BlackBerry App World on device software store. Image Gallery: BB App World icon Image Gallery: Most expensive BB app

Apple was the first to come out with a full software store on a mobile device and the Android Market followed when the T-Mobile G1 was launched. The old timers, RIM and Microsoft, are finally getting into the game and today RIM made their BlackBerry App World available for those in the US, Canada, and the UK. Be aware that you will need a PayPal account to purchase applications in the App World as that is the only payment method available.

You can visit the BlackBerry App World store and download it to a PC and then to your BlackBerry or just point your BlackBerry browser to www.blackberry.com/appworld/download and follow the instructions. I installed the 526.5kb file through the BlackBerry browser.

Some minimum requirements include: 1. BlackBerry® Device Software version 4.2 or higher 2. BlackBerry smartphones with trackballs or SurePress™ touch screen 3. BlackBerry App World is only available to customers in US, Canada and UK and may not be available on all networks

I went through the BlackBerry App World store on the Curve 8900 and found there were 381 total apps at launch with 113 of them being available for free (30%). There were only 2 games out of 126 that were free. If an application wasn't free, then the minimum price is US$2.99. The most expensive application was the US$199.99 PEPID Emergency Physician Suite. There are plenty available at all prices throughout the App World store.

Some applications have trials available so you can download, install, and try them for a limited amount of time or uses. BTW, tax was charged for me for each application and I am not sure if that varies by location or if it is global.

When you first launch BlackBerry App World you are presented with large icons for several featured applications (15 at the moment). You can quickly scroll through these with your trackball and see the name, icon, description, price and rating. Below this along the bottom of the display are icons for Categories, Top Downloads, Search, and My World.

Selecting Categories lets you view the applications by categories and subcategories. There is no way currently available to view or filter by price, date, or rating and the currently listed order seems quite random.

The purchase process was quite easy and you simply need to login to your PayPal account, view the purchase details and then select to Buy. You can select to Cancel after your initial Purchase selection if you see the total with tax and change your mind. The My World page shows you the applications that you purchased and installed.

I think this is a good start for RIM, but the store does need some work to make it a bit more functional. I think it should also be made clear how people handle all the apps they previously purchased and installed elsewhere.

Topics: BlackBerry, Apps, Smartphones

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8 comments
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  • PhoneGap, HTML5 & BONDI Support

    Hopefully RIM is working with the PhoneGap project, to get more Blackberry functionality supported. It would be nice to be able to build rich web apps that run across all of the major smartphone OSes. HTML5 and BONDI support would be an additional bonus.
    linuser
  • all they can do is copying apple

    shame on google, rim, nokia and palm and microsoft. how
    come they get away with shamelessly copying apple. all these
    upcoming appstores are a 1 on 1 copy of the iphone
    appstore. why don't they get sued? has it become normal to
    just copy what your competitor does? don't they have their
    own ideas? disgusting.
    bannedfromzdnetagain
    • Don't you know, Elllroy?

      Apple has a habit of figuring out how it should be done, and then there's really no other alternative. Those companies really have no choice because any other way would seem inferior.

      For example, my previous phone (WinMo) had a tiny 2.5 inch screen and buttons all over the place. Two at the top, five at the bottom, one on the right side, and two on the left. After the iPhone, companies are all creating big-screen phones with as few buttons at the bottom as possible. Don't you see they don't have a choice?

      Either that, or they don't have an imagination.
      rynning
    • Sorry buddy...

      ...the idea of a software repository was done well before Apple released the iPhone. If anything you could say they copied Red Hat or Debian and those probably weren't the first either. They simply added the means to sell apps rather than them all being free.
      storm14k
      • This sentence alone is more than enough to say they all copied Apple.

        "They simply added the means to sell apps rather than them all being free.%

        Yeah, you are right.

        We are not talking about SW repository idea here. It's "business model" that was shamelessly copied.

        It's like when Yahoo announced its own Adwords. Was pay-per-click just introduced back then? No. Did they copy Google? Yes.
        Dealing
        • The App store is just a different way to do the same thing

          Years ago, using the PocketPC, all I did was go to a site that had all the apps I wanted, downloaded them and I was done.

          Now that the hardware is different, so must the means in retrieving the apps be different.

          But it really is not that large of a difference.
          GuidingLight
  • RE: CTIA 09: Hands-on walk through BlackBerry App World, available now

    By that logic the first ever convenience store should be able to sue every store that came after it. We can then take this a bit further and sue apple because they are using the idea of a centralized location to distribute applications or a "store" for that matter.
    jonathan.mason1@...
  • What a bunch of backward thinkers...

    I swear, if it were up to a lot of you people, we'd all be driving around in Ford Model T's. And you could order yours in any color you want, as long as it's black.

    God forbid anyone copy and improve upon any original design. I've never heard such hate and discontent over anything like I have over the iPhone and anything iPhone related. And I own an iPhone. For me, I have no problem with anyone copying and trying to improve upon the iPhone. If the Palm Pre weren't on the horizon, would we be getting copy and paste in iPhone 3.0, or would it not be here until 4.0? Competition is always good, and imitation is the greatest form of flattery, right? So stop getting your underoos all in a bunch, and just be happy. :)
    joe@...