Research in Motion (RIMM) on Monday announced that is has partnered with more than 50 carriers to bring direct billing to its BlackBerry App World. Integrated carrier billing lets customers purchase apps through their BlackBerry smartphone and charge them directly to their regular monthly bill. The service is fully integrated into the BlackBerry Payment Service, which offers developers the chance to utilize in-app purchases and subscriptions. More →
Research In Motion will be removing the ability to sideload applications on the BlackBerry PlayBook in a future software update, RIM’s VP of developer relations Alex Saunders said. After the update, PlayBook owners will only be able to download and install applications through BlackBerry App World. Saunders said the reason was to prevent piracy, claiming that more than 25% of Android apps are downloaded illegally. “Piracy is a huge problem for Android devs, and we don’t want to duplicate the chaotic cesspool of Android market,” he said. The VP went on to say that while RIM is removing sideloading for consumers, he is “pretty sure we’ve got a solution for devs” to be able to install and test their applications. Earlier this year, RIM announced its BlackBerry App World was home to more than 60,000 applications, and while the number is a mere fraction of what’s available in the Google Play marketplace and Apple’s App Store, BlackBerry apps are downloaded about 40% more frequently each day than their Android counterparts according to RIM. More →
Research In Motion executivess took the stage during BlackBerry DevCon Europe on Tuesday to clear up a few facts about the company’s success with its BlackBerry App World marketplace. RIM’s new CEO Thorsten Heins said BlackBerry App World is now home to more than 60,000 applications, which is a fraction of what’s available in the Android Market or iTunes App Store, and that BlackBerry devices are among the most popular smartphones purchased in the United Kingdom. RIM’s vice president of developer relations Alec Saunders also said that there are 174 million app downloads per month, or about 6 million applications downloaded per day, The Verge reported. Saunders argued that RIM’s BlackBerry App World has 43% more daily downloads per app than Apple’s own iTunes App Store and he said App World can be more profitable as well — BlackBerry apps supposedly earn about 40% more than their Android counterparts, and 13% of BlackBerry developers have made more than $100,000 from their apps. In addition to the app figures, Saunders and Nokia’s head of Qt announced that RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook OS now supports the Qt developer framework, originally intended for Nokia devices. More →
Research In Motion on Tuesday announced a major milestone for its on-device software portal BlackBerry App World: 1 billion downloads served. “The BlackBerry App World storefront launched a little over two years ago, and over that time, we’ve made many feature improvements, enhanced the look and feel, and added a ton of compelling apps,” RIM’s Alex Kinsella wrote on the company’s blog. “BlackBerry App World is now in over 100 countries, seeing an average of 3 million downloads per day, and we recently crossed the 1 billion app download milestone!” While the achievement is still impressive, RIM did confirm to BGR that the 1 billion figure includes application updates, however, and not just initial application downloads. More →
When RIM launched the BlackBerry PlayBook earlier this year, AT&T was the only carrier that didn’t provide a BlackBerry Bridge application out of the gate. As of Friday, the application is now available for PlayBook owners with AT&T BlackBerry phones. The app provides free email, calendar, and BBM sync between your PlayBook and BlackBerry smartphone, but you’ll need to subscribe to a $20 monthly plan to share data, too. BlackBerry Bridge is available immediately for free in BlackBerry App World. More →
If you’re an AT&T BlackBerry user and you bought a PlayBook, you know that BlackBerry Bridge — the piece of software that wirelessly connects your BlackBerry to your PlayBook and facilitates PIM functions — is not available for AT&T BlackBerry devices. Sure, there are unofficial workarounds, but for RIM’s largest customer to not support this critical feature for RIM’s biggest product launch in ages seems strange (RIM views carriers as customers, sorry guys). Despite its earlier statement, many thought AT&T had ulterior motives in not supporting BlackBerry Bridge, but we have confirmed that the real reason is that RIM didn’t deliver BlackBerry Bridge to AT&T until just days before it launched in RIM’s BlackBerry App World. RIM didn’t hand over a final OS build for the BlackBerry PlayBook until days before launched either, and we saw that first hand with the last minute OS updates to our review unit. In spite of the short testing time — and interestingly enough — all other U.S. carriers have approved BlackBerry Bridge.
