Rebranding of app store mirrors that of Google Play
Research In Motion is rebranding the BlackBerry App World into BlackBerry World, turning the store into a "one-stop shop" for various kinds of content. In a similar move to Google in rebranding the Android Market as Google Play, the name change will see the service offering media as well as applications, expanding its focus to include video and music.
App World gets bird-physics-slingshot simulator
The newest installation of Rovio's popular game series, Angry Birds Space ($3, BlackBerry App World) arrived for RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet on Tuesday. Previously, the game was erroneously posted as available on April 10 of this year, though the link was quickly removed. Now, the zero-gravity bird slingshot game is available to all PlayBook owners except those in South Korea and Brazil.
MoboTap publishes thousands of Android apps
Developer MoboTap has raised questions surrounding the Android app submission process for the BlackBerry App World, after the company noticed that its Dolphin HD browser had been added to RIM's app portal by a third party. The developer claims that it had no idea that the app had been submitted to RIM, and the move was not authorized.
RIM talks App World growth relative to rivals
RIM's Developer Relations VP Alec Saunders made aggressive claims about the state of BlackBerry App World at his company's DevCon Europe keynote on Tuesday morning. He contended that the store was the second-most profitable mobile app store after Apple's own and that Android lagged behind significantly. Along with having more overall paid downloads than the normally larger Google shop, BlackBerry titles typically made about 40 percent more revenue than their paid Android counterparts.
Promotion runs for two weeks
Research In Motion is currently running a promotion for Android developers, handing out free BlackBerry PlayBooks to devs that submit apps to the BlackBerry App World. The program was announced by RIM's VP of developer relations, Alec Saunders, in a recent Twitter post.
Content filtering on phones available mid-month
RIM has started to assign content ratings to apps downloadable through its BlackBerry App World storefront. On Wednesday, the company updated its servers and began giving one of four labels to apps. Later this month, RIM will be rolling out a client-side filtering update to its smartphones.
Strategy Analytics says app market uncompetitive
Apple's iPad currently has the most competitive mobile app ecosystems, Strategy Analytics outlined in a new App Store Competitive Index. Its subset of the App Store is deemed the most likely to give newcomers and recent launches the best chances at success. Amazon's Appstore was lowest-ranked and more likely to let apps occupy the same positions or otherwise take attention from newer titles.
RIM compensates outage with 12 BlackBerry apps
RIM went to greater lengths on Monday to make up for its four-day BlackBerry outage. The firm is planning to give away over $100 in free apps to users as an "appreciation for their patience." About a dozen apps will be available at first, including a collection of EA and Gameloft games like Sims 3 and the original NOVA as well as text to speech apps from iSpeech.org.
Apps distributed in secure environment
Verizon has announced plans to launch a private app portal that can be utilized by businesses. The Private Applications Store for Business is designed to work across a variety of platforms, enabling companies to securely manage app distribution to mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, without relying on public app stores.
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.
Finalized BlackBerry App World 3.0 due Monday
RIM's app store, with the latest version known as BlackBerry App World 3.0, is due to launch on August 22, after entering beta at the start of the month. The official release will see a new home screen for the storefront, with rotating banners devoted to the newest high-profile apps. Downloads will be saved in a cloud-based My World folder, letting users download the same apps again quickly without having to purchase them again when switching handsets.
BlackBerry App World 3 now in Beta Zone
RIM set out to spark new life in its app community by rolling out BlackBerry App World 3.0 in the Beta Zone. Its new version is focused much more around finding apps and has a new home screen with much improved categories. Similar to the iPhone's App Store or the newer Android Market, the front now has more easily recognizable categories and finally promotes some of them, putting games and themes at the very front instead of having users dig.
PlayBook Android App Player may show by early Sept
Talk of a delay for the BlackBerry PlayBook's Android support may have been premature after a countering leak has it largely on track. Based on anonymous tips, the Android App Player should reach developer testing in two to three weeks, CrackBerry heard. End users would likely get it about two weeks later, putting the release as soon as the end of August or more likely early September.
