updated 10:30 am EDT, Tue September 6, 2011
RIM takes BlackBerry App World 3 live
RIM on Tuesday launched the public version of BlackBerry App World 3 in hopes of regaining its profile in the mobile space. The rework is designed to help expose and find apps with more clearly defined categories, promoted apps and app categories, and channels that the company had previously overlooked, such as games. Individual apps get better previews and can be shared through BBM, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, or pure text messages.
Other changes bring much more direct account management and flags when apps with subscriptions are close to needing a renewal.
The update should work on any BlackBerry running OS 4.5 or higher. PlayBooks don't get the current update.
For RIM, the App World update is crucial to improving the appeal of apps not just for users but also for developers. It hit 20,000 apps just this summer and has already been passed by the less than year-old Windows Phone Marketplace, which hit 30,000 days ago. Much of this has been pinned not just on a difficulty in finding relevant apps but on RIM overlooking categories that are vital on other platforms. Although games dominate mobile apps, a combination of hardware that couldn't play 3D games until this year and the virtual absence of the category on App World meant that phone buyers have often switched to Android or the iPhone get the apps they wanted.