It's tough to find even 50 good BB10 apps in BlackBerry World

It's tough to find even 50 good BB10 apps in BlackBerry World

Summary: I appreciate Alec Saunders' energy and the efforts made by BlackBerry, however the current state of BB World for BB10 in the US is not very good. The number of apps doesn't mean much when key popular apps are missing. It always takes time to build up app stores, but can BlackBerry afford to take a long time?

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BBZ10
(Credit: BlackBerry)

I was at the BlackBerry 10 launch event in New York yesterday and left with a Z10 to test out. I've spent about eight hours with it so far, and while I find the hardware and UI to be quite nice (video walkthrough under development), the available applications leave a lot to be desired. And BlackBerry has serious work ahead to compete with iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. Given that they announced that they were launching with 70,000 apps, I was expecting to see more big-name apps.

I used to think that the number of apps in a software store meant something, but after browsing through BlackBerry World, the App Store, Windows Phone Store, and Google Play Store, I don't think the quantity means much of anything. I generally load up about 50 keys apps on my devices, and use about five to 10 on a daily basis. I picked up my iPhone 5, Galaxy Note II, and Nokia Lumia 920 to see what apps I use on a daily basis and have established as my primary apps. I was extremely disappointed to find these apps missing from App World:

  • Music services: Spotify, Slacker, Pandora, Rdio

  • Travel services: TripIt, Kayak, Delta, Alaska

  • Banking: Bank of America, USAA, American Express

  • Video services: Netflix, Hulu, and even YouTube

  • Popular games: Words with Friends, Temple Run, any Angry Birds other than Star Wars

  • Google Voice

  • Instagram

There are a few good apps that I did find in BB World:

  • Angry Birds Star Wars

  • Google Talk

  • Flixster

  • Untappd

  • TuneIn Radio

  • Wunderlist 2

  • New York Times

  • Truphone

  • ESPN ScoreCenter and Score Mobile

  • Apollo (3rd party Pandora app)

App discovery is as bad on BB10 as the PlayBook, with no easy way to browse all free apps and very limited featured sections. I found the best way to discover apps is to search for ones you use on other platforms.

I think Alec Saunders, VP of Developer Relations, worked extremely hard to bring in developers for BB10 and CNET has a great article on his efforts. Thus, I was really expecting more in BlackBerry 10, and so far, I am just not finding it. Now BB10 isn't launching here in the US until sometime in March, according to vague statements by BlackBerry representatives, but the Z10 is available in the UK starting today. You can browse BlackBerry World yourself online and search for your favorite apps. I hope BlackBerry gets some of these popular apps on their platform soon, as the device and UI are great and deserve solid apps.

UPDATE: After further discussion with folks around the world, I understand that application availability is region specific and given the couple month rollout of BB10 devices, including a March launch in the US, application availability in the BB World store may change daily for quite a while.  I acknowledge that I may have jumped the gun a bit on holding BlackBerry's feet to the fire, but they are the ones that advertised 70,000 apps at launch and I expected higher quality ones rather than higher quantity. As I wrote in my follow-up article, the hardware and UI is fantastic and unlike MeeGo there is a real chance that high quality applications will come to BlackBerry 10 in short order.

Topics: Mobility, BlackBerry, Smartphones

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46 comments
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  • launched less than 24 hours ago

    I'm impressed, phone was announced less than 24 hours ago & already has some very impressive apps. Where I grew up you root for the underdog, not kick & beat them as they attempt to get back up
    gordongr
  • It's a start

    Did Apple or Android have all these Apps on launch? How many Apps came a year or 2 years after launch?

    Frankly I looked at your list and don't use a single one of them. It's also not Blackberrys job to make them. Each developer has their own process on why / when they support any platform. It's pretty obvious many are waiting to see how the new devices sell. In the meantime most of these services all have a website (remember the web?!) and render quite nicely on Blackberry's new browser.

    Kayak, and the other Angry bird games are on Playbook so I can't see why they wouldn't come over to BB10.

    Btw looking at my Z10 there is a Slacker App already, I think it came pre-loaded.