BlackBerry App World now has direct Mac transfers
RIM today quietly sent word that the BlackBerry App World web store now fully supports Macs. Those who visit the store can now push an app directly from the store to the phone like their Windows counterparts. Mac users previously had to get the apps directly and were given an "unsupported" flag.
iSuppli sees App Store keeping lead in app revenue
In spite of attempts by Google and others, Apple's iOS App Store should still represent the majority of mobile app revenue three years from now, IHS iSuppli estimated on Tuesday. Apple's portal was expected to grab 76 percent of app revenue in 2011, or $2.91 billion, but would still have 60 percent of that by 2014. Android Market was predicted to be quadrupling its share this year, but at $425.36 million would still not be moving fast enough to take the top spot.
Distimo sees Android app count past iOS in 2011
Android Market is growing quickly enough that it could have a larger app count than the iOS App Store in five months, Distimo estimated in its April update. Researchers believed Google's store had swelled 16 percent in March to hit 206,143 active apps where Apple's shop, though larger, had grown just six percent to 333,214 active titles. The gap could close to 40,000 apps by the end of June and close entirely by July.
Windows Phone 7 near 15K apps in six months
New statistics have suggested that Windows Phone 7 is near crossing the 15,000 app mark but is also seeing its catalog accelerate quickly. WP7applist as of Tuesday afternoon showed 14,946 apps having been added in the half-year since WP7's October 2010 launch, about 955 of which were no longer active. The rate could see it reach 15,000 active apps by the end of the month.
Our review of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet
RIM has often been the definition of conservative: for the past few years, the BlackBerry has almost always been slight variations on a theme and still devoted to the suit-and-tie audience. The BlackBerry PlayBook is the first real sign of the Waterloo company trying to shake its stigma with a genuinely new interface and an emphasis on 3D games and other features that would have been borderline heretical in the past. And, for some, an admission that Apple caught it off-guard with the iPad. We'll find out in our review of the PlayBook whether the tablet is enough to break free of a limiting reputation -- and whether the iPad 2 should be looking over its shoulder.
Amazon to give Appstore credit with Verizon phones
Amazon is hoping to spur demand for its Appstore portal through a unique tie-in with its own cellphone store, the online retailer said on Sunday. A promo starting Monday will give those buying Android-based Verizon phones a $25 credit towards Appstore downloads. The week-long promo is evidence of how tightly Amazon can work with carriers, the store's wireless head David Camp told AllThingsD.
Microsoft improves WP7 app submission policies
Microsoft spurred on Windows Phone 7 developers Tuesday with policy changes as well as a milestone for its apps. The company is now getting closer to Android and iOS policies and will let publishers certify a free app as many as 100 times without paying the developer fee a second time. It had previously capped the limit at five and discouraged publishers from offering more than a few feature additions or fixes.
ID notarization dropped from program requirements
RIM has worked to streamline the enrollment process for the App World developer program, following complaints from a number of users. The company initially required applicants to submit notarized proof of identity, however the terms have been relaxed to accept a faxed or e-mailed driver's license copy without notarization.
Apple calls out Microsoft on App Store trademark
Apple stepped up its language late Monday in a push to have a court ignore Microsoft's motion to dismiss an Apple filing for an App Store trademark. The iPhone creator directly accused Microsoft of hypocrisy and said it was trying to use the same argument it had rejected during the original fight over the Windows name. If Microsoft could argue that Windows was a proprietary name based on how most people used the term, it couldn't object when more people associated the App Store name with the iOS and now the Mac, Apple explained in the filing.
BlackBerry App World 2.1 gets in-app sales at last
RIM on Wednesday afternoon brought long requested support for in-app payments to BlackBerry App World. The feature will let BlackBerry app owners buy extra content such as game add-ons or feature unlocks without having to download an entirely new app. On the developer side, code writers have a Payment Service kit to drop in apps and a portal to oversee both adding the content and tracking the downloads separately from the main app itself.
Apple reaches 10 billion app mark
(Update: winner named) Apple overnight said it had reached 10 billion downloads on the App Store. The milestone came just over a week after the countdown began and saw Apple accumulate about 250 million downloads in just the past week. The company hasn't yet said who has won the $10,000 iTunes gift card offered for the download or the free contest entry.
