Research in Motion’s official applications storefront for its BlackBerry smartphone lineup now has 10,000 titles in what the company is calling App World. The addition of new titles to App World has been a slow progression so far as it was only with App World 2.0 that RIM added credit card and carrier billing in addition to PayPal payments for app purchases. With App World 2.0, RIM has also added a single profile log-in, making it easy to manage purchased apps and re-download them when a user switches device.
Also, it was with the launch of the BlackBerry Torch that RIM has placed more emphasis on third-party apps. The company had not previously pre-loaded its App World store link on prior BlackBerry models until the Torch. Additionally, RIM has also been moving forward with releasing APIs for push notifications, allowing third-party apps to tap into RIM’s push ecosystem. Now, instant messaging apps like IM+ could send push email notifications so users could preserve battery life while still having access to IM; users could reply to IM messages sent via push email by email as well. Hopefully, the company remains committed to third-party development for BlackBerry smartphones.
Another reason why the app ecosystem has been slow to pick up on RIM devices could be that the smartphone has limited memory. Modern Blackberry devices now have 512 MB of RAM and ROM, and apps are installed onto the device and not to storage media. That means games with high-intensity graphics that take up a lot of space may not get ported to the BlackBerry platform due to hardware constraints. By comparison, the iOS ecosystem, with its capacious built-in storage and attractiveness to game studios, has over 200,000 apps in its App Store.
However, with App World 2.0 and the release of APIs for developer use are both encouraging signs for Blackberry. Here’s to another 10,000 apps on App World soon!