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HolidayBuyer's Guide

From today, BlackBerryites can join iPhoners in the hilarity of pretending to drink from a picture of a pint and other pointless apps, with the launch of the BlackBerry App World.

We tried out the app store on a BlackBerry Bold to see if we could spend some of our Crave coin. It's a simple trip to a Web page to download the app store on to the handset, and you can also get RIM to email you a link if you can't be bothered to type it in. Installing it was painless, and we immediately liked the dark design.

The only oddity is that all prices are in US dollars, which get converted to Sterling after you've gone through the PayPal payment process. This means you don't know exactly what you're spending until you check out, and it could lead to people paying different amounts for the same app as currency conversion rates change. PayPal has a UK version, so we thought they should have sorted this, but it's still better than having to wait for a UK launch while the US romps all over the App World with abandon.

As well as a home page with a horizontal ticker of 13 featured apps, there are all of the standard ways of finding what you need: browsing through categories, searching, or looking through a list of most popular apps.

Since we're cheap like Meryl Streep, one feature we missed was the ability to filter results based on whether they were free or not, like in the Apple App Store. In fact, the organisation was confusing -- we think each category has a couple of featured apps that get bumped to the top of the list, and the rest are displayed alphabetically, but your guess is as good as ours.

We liked that some apps offer trial installations, so you can install them free for a limited time. This may spell trouble for one-trick ponies like PhoneyFart, currently the 22nd most popular app, if people aren't willing to invest the minimum price of $2.99 (£2) after they've had their three seconds of fun.

Click through to see us search for fart apps and discover an app so expensive that we farted a little for real.

Update: We spoke to BlackBerry and it told us that if you have a UK PayPal account, App World will display prices in Sterling after you've signed in to PayPal the first time. To do that, click Purchase on any paid app and log into your PayPal account -- you can cancel before the transaction is confirmed, so it won't cost you anything. But the prices are all based on US amounts, so they'll still fluctuate with the exchange rate.

BlackBerry also explained the organisation of apps within categories: apps are listed by popularity, based on the number of downloads and the rating. They look like they're in alphabetical order now because many of them aren't rated or downloaded yet, so it's a temporary thing.

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The options were plentiful, considering it's the App World's first day -- including a choice of two fart apps, we're happy to see. They're both clocking in at the App World's minimum price of $2.99, which just goes to show how ridiculous it is for BlackBerry to set such a high minimum cost.
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We could have bought 66 copies of Fart Storm for the $199.99 price tag of PEPID Emergency Physician Suite, the most expensive app we found. We needed an emergency physician after the heart attack we had when we saw the price, but the app will be invaluable when we're impersonating casualty doctors.
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Bloomberg is currently top of the pops according to the App World's rankings, helped along by its prominent position in the featured apps list.
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Installing apps was easy and quick, but you'll need a PayPal account to buy paid apps, which adds a few clicks to the process.
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