BlackBerry App World 2.0 Finally Arrives for All

BlackBerry App World 2.0 is finally here for mass consumption. About time. Research In Motion (RIM) announced the coming App World update quite a while ago and while it has been available to BlackBerry Beta Zone members for a little bit now, I had hoped to see it come before the launch of the Torch 9800. RIM desperately needs more apps in its app store and stronger developer support. Hopefully App World 2.0 will bring both.

In case you had forgotten by now (to be honest, I had to look everything back up again to be sure), App World 2.0 does bring quite a few more features. Here is a quick rundown on them:

  • QR barcode scanning support
  • Credit card and carrier billing instead of just PayPal
  • Lower prices for purchases now allow ($0.99 and $1.99)
  • Improved user interface
  • A unified BlackBerry ID to transfer purchases between BlackBerrys
  • Top 25 sections like the Apple iTunes App Store
  • And more!

Is this going to be enough though? The BlackBerry platform has fallen to a position where there are literally hundreds of thousands more apps available for the iOS and Android OS platforms than it. RIM certainly didn’t help things out when it decided to go with a fractured app delivery system. There are literally dozens of BlackBerry App stores in operating besides the one that RIM controls. Carriers also have their own App Stores. This just goes to fracture the market and confuse developers and customers alike.

Make sure you checkout the new App Store 2.0 and play around with the QR barcode scanning support. It is a pretty nifty little feature. Whether or not this update turns out to be a game changer for RIM remains to be seen. The sad part about all of this though is that RIM is suffering from being a much older and established player in the smartphone market. Its app installation processes are certainly more open than what is available on other platforms but are reminiscent of the PDA era. Installing apps via a BlackBerry still reminds me of using a Palm Pilot. (Okay, saying that kind of makes me feel old.)

Try out the update and leave a comment so I know how you feel about RIM’s update. Hopefully everyone loves it. Worst case scenario, everyone is apathetic and RIM keeps falling behind the competitors. I wonder how the rumors of the BlackBerry ‘BlackPad’  running a non-BlackBerry OS are going to affect developer support…

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