BlackBerry App World update gives users a new identity

A new version of BlackBerry App World adds credit-card billing and a new user interface that aims to make the best apps easier to find

Flora Graham

A major revamp of BlackBerry App World is in the works, with the public beta opening to American and Canadian users today.

The new version introduces the BlackBerry ID, which is separate from the PIN that BlackBerriers use to identify their phones for BlackBerry Messenger. Unlike the PIN, the BlackBerry ID can be used across several phones, so you can transfer your apps more easily when you switch handsets.

The spruce-up allows credit-card payments for apps without using PayPal. You can also charge them directly to your phone bill if your network supports it.

The app store also gets some user-interface tweaks in a bid to make apps easier to find. Tabbed sections will show top 25 lists of free, paid, new and recently updated apps.

QR codes are now supported, so you can scan the little barcode squares with your phone's camera to find the app quickly. QR codes are already a popular way of finding apps on phones that use the Android operating system -- like in our London Cycle Hire app story -- while iPhone users have the advantage of browsing the Apple App Store on their desktop in iTunes.