BlackBerry App World: Nine Must-Do Fixes for RIM's App Store

Ever since BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) launched its BlackBerry App World mobile software store last spring, the on-device app-channel has received a flood of negative feedback from users and developers. Here's CIO.com's Al Sacco's opinion on nine key fixes RIM must make to revamp--and resuscitate--BlackBerry App World.

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Wed, July 01, 2009

CIO — 2009 is the Year of the Mobile App Store. Apple started the movement with the launch of its hugely successful iTunes App Store for the iPhone in 2008, then all the handset heavies followed suit. Today, Nokia operates the Ovi Store; Microsoft's got the upcoming Windows Marketplace for Mobile; Google runs Android Marketplace; and Research In Motion (RIM) runs BlackBerry App World.

screenshot of BlackBerry App World Icon
BlackBerry App World Icon

The app store competition doesn't stop at the platform level, either, particularly for the BlackBerry crowd. BlackBerry "app stores," both on-device and PC-based, exist for many of the popular BlackBerry blogs like CrackBerry.com, BerryReview.com and BlackBerryRocks.com--though all are powered by the same engine: the Mobihand AppStore, which is probably RIM's most significant App World competitor. BPlay.com's another major player.

BlackBerry App World is flawed as is--to say the least--but it's not irreparable. I could probably list 20 or 30 minor issues that should eventually be addressed; however, I'm sticking to high-level complaints here. The following nine suggested App World tweaks could go a long way to making RIM's app store more user- and device-friendly.

(Note: The current version of BlackBerry App World, which can be obtained from RIM's website, is 1.0.0.30. For specifics on App World content, read our Best and Worst of BlackBerry App World.)

Memory Issues

My most significant gripe with BlackBerry App World: it's a memory hog. Hell, the thing's a memory bandit, stealing up almost all of my free application memory every single time I launch it and frequently rendering my device useless until I reset. (Sure, my Bold doesn't have much app memory to begin with, but that's another story altogether...)


screen shots showing BlackBerry App Memory Before and After App World
BlackBerry App Memory Before and After App World

Today, I barely use App World at all, because it throws my device through a loop every time I launch it. If RIM wants anyone to seriously consider App World a viable app store option, it absolutely needs to address these memory issues, be it through the addition of app memory on the device level, better controls built into the app itself or the ability to (finally) store apps on microSD memory cards.

RIM has a BlackBerry knowledge base article on the subject of App World memory management, but it merely describes how to uninstall apps when your device gets bogged down.


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