It's well past midnight here at CTIA 2009 and I have fought sleep to test out the new , the much ballyhooed 'rival' to the iPhone's App Store. As of 1:30 a.m. PDT, it has 11 social networking applications, 89 utilities, and 163 games. The BlackBerry App World is spinning on, but although I enjoy its layout, it's having a hard time living up to the hype.
First, I am emphatically not a fan of RIM's decision to tether all its BlackBerry users to PayPal as its payment processor. I see the logic behind it--PayPal is unified, while carriers are not, and many business users and prosumers who own BlackBerrys will already have PayPal accounts. I just don't like it. The real problem is, I just don't like PayPal, and I resent having had to sign up again just a few months after extricating my bank account and credit card number from PayPal. The PayPal chapter of my life will be yanked back open, at least if I want to use BlackBerry's App World. And I most definitely do.
Second annoyance: On a trackball device, you have to scroll through the entire end-user license agreement before the application will install. Thankfully, you'll only have to do this once. I had to do it twice, however, to load the storefront onto a Bold and a Curve, so it was twice the bummer.
Right now, the App World is operating on the BlackBerry Bold as I am post-midnight--sluggishly. It's definitely not as snappy as iPhone's App Store in the 3G performance department, and it's frustrating to stare at the green "loading" bar for long, fat seconds before a product page loads. Worst of all, the applications appear to only download to the device memory, completely ignoring my 8GB microSD card. I suspect this will lead to a lot of "incomplete memory" messages for a lot of folks.
That said, the first three applications downloaded fairly quickly and work like a charm. Even the PayPal portion of the process was painless, and I know the upshot is being able to reload all my free and purchased applications if I switch devices.
My advice to RIM is this: get the App World to spin a little faster and open up external memory for storing memory-demanding applications like games, and you'll have a profitable product that's also a win with your users. And do it fast.
CTIA Super Mobility Week
CTIA shows off what's new in smartphones, accessories, and all things mobile.
Sep 16This 'smart' wheelchair knows to send repair notices, health alerts
Sep 16A smart wheelchair means you're never disconnected (pictures)
Sep 11Under Armour: In the next few years, all our products will be smart
Sep 11Windows 10 finds a new smartphone ally: Alcatel OneTouch