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Summary:

RIM just launched its BlackBerry App World (BAW), a competitor to iTunes App Store. I download the App World app over my WiFi network and installed it on my my T-Mobile Curve 8900. The download and installation process was painless and relatively smooth — in a […]

RIM just launched its BlackBerry App World (BAW), a competitor to iTunes App Store. I download the App World app over my WiFi network and installed it on my my T-Mobile Curve 8900. The download and installation process was painless and relatively smooth — in a Blackberry sort of a way. When I open the BAW application, it made me agree to terms of service which frankly were so long that I didn’t bother to read them, but I agreed anyway. After that it was smooth sailing. Despite lacking the touchscreen goodness of Apple’s iPhone, BAW is a competent and useful answer to the iTunes App Store.

blackberryappworld.gifThe BAW store opened up to a $4.99 New York Times Crossword Puzzle app, but since I am not good with crosswords, I went straight to the stuff I really wanted: Shazam, Facebook, Bloomberg (pretty awesome app), Slacker, Pandora and a few other apps that I have gotten accustomed to on the iPhone/iPod Touch. I am missing Evernote, Remember The Milk and Last.fm.

In short, there are couple of hundred apps — some of them like Facebook and instant messaging apps that were already on the market — re-packaged into the BAW, and finally available in one place. The software apps are easy to download. You can quickly navigate through the store using the track ball. A slight application of pressure on the app you want and the download starts. Over WiFi, the process was pretty darn painless. The BAW search functionality is comparable with the search in Google’s Android app store and Apple’s iTunes store.

lucyethel_i_love_lucy.jpg

BAW takes into account BlackBerry’s limitations and arranges apps in the most intuitive fashion: all apps, top downloads, search and My World, which essentially lists the apps downloaded by you. You can click on the menu and add your reviews and ratings on various apps. The QWERTY keyboard makes writing the reviews easy.

My Bottomline: The store is pretty much what you would expect in a BlackBerry. And while it is not as slick and sexy as Apple’s App Store, the BlackBerry App World is functional and practical — sort of like actress Vivian Vance, who plays Ethel Mertz, Lucille Ball’s side kick in the hit series “I Love Lucy.”

  1. the biggest problem of BAW is in fact the size of blackberry’s memory for applications…. On devices like Curve you run out of “hard drive” easily after installing few space-hungry apps like Google Maps, iSkoot and facebook mobile + syncing your contacts & emails….

    I checked with RIM dudes – this memory is not extendable …. 256MB or something on Curve shared between system apps and downloadables is too small !…

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    1. Verizon is the only carrier block Blackberry GPS except Storm see http://LifeInPocket.com this will give BBAW disadvantage against iPhone.

      I also cannot find LifeInPocket http://LifeInPocket.com which is free and the best BB app I ever used.

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  2. LOVE the ethel shout out! PERFECT

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  3. What’s gotten into GigaOM. Om’s seems like he’s turning into a desi Walt Mossberg(only thing you missed was not calling Apple offering more ‘elegant’). ;-)

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    1. Well what’s gotten into them is that they wont say its superior to the App Store if it’s not.

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  4. I was excited to see the promo email mentioning Pandora – but when I installed the app, I could not find that as a download option – but you did?

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    1. You should check out iheartradio. That is definitely in appsworld,and I feel a really good music app. check it out

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  5. Did not work for me on my BB Curve, claims it did not meet the system requiremsts. It actually does as it is only a seven month old BB Curve running 4.3! Not a great start. Hey, RIM get your copy machine fixed. This is a far cry from the iPhone App Store and its 30K apps!

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  6. Did did not download for on my BB curve either. It says my BB curve does not meet system requirements? I just got my BB curve last Saturday and it’s running on platform 4.6.1.101!? The min sys req states 2.4 or higher?? What’s going on??

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  7. I was meant to say the min sys req is 4.2 or higher not 2.4, as mentioned in my last post.

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  8. Update. I have successfully downloaded after pesisting with clicking the “download” button on the link emailed to my BB curve. Downloaded successfully. I can see the App store icoon in my Downloads folder now, and even though I am on an unlimited data tarriff with my service provider I get a pop up saying “Upgrade your service to a plan that included browsing…” each time I click the icon to eneter the app store??

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    1. Hey i bought the Blackberry Curve 8900 last week same version as you on Orange UK. I need help because my only option for email is a work email (blackberry enterprise…) which i don’t have. I wanted to sync my personal email but have no idea how to as that is my only option. Also, i cant download App world from the website, and can’t get an email sent because i dont have an email synced with my device. Any ideas
      Thanks

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  9. I always thought that a Black & Decker engineer designed BBs. Build to drill a hole and look and feel like a hammer. I loved my BB as much I a love my B&D tools because help me to do one thing right browse my email when I’m away more than 5 feet away from my laptop. The BAW is has no better design than my BB, it does the job of drilling holes.

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  10. I don’t really see how this is a “competitor” to the iTunes app store, since the stores are specifically designed for completely different products, but I guess those whole industries are now head to head. I will say that having all the apps in one place will make for great browsing and the clickable downloading simplifies — before you’d have to get apps directly from the creator, either from websites or emails (ie, go@ridecharge.com for their taxi thang). Maybe this is the kick in the pants the bb needs, although the memory issue is definitely still problematic.

    Question, I haven’t checked it out yet but does the bb store have a good number of free apps, like iTunes?

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