Microsoft says App Store trademark too generic
Microsoft has filed a formal motion (PDF) for a summary judgment to dismiss Apple's trademark filing for the term App Store. The Windows developer claimed the concept of an app store was "generic" and that any fame associated with its formal title was secondary. It pointed out that Apple's own Steve Jobs used the term "app stores" as an unofficial term to refer to Android portals.
App Store could pass 500,000 active titles in 2011
Apple has a high chance of passing the 500,000 app milestone for the App Store based on current data. Having unofficially passed 325,000 active titles as of December 26, the App Store is now seeing 25,421 apps submitted per month, 148Apps said. If every app were approved, Apple could exceed the half-million point in seven months, or near the end of June.
Windows Phone 7 already over 5,100 apps
Windows Phone 7 in the past day has quietly passed the 5,000 app mark, according to new stats. As of Wednesday, Microsoft's Windows Phone Marketplace had 5,149 titles. The growth was a quick jump from 4,000 a week earlier and 3,000 at the end of November.
MS responds to WP7 critics with faster pay, tools
Microsoft's Todd Brix today answered developer criticism of no pay and no tools for Windows Phone 7. The company has moved up its planned initial payments a month to January and now has its first reporting tools. Developers can now see how many downloads they get per day in each country.
RIM pulls Kik from BlackBerry App World
RIM stirred controversy today when it pulled the real-time texting app Kik from BlackBerry App World. The company both removed the app and disabled push services for having "breached contractual obligations" but without saying what those were. Both its own issues and the "broad scope" of customer worries demanded action, RIM claimed.
BlackBerry App World allows online buying, sync
RIM has began allowing owners of its BlackBerry smartphones to make BlackBerry App World purchases right from the website rather than directly through their handsets. The newfound capability also lets users edit their My World accounts so it syncs with the smartphone, more like the relationship between the iPhone and iTunes.
RIM accused of neglecting BlackBerry gaming
BlackBerry phones aren't even registering for game developers, an examination of the app community uncovered on Friday [sub. required]. Plants vs. Zombies developer PopCap said the BlackBerry simply wasn't being supported in its current form as it wasn't suitable compared to Android and iOS. Apart from a development environment that until recently was difficult to use, the smartphone platform has virtually no performance emphasis, as even the BlackBerry Torch uses a two-year-old Marvell processor.
RIM justifies low App World count versus iPhone
RIM VP of product platform management Alan Panezic defended BlackBerry App World's low 10,000 app count at DevCon by striking back at Apple and Google. He rejected the notion that hitting 50,000 or otherwise increasing sheer quantity was important and reiterated the notion that RIM valued "super apps," or heavily used apps that will both improve the phone and be helpful to developers. Android and iPhone app counts were considered deceptive since they include a large amount of redundant and low value apps.
BlackBerry Ad Service chases AdMob, iAd
RIM kicked off BlackBerry DevCon today with plans for its own mobile ad service in the vein of Apple's iAd or Google's AdMob. BlackBerry Advertising Service will give app writers access to multiple ad networks to subsidize free or cheap apps. Developers will get a similar 60 percent cut of any ad revenue, but RIM is hoping to avoid iAd-level control and will give the advertisers and ad networks direction over the creative presentation of apps.
BlackBerry App World at 10K mark two years behind
RIM today quietly slipped word that BlackBerry App World has passed 10,000 apps. The figure comes 1.5 years after the mobile store launched and shortly after the launch of App World 2.0 last month. Its climb has been relatively brisk in 2010, moving up from about 7,000 in the spring.
RIM snaps up mobile store firm Cellmania
RIM today bought Cellmania in what's a likely bid to improve BlackBerry App World. The new acquisition, which primarily produces software at the heart of others' mobile app stores, didn't provide many details of its project but expected to work on "Application Storefront development" for BlackBerry phones. It plans to continue supporting its existing customers but will be devoted entirely to RIM for any new work.
BBerry App World 2 ready to use in North America
RIM today took its promised BlackBerry App World 2.0 features live through its beta program. American and Canadian BlackBerry owners who sign up can get a BlackBerry ID that finally allows credit cards and carrier billing instead of the usual PayPal. It also adds a much-requested ability to re-download apps when switching phones.
