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Online BlackBerry App World downloads apps to your phone

RIM's new online BlackBerry App World catalog implements a number of changes. The best is being able to buy apps online and download them remotely to your phone.

BlackBerry App World
You'll need to set up your BlackBerry ID and a plug-in before you can send downloads to your BlackBerry smartphone. Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

We've known for quite some time that RIM would update its BlackBerry App World storefront online to provide Web-to-phone downloads. That day is today. RIM has implemented BlackBerry App World 2.0, which lets you purchase and download apps from the computer.

But before you dive in, you'll need to go through a setup process to register your BlackBerry ID (if you don't already have one) and install a browser plug-in to facilitate the PC-to-phone transfer. You'll also need to plug your phone into the computer during setup and make sure you have the most recent version of App World on your BlackBerry. After that, pressing the Download button on a product page in the App World online storefront should trigger a download.

In addition to purchasing apps online for BlackBerry download, the App World 2.0 catalog lets you access reviews and recommendations and gives you a My World management page that's linked to your account.

Previously, the online App World catalog brokered downloads on your BlackBerry in a roundabout way that helped little. Clicking the "Download" button triggered a text message that contained a link for the app's page in the App World App on your BlackBerry.

RIM isn't the first to dream up remote PC-to-phone downloads. Google had that honor when it announced in May that the company is working on an update for its Android Market, but so far the only fruit of that labor has been the Chrome to Phone browser plug-in that can send snippets from Web sites to your Android phone.