RIM’s (RIMM) BlackBerry “App World,” its answer to Apple’s iPhone App Store, is now available. RIM expects about 1,000 free and paid apps to be added this week; app makers include Pandora, Shazam, Slacker, Gameloft, NYT, etc.
How is it? We don’t have a BlackBerry on hand, so we’ve used Twitter’s search tool for some instant reaction. In general, it looks like people either love it or hate it.
- bobutler: Loving – I mean LOVING – the BlackBerry app world.
- mediarootsj: Blackberry app world is crap
- czarthp: @joshuatopolsky sorry you can’t get app world but your not missing much
- livestrongcjm: App world sucks. I just took my storm back.
- pshah88: Loving the new BlackBerry app world
- Sadie_Toulany: Disappointed with App World at the moment….
- shivelydavid: App world is awesome. Super easy to navigate. And the screen shot feature is great. Download now.
Why does this matter? Having a good app platform is important — especially from a marketing perspective — in the smartphone war. If RIM’s apps are excellent, it could compete better against Apple, Palm’s forthcoming Pre, and Google Android-based devices expected later this year. We’ll reserve judgement until we’ve had hands-on time.
It’ll be easy for some BlackBerry apps to be as good as their iPhone counterparts. But in general, it will be hard for RIM’s platform to beat Apple’s, which will improve significantly when the iPhone 3.0 software launches this summer.
Update: And here’s a mixed review from gadget king Walt Mossberg.