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back to article RIM adds 15,000 new BlackBerry 10 apps in one weekend

Research in Motion's BlackBerry App World store gained a healthy new crop of apps over the weekend, thanks to the company's "Port-a-thon" promotion, which offered developers $100 apiece to bring their existing apps to the BlackBerry 10 platform. In a Twitter post late Saturday night, Alec Saunders, RIM's VP of developer …

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FAIL

15,000 what kind?

Oh yes, $100 for Balmer to port Skype to BB. And a free Playbook fished out of the marked-down bins? What's not to like, Steve? Go for it.

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Meh

Re: 15,000 what kind?

Fart Apps but with different tones, loudness and duration.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 15,000 what kind?

How many were pirated ports as well?

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Conversely, I wish Google would offer some devs $100 to remove their apps from the Play store.

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Please! Quality over Quantity!

I'm amazed at the generally crap quality of most Android apps. There are exceptions, to be sure (Craigslist for example is brilliant, fast, easy) but overall I've deleted almost every app that I've downloaded.

Over and over I've concluded that app developers' primary concern was figuring out how to allow "skins" when their time would have been much better spent making the damned thing work properly. Or designing an interface that can be operated one handed, or in less than ideal conditions - it is a phone after all, not a desktop computer.

And I'm fed up with apps from large corporations that are simply annoying and unreliable. Yes Overdrive Media Player, I'm talking about you, with your "maybe we'll download that audio book while you're connected to WIFI, or maybe we'll wait until you're using the hideously expensive cel phone data package" and "no, why would we remember both the name of your local library, and your library number, when we can make you click through four or five pages to log in every time you want to browse for new books?"

I would LOVE it if Google et al actually spent some money to screen what they make available instead of relying on the usually useless user reviews.

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Re: Please! Quality over Quantity!

It goes to show how important just a few key built in apps can be. iPhone 5 had no decent maps - look at the fuss that caused.

I think that getting the basic built in mix of apps right is highly important. Nail it, and the need for high quality third party apps is much reduced.

The Playbook is a bit thin. Email, contacts, calendar, Facebook and Twitter are well catered for. However there's no Skype available (there's a BB-only equivalent), Kindle is highly unofficial (Android app side loaded - I hope BB10 doesn't break that), and the third party map apps with access to Google data aren't as good as the real thing.

Confusingly that's at odds with BB mobiles - you can get Kindle and Google maps just fine, but Skype is limited to just a few networks like 3 UK.

The Playbook's very good web browser makes up for some of this. For example, the BBC full fat website just works (Flash included), so there's no need for a BBC news apps. Amazon seem to have gone out of their way to make their online Kindle reader not work in the Playbook's browser.

On the whole I've experienced a mixture of apps of differing quality in the BB ecosystem. There's many good ones - TuneIn radio is fab (and gets the WiFi / Cell network thing righ!). There's also a fair share of crapware, just like anywhere else.

The BB platform does offer some key things that make a big difference to developers trying to do useful mobile apps.

  • BB's unique push mechanism is very good and much misunderstood. If you write your app to use it you get fast push notifications without killing the battery or using a data connection at all. (All the other mobile platforms rely on keeping something of a data connection alive, which costs money and wastes power)
  • Their networking on mobiles is good (APNs?) - it means that a WiFi connection is easily distinguishable from a cellular connection, so traffic heavy apps can easily be friendly to a user's wallet. I don't know if other platforms provide similar mechanisms, but BB seemingly recognised the importance of such a feature long ago.
Without good underlying technical features like these writing decent quality mobile apps is pretty difficult. However, that alone doesn't mean that developers are diligent enough to go and read the books on these things and use them!

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Blackberry Playbooks bargain of the year??

All of a sudden those £120 Blackberry Playbooks are starting to look awfully attractive especially as RIM OS 10 is going to have even greater Android compatibility.

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Re: Blackberry Playbooks bargain of the year??

They're now £149. Seems demand has risen, maybe customers are realising that they're pretty good bits of kit at a really good price.

Managed to buy my second one just before the price rise...

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Re: Blackberry Playbooks bargain of the year??

I got one from PC World, where the monkey serving me muttered something about the PlayBook running android and would I like to buy a copy of some Symantec AV for android devices....

I was polite and refused, but makes you wonder.

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Anonymous Coward

So how many were fart apps? $100 for farting isn't all that bad though.

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I use a black berry for work.

It is without a doubt the most frustrating POS I have ever had to use.