Android dominated by free or cheap vs iPhone
Apple's App Store is not only attracting more paid apps than Android but higher priced ones as well, Distimo found today. The iPad and iPhone stores have about 73 to 80 percent of paid apps, but Google's store is controlled by free apps at 57 percent. iOS apps also have the liberty of commanding a higher average price, at $4.01 for iPhone apps across the entire store versus $3.29 in the Android Market.
BB App World 2 brings accounts, carrier billing
RIM in an early release detailed a major overhaul to BlackBerry App World. The version 2.0 store now catches up to other mobile app portals and adds a sign-on system known as BlackBerry ID. Customers no longer have app purchases tied to their carrier or device and can sign on to other phones to re-download their apps for free.
BlackBerry App World has just 1m downloads per day
BlackBerry App World has under a tenth the popularity of the iPhone's app store, RIM's co-CEO Mike Lazaridis inadvertently confirmed as part of his analyst discussion today. With 20 million total users, App World sees just one million downloads per day versus 10 to 20 million at the Apple portal. The estimate came after SAI noted that Apple's download count jumped by a billion between January and mid-April.
RIM changes App World to support new billing
RIM has quietly changed the terms for BlackBerry App World in a way that gives similar terms to Apple. The smartphone creator is cutting back developers' revenue share from 80 percent of app sales to 70 percent to support new app purchasing options. New options to bill through the carrier and to buy directly with a credit card demand it, the company said.
Firefox Mobile to popularize web apps?
BlackBerry gets OpenGL ES, micropay, more
RIM opened up the BlackBerry Developers Conference by revealing the first modern 3D support for its smartphones. Those using a new Java SDK for BlackBerry OS 5.0 can now use OpenGL ES graphics and produce games or other 3D apps with contemporary effects. The SDK is currently in beta but should be available today.
iPhone users download more apps
iPhone owners are much more likely to download apps and get involved with social networking than their BlackBerry-owning counterparts, Compete revealed today in a new study. About 72 percent of Apple smartphone users are likely to have downloaded at least 10 third-party apps, but 73 percent of BlackBerry users have picked up five apps or less. The researchers add that iPhone owners are more willing to buy their apps than BlackBerry owners.
MS Avoiding 99 Cent Apps
Microsoft at its first WinMoDevCamp in Seattle made clear it wants a different philosophy towards mobile app pricing than Apple. The Windows Mobile developer's Loke Uei urged those third parties writing apps for the soon-to-launch Windows Marketplace for Mobile to charge significantly more than 99 cents per download when possible and noted that Microsoft would look at revenue, not popularity, to gauge the winner of a developer contest. Letting prices slip to the 99-cent mark devalues apps that are "worth more than that," Uei said, adding a belief that a developer could sell half as many apps but, at $10 per copy, make much more money.
Verizon app store rules
Verizon has disclosed a number of details regarding its upcoming app store, including plans to prohibit handset makers from shipping devices with their own app portals, according to GigaOM. The restrictions will prevent immediate access to the BlackBerry App World or Windows Mobile Marketplace, although users will be permitted to add the stores manually.
MyBlackBerry Coming soon
RIM is developing a social network that would help surmount some of the weaknesses to its BlackBerry App World store, a late scoop suggests. Already in a dormant state, MyBlackBerry is seen by TechCrunch as catching up to the iPhone's App Store by letting the users share recommendations for apps outside of the store itself as well as other BlackBerry-related tips. The site should be device-savvy and tailor its content based on the model browsing the site.
BBerry Apps Top 2000
Research in Motion's global alliance VP Jeff McDowell today revealed that BlackBerry App World has reached a total of 2,000 apps. The count doubles what the mobile software store had in April and comes just as the company is granting France, Germany, Italy and Spain access to the store. The count pales versus the more than 50,000 apps available through the iPhone's App Store but was downplayed by McDowell as enough to satisfy BlackBerry owners. RIM is "very happy" with the number of apps and doesn't need to match Apple, he told Bloomberg.
BlackBerry App World debut
Research in Motion (RIM) has used the opening of the CTIA conference to launch the BlackBerry App World, accessible via BlackBerry handsets. Users in the US, UK and Canada must have the v4.2 operating system loaded, but can then download free and paid apps made for their specific BlackBerry model, via Wi-Fi or cellular connections.