BlackBerry World

BlackBerry World (previously known as BlackBerry App World) is an application distribution service, aka an 'app store', and application by BlackBerry Limited; for BlackBerry 10 devices, the BlackBerry PlayBook, and a majority of BlackBerry OS devices. The service provides BlackBerry users with an environment to browse, download, and update mobile apps, including third-party applications. The service went live on 1 April 2009; 11 years ago (). Of the three major app stores of different mobile operating systems, it had the largest revenue per app at $9,166.67, compared to $6,480.00 by the Apple App Store and $1,200.00 by Google Play.[3] On 21 January 2013, BlackBerry announced that it rebranded the BlackBerry App World to simpler BlackBerry World, as part of the release of the BlackBerry 10 operating system.[4] BlackBerry devices since 2015 (with the release of BlackBerry Priv) no longer use the BlackBerry 10 operating system, but Android operating system instead, which uses the Google Play app store.

BlackBerry App World main screen depicting a featured app on a legacy BlackBerry OS device (pre-2013)
BlackBerry World home screen on the legacy BlackBerry OS device Curve 9380 (pre-2013)

In 2003, Research In Motion (RIM) (now known as BlackBerry Limited) launched the Mobile Data Service to enable customers to access Java-based third-party enterprise applications using the secure real-time push-based BlackBerry infrastructure.

Later on 21 October 2008, RIM announced at the BlackBerry Developer Conference that the company would open an application store for their devices.[5] It was also announced that the store was scheduled to be open in March 2009, and would work in conjunction with PayPal's services. On 19 January 2009, RIM began accepting submissions of applications from developers.[6]

On 4 March 2009, RIM officially named the store 'BlackBerry App World'[7] (previously called the BlackBerry Application Storefront). It was also confirmed that the service would not initially be available for desktops, and only a web-based catalogue would be accessible from non-BlackBerry devices.

On 1 April 2009, at the (CTIA) trade show, RIM announced that App World had gone live.[8]

At the BlackBerry-sponsored Wireless Symposium, it was announced that an average of one million apps were being downloaded each day.[9]

On 19 August 2010, BlackBerry App World 2.0 was released. This new version introduced BlackBerry ID; a single sign, account system that can be used on both the BlackBerry client, and the BlackBerry App World desktop storefront. In addition to BlackBerry ID, BlackBerry App World 2.0 also introduced direct credit card billing and carrier billing for AT&T Wireless subscribers.[citation needed]

On 3 December 2010, Research in Motion announced that daily downloads were two million apps per day.[10]

On 2 February 2011, BlackBerry App World 2.1 was released. This version introduced in-app purchases of digital goods, allowing for add-ons to be purchased within applications.[11]

On 21 January 2013, BlackBerry rebranded the 'BlackBerry App World' to 'BlackBerry World'.[4]

On 18 June 2014, BlackBerry announced an official relationship with Amazon, which includes access to Amazon Appstore in BlackBerry 10.3.[12]

On 14 December 2017, BlackBerry announced that BlackBerry World would close at the end of 2019,[13] however the store was not closed, and continues to function as of August 2020.[14] On 1 April 2018, BlackBerry removed payment features from BlackBerry World.[15][16]

At the beginning of 2011, 16,000 apps were available on BlackBerry App World. A year later, the app store passed 60,000 apps (January 2012), and a month later 70,000 apps (February 2012). At BlackBerry Jam in September 2012, RIM announced that App World had more than 105,000 apps.[citation needed]

In May 2013, at the Blackberry Live Conference, BlackBerry announced that over 120,000 apps for BlackBerry 10 were available to download from BlackBerry World.[citation needed]

Application verification is done for BlackBerry World apps about content and quality before is agreed to launch. About 85 percent of the verification is done in Denpasar, Bali.[17]

Research In Motion (RIM) announced that the store would initially be available in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.[25]

As of March 2013, BlackBerry World was available in 170 markets, and supports 23 currencies and 33 languages. Over 6 million applications are downloaded daily, with an aggregate of over 4 billion downloads to-date, and accepts payment in all markets, using a combination of PayPal, credit card, and carrier billing.

As of August 2020, BlackBerry World is available in 171 countries and territories.[26]

Applications were both free and paid; from $0.99, to $599.99 USD in the U.S.[27] After July 2018, some paid apps were deprecated. Maximum fee was $5.[citation needed] Registration and app submission are now closed.

The service is available in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese, among other languages.

The store is available for the following BlackBerry devices that are updated to BlackBerry OS version 4.5.0 or higher:[25]

Users were initially allowed to archive their apps on a MicroSD, or on eMMC storage of certain BlackBerry smartphone models.[28] The archive to external memory card function was later removed with the release of App World 3.0.[29]

In 2010, Research In Motion (RIM) announced several new tools to make it easier for BlackBerry applications developers to build, simulate, deploy, and monetise feature-rich applications on the BlackBerry platform; including the BlackBerry Enterprise Application Development Platform, the next generation BlackBerry Web Application Platform, BlackBerry WebWorks Platform for the BlackBerry PlayBook™ Tablet and BlackBerry smartphones, and BlackBerry Payment Service, BlackBerry Push Service, BlackBerry Advertising Service, Location Service, Maps Services, Analytics Service, Scoreloop, BBM Social Platform Software Developer Kits, et al.

BlackBerry embraced open standards, and included a variety of open source libraries out of the box including: Lua, OpenAL, cocos2d-x, and Box2D, and has an open source repository that can be accessed at GitHub.com/blackberry. This open ecosystem helps developers target multiple platforms through partnerships with Appcelerator, Apache Cordova, dojo, jQuery Mobile, Marmalade, NME, Qt, and Sencha Touch.[30]

BlackBerry has changed its whole direction of development tools, and is now mainly embracing their C++ / Cascades as the 'native' road to develop mobile apps for their BlackBerry 10 platform. HTML5 is considered the almost-native second path for development. In April 2014, BlackBerry has announced to stop the support of Adobe Air with the release of BlackBerry 10.3.1 to be released later 2014. From the time of the release of BlackBerry 10.3.1, it will not be possible to upload new Adobe Air-based apps to BlackBerry World.