RIM's App World is designed to provide similar functionalities to BlackBerry users that Apple's App Store has been giving to iPhone users since its launch. App World will include both free and paid applications in another move to emulate the success—and profit—Apple has seen through its App Store.
"BlackBerry App World aggregates a wide variety of personal and business apps in a way that makes it very easy for consumers to discover and download the apps that suit them while preserving the appropriate IT architecture and controls required by our enterprise customers," Mike Lazaridis, president and co-CEO of RIM, said in a statement.
To begin using App World for BlackBerry, users must first download the App World application to their mobile device. Once App World is loaded on a smartphone, payments for downloaded applications will be handled through PayPal. Applications can be downloaded via Wi-Fi and cellular networks.
Similar to Apple's App Store, applications created by companies and independent developers will be sorted into categories including entertainment, games, news and productivity, to name a few. The Front Page Carousel is designed to make navigation of featured applications easier for users. The Top Downloads is another sorting tool that users can take advantage of to see which applications are currently getting the most downloads by BlackBerry users.
"BlackBerry App World provides a fantastic new resource for consumers and an equally exciting progression of business opportunities for our developer and carrier partners," Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM, said in a statement. "We are launching BlackBerry App World with a solid selection and we look forward to working with our partners to continue delivering the types of apps that best suit our customers' personalized needs and interests."
According to RIM, the company expects approximately 1,000 applications to be posted into App World by partners. BlackBerry users can expect to see apps from companies like Bloomberg, Salesforce.com and Pandora radio.
Other features included in the launch of App World include search functionality, recommended applications and a storage feature that creates a folder on the device intended to make it easier to keep track of and uninstall downloaded applications.
BlackBerry App World is available today for users in the U.S., U.K. and Canada. Only users with a trackball or touch screen running BlackBerry device software 4.2 or higher will be able to access App World.
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