BlackBerry App World 2.0 Unveiled: Images, Details

CIO.com's Al Sacco is on the scene in New York City for RIM's BlackBerry App World 2.0 unveiling. Here's what you need to know, along with images of new features.

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Wed, June 16, 2010

CIO — BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) (RIM) today unveiled the latest version of its mobile application store, BlackBerry App World 2.0.

BlackBerry App World 2.0 Banner

I told you last week that RIM has a major App World update in the pipeline, and the company showed off the new BlackBerry App World 2.0 on Wednesday as expected at a press event in New York City. Unfortunately, BlackBerry App World 2.0 is not yet publicly available, but it will be "this summer," according to App World product manager Alex Kinsella.

BlackBerry App World was first launched in the United States in April of 2009, and since then it has received a number of minor maintenance- and aesthetic-updates, but App World 2.0 is by far the most significant upgrade.

Perhaps the most notable addition to App World in v2.0 is support for "carrier billing." BlackBerry App World 1.x users had to employ PayPal to purchase applications; RIM did not provide any additional payment options. So any person unable or unwilling to employ the PayPal service simply could not purchase App World applications. I can say with certainty that there are many folks out there who won't even consider touching PayPal with a 10-foot virtual pole due to security and/or privacy concerns. That means no App World apps for those BlackBerry users.

BlackBerry App World 2.0 Carrier Billing Screen
BlackBerry App World 2.0 Carrier Billing Screen

App World carrier billing means that BlackBerry users will be able to circumvent PayPal--or any other online payment service--and purchase applications via their wireless carrier, so any apps they buy are billed to them directly via their monthly wireless service bills. RIM won't say which wireless carriers will support the option when App World launches in the coming weeks, but Kinsella notes that North America will be first to get carrier billing.

PayPal will still be available, and RIM has also added a credit card option, so interested App World 2.0 buyers will have the option of paying for their apps immediately via credit card, as well.

These new payment options have the potential to drastically boost app sales via App World, since RIM is in effect removing some major barriers that dissuaded many BlackBerry users from picking up paid apps in the past.

The BlackBerry App World "My World" section, which displays information on the applications users purchased in the past, as well as whether or not those apps are currently installed or "archived" on their devices, has also been revamped. My World now includes specific sections for installed apps and pending downloads. BlackBerry themes will be accessible via a "Top Themes" category, so they can be viewed separately. And a "Newest Apps" category lets you check out only the most recent App World submissions.

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