BlackBerry App World 2.0, which is now available to all BlackBerry users, brings some notable changes to Research In Motion's application store.
RIM announced BlackBerry App World 2.0 earlier this year. The new version of the Web store brings a number of welcome changes, such as carrier billing, better searching, and better management tools for end users.
RIM offered the newer version of App World to a select group of users in beta form a few weeks ago, but recently began pushing the final version out to all BlackBerry users late Thursday. Users will be notified when the update is available to their handset.
Developers will be happy to learn that they can now more easily charge U.S. users for their applications in BlackBerry App World 2.0. RIM is moving forward with paid apps in the U.S., though only in baby steps. Developers can sell apps for either $0.99 or $1.99. More expensive apps will be available later.
At launch, App World only supported PayPal as a payment mechanism. Now, users can purchase applications through their credit card (Visa and MasterCard) or wireless network operator (if supported).
RIM notes that the new version of BlackBerry App World is easier to navigate. It has added new tabs that let users more quickly jump through application lists. Users can also swipe sideways across the screen to look through "Top 25" lists of apps.
One of my favorite features is support for QR barcodes. This lets users scan a QR code from anywhere -- such as the Web, ads, billboards, magazines -- and be taken directly to the associated application in App World.
Last, App World 2.0 now includes the BlackBerry ID function. BlackBerry ID sets a user-specific identification for App World purchases. This is necessary for credit card payments, but also allows users to move applications (both free and paid) from one BlackBerry to another.
The new version of App World is supported by all BlackBerry handsets.
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