- Answer a call suddenly its on speaker

- Try to answer a call and it wont

press the m key get the n (fat fingers ues but for the love of god after three attempts and carefully watching where i am pressing i still get an n I know i am pressing the m

- Touch screens that think your touching when your not or the opposite

- Language changes when you hit the space

- media players that wont...

I could go on.

Rim needs to fix the usability of the device.

But its too late for my company we have stopped buying them and wont be going back

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Paris Hilton

<-mussie (Ed)

Every phone and computer company has their embarrassments. As did RIM. The point you are missing is that they knew they were headed for the elephant graveyard and did something about it: developed a complete new UI around a modern operating system. This article is all about applications for Blackberry 10, which is quite a different beast from 7 and earlier.

The Playbook is a half way house to OS 10 at the moment. Periodically I try out an Android tablet to see how it's going (I already gave up on the iPad). After my latest 2 week stint the thing is going on eBay and it's back to the PB. Why?

For one thing, the browser seems to work better than the stock Android, Chrome or Dolphin. There are very few sites, and none that I need, that give it any problems.

For another, the rest of it works really well. Mind you, I don't use Twitter or anything remotely connected with Zuckerberg.

The HDMI out and the magnetic charger plug are plus points over the Nexus 7, as is the larger storage capacity.

And it will eventually get updated to OS 10, whereas many Android tablets seem to get stuck on a particular version.

It never seems to need rebooting (because there is a proper system for closing applications and because QNX is designed that way) and I have never had the touchscreen fail on me. This is a July 2011 model.

The one negative is that the bezel could be smaller, and I can live with that.

Paris, because like RIM she's survived an awful lot of negative publicity.

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Re: <-mussie (Ed)

The bezel is that size in part because of the swipe interface. Glad RIM have stuck with it, it's an excellent piece of kit.

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Easy money

All I have to do is submit some crap app and sell it for $100, say its some kinda speciality app, hence the high price. Get 10 people to buy it so I've hit their $1000 threshold. Then wait for RIM to pay me the other $9k

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Pirate

Re: Easy money

Forget the 10 people, buy 10 copies yourself. I'm on it...

GJC

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jai
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do they vet the developers?

Wasn't there a story last week about Android devs discovering that someone else had already ported their 'droid app to BB without their knowledge?

Are RIM checking that the devs submitting these ported apps are the real ownsers of the Android versions?

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Re: do they vet the developers?

From the story I read they are not but they do require you to register to get signing keys so it shouldn't be that hard to get offending apps shut down and gives investigators somewhere to start.

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Coat

in other news ...

Analysts finally realized that, in the developed world, everyone and his dog already has an iPhone and so the market for $500+ smartphones is already saturated. They also seem to have noticed that RIM is pretty strong in developing countries, where its cheaper model continue to sell well and the market is nowhere close to saturation.

RIM Shares Jump Again as Apple Stumbles Apple Drops to 11-Month Low on Reports of IPhone Cutbacks

Apologies for bringing Apple in, just couldn't resist pointing out the connection.

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Gimp

Vague accusations of bias

"Having a well-stocked app store is widely perceived as being essential for the success of any mobile platform. Apple, by far the leader in this category, boasts some 775,000 apps in its iOS App Store, and the Google Play store has nearly as many."

How can Apple be "by far" the leader in this category, if Google Play has "nearly as many" apps?

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Playbook still of limited use

So we've had our PB sitting around collecting dust for ages...decided to pull it out to see what could be done with it after all this time. After an eternity of charging before the silly thing would allow itself to boot, and then another eternity waiting for the charge to be over 15% just to get the latest OS update (come ON RIM, is this even necessary? It's plugged in for god sake.), I finally got down to business. After being pestered every 10 seconds for the wife's BBID password, I finally get on to App World and crack a big yawn.

So I figure "hey maybe I can make this thing useful with some Android apps." Well..not so much. No Android apps actually work on it that I'd want. And key stuff like Netflix still can't be sideloaded and made to work. Yawn again. Didn't see Google Apps listed in any of the sideload lists out there either.

After being pestered another dozen times for a BBID login I just gave the heck up and remembered why the silly device has been a coaster for months. Wake me up when someone roots it and puts something useful like Android on the device (the hardware is nice, too bad about the software).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Playbook still of limited use

So you're complaining because you had to charge it and you forgot the account login? Whoop de doo. You must be the most fun at parties ever.

I agree that the PB is slow to boot. As this happens only after a software update, i.e. every few months, I can live with this.

Posted, need I add, from a PB.

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Windows

Does the internet count as an app? I hope I don't have to pay $0.99 to download the internet.

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