Review: BlackBerry App World. Verdict: Good Enough.

28 Comments

RIM (s RIMM) 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.

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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.”

28 Comments

J

i have the bb storm 2. when i first downloaded the blackberry app world it worked perfect. then it asked me to update which i did then canceled that as it took so long. now i cant get bb app world at all. it says its installed on my phone but cant find it anywhere. anyone else had this or any suggestions?

Justin

For the most part I agree with you Malik although BlackBerry App World still has a ways to go. The recent announcement of the new themes section is a huge step up.

Xade

i have just bought the blackberry curve 8900 and like many of you whe i go to donwload the blackberry app world software it tells me that my blackberry does not mee the system requirements, how can this be ! can anyone help me please ?

Lloyd

it wont work on my storm 9500 ive tried everything it just says it doesnt meet the system requrements ive updated it rebooted it everything i can think of and the internet can find any help?

Dr. Morgan

It’s pretty comparable with iPhone App Store while they only have very small portion of BB apps on it.

It offers GPS Navigation App which I cannot find them in iPhone store. However they got a lousy $99.99 nav app there which no one will buy. They have another so call free app while it costs $99.99 to activate. Don’t waste people’s time by putting those nonsense there.

For some reason? The free an most popular BB GPS/Navigation app LifeInPocket is missing. (http://LifeInPocket.com) Because it’s free? Probably they don’t want to hurt other app developers’ revenue.

Get some free GPS navigation app there, please!

Scott

Downloaded LifeInPocket from LifeInPcket.com, it works great on my Bold.

Though it’s free while it offers more features and easier to use than Telenav.

Jay H

Whats going on?? It doesn’t work on my blackberry storm!! Neither do a few of the applications I’ve had previously loaded on to it (messenger, etc..)

Anyone having/had the same problem and got it fixed?

Cheers!!!

Dr. Morgan

I click on BAW link then it installed in my Storm with no problem. It display download and manage apps with no issue for me.

james katt

Naw…

BAW is like Fred (Ethel’s husband) – as iPhone App Store is like Lucy and Ricky put together.

ofnieroc

I’ve got it working just fine on my Storm. Not a tech genius, so not sure I can explain what I did different than you did. Recommend you try again. The only shortfall is that only one game (Southpark) showed up out of the 119 supposedly offered.

bigvig

Works on my storm and all applications show up. Disappointed that you can only pay for apps through paypal and not on your bill.

Bhouser

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?

Lionel

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.

Zill

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??

Christopher

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

Zill

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

Zill

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??

Stephen

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!

John

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?

Tony

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

Aditya

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’). ;-)

JT

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

Alex

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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