Research In Motion has announced a new version of Twitter for BlackBerry that includes a number of noteworthy enhancements. Twitter for BlackBerry version 1.1 is officially out of beta and offers the ability to tweet your location using the “Add location to tweet” option. The app also includes push notifications for @mentions, and will auto-complete #topics as you type them out, along with several other minor enhancements. RIM also said the UI has been tweaked with updated graphics and includes a streamlined layout of the Add Photo and Add Location options. Lastly, the app has added language support for simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Polish, Czech, and Thai. Twitter for BlackBerry is available in BlackBerry App World now. Hit the jump for more info. More →
Research In Motion on Wednesday announced a new version of its on-device software store for BlackBerry smartphones, BlackBerry App World. Version 2.1 brings several changes to RIM’s app store — the most notable of which is the introduction of an in-app payment mechanism. BlackBerry app developers will now be able to offer digital and virtual goods to users from within their apps, and payments will be taken and processed by RIM’s new payment service. A related SDK has been released to developers, allowing them to build the new in-app purchase functionality into their existing apps.
We were alerted to a blog post on Kik’s site just moments ago, and it seems that Research In Motion has not only removed Kik Messenger from its App World portal, but it has also disabled push services for existing users. We reached out to RIM for comment and here is the company’s official statement:
RIM became aware of a number of issues and customer concerns regarding the Kik app and service. Following discussions with Kik, the app was removed from BlackBerry App World on November 12. Upon further investigation, RIM concluded that Kik had breached contractual obligations. Based on the broad scope and seriousness of the issues and concerns, RIM terminated its agreements with Kik and withdrew RIM’s support for Kik’s service.
According to PhoneScoop, RIM is set to announce an update to their mobile marketplace application App World; cleverly named App World 2.0. The newest App World brings with it several new features which include: carrier billing, improved search, a more detailed “My World” section, QR code support, and other minor interface improvements. PS also reports the imminent launch of BlackBerry ID. BlackBerry ID is designed to, “help users manage their accounts more easily and transfer between devices and carriers if need be.” We have yet to see an official press release from the folks in Waterloo. What do you think? More →
BlackBerry addicts, its officially time to freak out because BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 has just gone live in App Word. We don’t think we need to tell you what it’s all about because not only did we give the world its first look at the app, but its also been floating around for one hell of a long time. Well what are you waiting for? Let’s crash RIMs servers and call it a party! Hit us with your feedback, ok?
UPDATE: Looks like the servers really aren’t capable of handling the demand as we and a bunch of our readers are getting a “connection timed out” message. We’ll let you know once things calm down and everyone can be accommodated.
UPDATE 2: Looks like things are once again up and running.
The good news: BlackBerry fans can finally get their App World fix on their computers. The bittersweet news: App World’s desktop experience is way better than its on-device experience. RIM has just launched a new Web-based version of its App World offering, allowing users to browse the catalog in its entirety from any desktop browser (or even a decent mobile browser). The new interface is awesome but it’s not all ponies and lollipops, unfortunately. There are plenty of things we’d like to see improved in Web-based App World going forward; most importantly, it needs to be better integrated with the on-device portal. Currently, when you find an app you like all you can do is email a link to your Berry. Lame. We want deeper integration — mark apps of interest on the website and they should automatically jump to a flagged page the next time you open App World on your device. There are a few other things we would like to see implemented soon but since the site is fresh out of the oven, we’ll give RIM some time to flush things out a bit. In the meantime, hit the read link to browse App World on the Web and let us know what you think.
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
If there’s one thing the world needs right now, there’s no doubt in our minds it’s another on-device application store. Lucky for us, LG seems to agree. The electronics giant has launched its mobile app store in Asia and is setting its sights on going global (Europe and South America, no US yet) by the end of 2009. The creatively named “LG Application Store” will see 1,400 applications right out the gate — quite impressive for an app store at launch — with about 100 of those applications available for free. We can’t say we’re overly impressed with the ratio of free to paid apps, but anything is better than the selection of 30 that Pre users are currently forced to pick from. If and when LG’s offering makes it to the US however, we would expect the number of free (and total) apps to have grown substantially — pending some level of success of course.