BlackBerry has made its refurbished app store live with music, movies and TV shows added to its list for the first time ever. Formerly known as the BlackBerry App World, the store is now simply called BlackBerry World.
RIM wrote about this change in a blog post: "The naming change reflects a shift in the type of things you can purchase from the store as we transition to BlackBerry 10 and beyond." The company promises that there will be much more to BlackBerry World than just apps now, with music and movies too making a home in it.
The changes to the store have reflected on the web version already, but RIM has said that the rollout to PlayBook Tablets and BlackBerry smartphones will be gradual. It said that the update will be coming to BlackBerry devices 'in the coming weeks' and has cautioned that it can take up to 24 hours for this change to reflect on devices.
The all new BlackBerry World
With the addition of music into BlackBerry World, the store boasts of 'millions' of songs for BlackBerry devices with the BBM Music Service. The service is free up to 30 days after which it will be priced $4.99 (Rs. 275 approx.) in the US. RIM has not confirmed international pricing for this service yet. An interesting feature the BBM Music service will be having is that users can connect with their friends in order to get access to 50 tracks on their device.
RIM has announced that when BlackBerry 10 devices launch in February, there will be over 70,000 apps for download through BlackBerry World. The UI of the store has been overhauled in anticipation of the launch too.
The company is betting heavily on the success of BlackBerry 10. In order to boost app submissions for the platform, RIM held a whirlwind Port-a-Thon that saw the submission of 15,000 apps in 37 hours.
RIM put its money where its mouth is, quite literally, as it announced that it will be dishing out $100 per approved app to developers in this event. The promise of a cash prize seemed to be alluring enough for the Port-a-Thon to clock in 15,000 apps that began at noon on January 11 and ended just before midnight on January 13.
There were more than just cash rewards up for grabs. RIM promised BlackBerry hardware to developers who went that extra mile. Developers submitting between two and five applications were eligible for a BlackBerry PlayBook, while those who authored more than five approved apps entered a lucky draw to receive a BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device.
According to a leak of an official BlackBerry 10 training manual, CrackBerry showed that RIM planned to put up an ambitious 70,000 apps in Blackberry World. RIM is depending heavily on the availability of apps to carry the sales of BlackBerry 10 on its shoulder.
Sales of the handsets that run on the newest BlackBerry OS is essential for RIM's survival now and the company seems to have taken lessons from Windows Phone's lack of apps.