Apps are an important part of any mobile platform and have been a sore point for RIM, which lags far behind the competition when it comes to the size of its app library. But RIM says it’s working to improve that with its new BlackBerry App World store for BlackBerry 10.
BlackBerry App World gets a facelift with BlackBerry 10. During a live demonstration, RIM executives presented the new App Store interface. It looks pretty much like the Google Play Store with users scrolling through a vertical list of apps.
The main screen has a horizontal scroll bar through which users can view trending apps. At first glance, the store will be much easier to navigate than the current BlackBerry App World store, relying heavily on BlackBerry 10’s new Flow interface.
With BlackBerry 10, App World adds a much-needed variety to the types of content that users have access to, including music, movies, and TV shows. BlackBerry executives say users will be able to download this content directly to their devices rather than streaming it from the web. Like Apple’s iTunes and Google’s Play Store, BlackBerry App World allows users to purchase music, movies, and TV shows, as well as rent movies.
Content providers have yet to be announced, so we don’t know which studios or record labels will be making their content available through BlackBerry App World. RIM was also silent on the price of new content, although we would expect it to be in line with what Apple and Google charge for their content.
The first app that RIM introduced was its new Facebook app for BlackBerry 10. From what has been shown, the app is basically a clone of what you get on Android or iOS.
That said, interactions should improve thanks to RIM’s Flow interface. The app also seemed to work very quickly during the demo, although we don’t know if it worked natively on the SDK in use or if it was actually connected to the web.
The success of Blackberry 10 depends a lot on how many apps RIM can fill its new BlackBerry World Store with. Apple and Android have a huge lead over the nascent operating system and even Windows Phone 8 has overtaken it. If RIM can offer users a compelling application library when it launches its operating system, it could be well on its way to restoring its name in the mobile market.