    Being in enterprise I'm more interested in corporate Apps and they are getting the key ones (Webex, Citrix, Concur, Lync)
    MobileAdmin
    • It's a start, but emphasis doesn't seem to match quality yet

      It's not 2007 or 2008 anymore and BB has had PlayBook developers to build up apps so they should have launched with a lot more quality apps.

      Where are you located? Slacker does not appear in the US BB World storefront or on the device.

      I do want a competitive 3rd platform and I am impressed with the hardware. Apps usually will come over time, but with the focus on 70,000 I was led to believe there would be more higher quality apps.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • Review unit?

        What was the OS build your using? I'm in the US enterprise seed and have the gold code installed.

        I hear what your saying it's just unreasonable for any unlaunched mobile OS to start day 1 with equal amount of Apps. RIM made the SDK and toolkits developers need, now it's up to each App to decide if support is worth it or now. Sales will tell that story. Considering how quickly one can port an App to BB10 this # could rapidly expand in a few months. Don't you recall how AppStore took off?

        I'm only missing a couple Apps at the moment, Xfininty for DVR management and Trip Advisor. Google Maps would be nice but the rest of Apps are noise that I install, try out and usually delete. My core function is phone, email, txt and internet. All of which are fine on Blackberry. I have a slew of other devices if I want to play games.
        MobileAdmin
      • Let me help a bit

        Business and Productivity
        – Bloomberg, BMC Service Desk & Remedy, Box, Cisco WebEx Meetings, Citrix Podio, CNBC, Dictionary.com, Emirates NBD, Harmon.ie, IBM Notes, Traveler, ING DIRECT Canada, Nat West, RBC, RBS, SAP, TD Bank Group and Thomson Reuters
        Gaming
        - 10tons: Sparkle, Joining Hands, Azkend, King Oddball, Azkend2, Ironworm, Dragon Portal and Boom Brigade 2
        - Disney Mobile Games: Where’s My Water? and Where’s My Perry?
        – Electronic Arts: A great selection of their top games including, Mass Effect(TM) Infiltrator, Flight Control Rocket, The Sims(TM) FreePlay and MONOPOLY Millionaire
        – Fishlabs: Galaxy on Fire
        – Funkoi: Alpha Zero
        – Gameloft: A great selection of their top games, including Asphalt 7:Heat, The Amazing Spider-Man(TM), Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, The Dark Knight Rises(TM)
        – Halfbrick: Jetpack Joyride, Fruit Ninja
        – JoyBits: Doodle God & Doodle Devil
        – Rovio: Angry Birds Classic, Angry Birds Star Wars, Angry Bids Space and Angry Birds Seasons
        – Square One Games: Square One and InXile
        – SEGA: Sonic4(TM) Episode 1
        – ZeptoLab- Cut the Rope, Cut the Rope: Experiments
        Lifestyle
        – AccuWeather, Air Canada, Air France, DStv Mobile, Dr. Oetker Rezeptideen, Easyjet, FlightAware, Flixster, KLM, Manulife Financial, President’s Choice Recipe Box, SkyScanner, Spotcast, StubHub, The Weather Channel, The Weather Network, Tim Hortons TimmyMe(TM), United Airlines, Wikitude, WisePilot, Yellow Pages Group and Zara
        Multimedia
        – Absolute Radio, Al Jazeera, Allocine, Astral Radio, BBC Worldwide- Top Gear, BubblePix, Channel 4, Corus Entertainment- Radio, Deezer, E! Online, eMusic, Europe 1, Kiss Kube, MTV Italia, Nobex Radio, NOS, N-TV Nachrichten, Occipital 360 Panorama, OxygenLive, Pacemaker, PaperCamera, Rdio, Shahid.net, SiriusXM, Slacker, Songza, SoundHound, TuneIn, and Volu.me
        Published Media
        – AFP News, Amazon Kindle, CBC (News, Radio, Music, Hockey Night in Canada), Economist, elmundo.es, El Pais, Grazia Italy, Handlesbaltt, kicker, Leo Dictionary, MailOnline, Maxim, News24, New York Times, NU.nl, PressReader, The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, The Independent, The London Evening Standard, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and Wirtschaftswoche
        Social
        – Badoo, Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, ooVoo, Skype, Tuenti Social Messenger, Twitter, Viber, Whatsapp and Xing
        Sports
        CBSSports.com, ESPN ScoreCenter, Goal.com, L’equipe, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment’s Maple Leafs Mobile App and Raptors Mobile App, MLB.com At Bat(R), NHL GameCenter, PGA Tour, Runtastic, Sports Tracker and UFC
        sagec
        • That is a good attempt at providing a simple rundown...

