RIM revamps BlackBerry app store, adding music and video

Blackberry 10, RIM

Research in Motion is dropping the “App” from BlackBerry App World to reflect the new storefront’s broader inventory of music and videos — available not just to its smartphones and PlayBook tablets but to PCs as well. The company is taking a page from Google’s book, which renamed Android Market to Google Play last year in order to showcase its growing array of content beyond apps.

RIM is also adding more discoverability and social capabilities to the new BlackBerry World, allowing customers to share their content and app choices with friends through messaging and social networking apps, and even through a form of proximity-based communications. From the Inside BlackBerry Blog:

With BlackBerry World, there are various ways to browse, download, buy, and manage apps using a BlackBerry smartphone, BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, or desktop or laptop computer, — inspiration is at your fingertips. And if you find something you love and want to tell the world, you can easily share it with your friends over BBM, Facebook and Twitter. Also, you can simply tap smartphones together and invite your friends to download it — just like that.

There’s no word yet on how extensive RIM’s multimedia library will be, what pricing will be like, or whom the company is partnering with to supply those songs and videos. We’ll find out soon enough though. RIM said the new content would soon appear in the BlackBerry World web storefront, and in the coming weeks BlackBerry phone and tablets will receive software updates to reflect the app store changes.

In related news, BlackBerry is again publicly mulling the possibility of licensing the BlackBerry OS. In an interview with German newspaper Die Welt, CEO Thorsten Heins said that RIM is now focused on proving its net-gen QNX-based OS BlackBerry 10 in the market. If BB 10 is a success it would consider licensing it to other manufacturers, Heins said – and not to just handset makers. The BlackBerry OS and RIM’s QNX automotive infotainment software are converging in a platform called Car 2, which could make BB 10 the first industry-spanning operating system.

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