updated 01:50 am EST, Thu March 5, 2009
Blackberry App World
Research In Motion has rechristened its app portal, ditching the previous Application Center name for the title App World, while providing a few more details. The service will require one of the company's smartphones running the operating system version 4.2 or higher. The device must also have a trackball or a SurePress touchscreen, referring to the Storm.
Developers can now sign up in the Vendor Portal to submit apps for the store. After submitting personal and company contact info, RIM will reply with additional information. To enroll for the program, applicants will have to pay a $200 registration fee that allows for 10 application submissions. The next ten submissions will also cost $200.
The apps must be packaged as a cod file using the BlackBerry Java Development Environment (JDE), the corresponding plug-in for Eclipse, or the JDE component pack. Developers can also create web-based content by submitting a "web icon" that provides a direct way for users to jump to the mobile website.
RIM claims that it is "committed to making the submission process as simple and transparent as possible." Aside from the standard compatibility requirements, the app submission guidelines prohibit any content that is abusive, belittling, harassing, deceptive, malicious, or "otherwise inappropriate." The company has not yet provided a detailed description of what it deems inappropriate, however, leaving a gray area.
Pricing options are similar to Apple's App Store, allowing one-time billing or free applications. Both developers and customers must have a PayPal account to buy apps or receive payment.
App World initially will be available only in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, and only English will be supported at first. The company plans to add French, Italian, German and Spanish languages to upcoming versions, followed eventually by more localizations.
Customers can register for notifications of the App World launch. The company expects availability sometime this spring.