          But after my "admittedly few" hours of research evaluation of this device, most of the apps (at least 40%) are minimized rewrites, not fully featured equivalents of the apps available on other platforms. Obviously they will mature over time, but listing such apps without that caveat shouldn't be portrayed as a 1 to 1 comparison.
          TechNickle
          • PS...

            My findings did not necessitate more than a few hours of research to come to that conclusion, unfortunately. Each app tested showed apparent discrepancies compared to more mature OS iterations. I attest that is likely due to the timeframe for conception to realization for the support of this platform, not to the future potential.
            TechNickle
    • Re: Did Apple or Android have all these Apps on launch?

      Android certainly didn't. And you couldn't even write third-party apps for the original Iphone at all.

      What made those platforms successful was that customers found them useful out of the box, not the initial availability of third-party apps. It was that success among users that attracted the developers, not the other way round.

      Not clear if Blackberry is heeding this lesson or not.
      ldo17
  • I must be missing

    Something when it comes to the apps thing. While I have found a few to be pretty good the vast majority leave much to be desired. Like the comment above I tend to use the websites. Most apps rarely have what I need or am looking for and its quicker to just go to the websites.
    I am waiting for the headline '700k apps ?699k are crap'
    Slambusher
  • BlackBerry Apps

    Banking: Most global Banks have announced apps coming soon
    Video services: Youtube is built in and iPlayer in the UK is already available
    Popular games: With Angry Birds Star Wars already available i'm sure the others will be along soon
    Google Voice: Google hate BlackBerry and Windows Phone and have publicly stated they arn't interested in these platforms, but BlackBerry already suppors CardDAV and CalDAV
    Instagram: Similar features are built in and users are flocking away since Facebook bought them
    dguillaume
    • No YouTube app, just mobile link

      I don't personally use YouTube much, but there is no app for BB10. Some icons appear as apps, but are simply website shortcuts and YouTube is one of them. It plays videos, but is not a dedicated app.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • No YouTube app, just mobile link

        And this makes a differance because???

        You can search and play videos???
        dguillaume
  • Too little, too late

    'nuff said
    CaviarGreen
    • Ahhh. Prediction time.

      You gotta love a prediction thats strong, powerful, to the point and unsupported by any facts or evidence that is just as strong, powerful and to the point.

      It may be too little too late, but the whole sensible and sane world are not bothering to make the too little too late prediction yet because of the very fact the facts are not yet there to support such a powerful prediction.
      Cayble
      • So much blather on your part

        With not much else coming out.
        CaviarGreen
  • Try these

    LinkedIn
    Chimpact
    TurboFly HD
    FlyCraft (BlackBerry exclusive, very cool)
    Alpha Zero
    Where's my water
    sagec
    • More Apps and Games

      http://www.bb10apps.com/top-applications-coming-to-blackberry-10/#/vanilla/discussion/embed/?vanilla_discussion_id=0
      dguillaume
  • How forgiving you are on Windows Phone

    SO nice to Windows. Why is it that Americans are so nice when referring to WP8. Yet you don't buy it. I don't get it. Why the hate on for RIM?

    Really, I use to defend Americans. But now, it seems after the recession in 2008 that you caused you are all pro-American business. Your pulling factories out of Canada and putting them in Detroit again. Frankly, I'm sick of being the largest importer of your products in the world. NAFTA sucks. Time to move on to more advanced economies that want reciprocal relationships.
    techman31
    • If the rest of the media didn't forgive Microsoft

      Why should Blackberry get a pass?
      Michael Alan Goff
    • So nice to Windows? Are you reading the same thing we are?

      Hardly see where everyone's so forgiving of Windows Phone.

      Please provide the links. We'll add the positive Blackberry ones to help!
      William Farrel