BlackBerry App World now live

As expected, the BlackBerry App World has just launched for US, Canada and the UK. If your software's updated to 4.2 and you've got a trackball / touch screen and PayPal account, head on over to RIM's website to download. Tell us, is it everything you thought it would be?

RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis is slated to take the stage later today in Las Vegas at the CTIA show and all eyes will be focused on RIM’s answer to Apple’s App Store. While we wished that RIM had held off on the launch of BlackBerry App World until Lazaridis’ little talk, there’s nothing that could have prevented this announcement from hitting at midnight. So, ladies and germs, I present to you BlackBerry App World. Please ensure that you have a PayPal account, OS 4.2 or higher and a trackball or SurePress touch screen (aka Storm) BlackBerry before proceeding.

I must say that BAW is laid out much better than the initial screen shots that RIM released many months ago. But before we dive into it, you should probably download the BAW storefront. Simply navigate here or here from your BlackBerry Browser and experience the awesomeness that is BAW. A circle icon with the BlackBerry emblem will appear on your desktop.

The BAW homescreen features four icons across the bottom and “Featured Items” which can be navigated through by scrolling left or right. The first icon – a set of folders with a blue tab - is your Categories folder where you can search for apps by genres such as Games, Music and Video, or Personal Health and Wellness. Next to the Categories icon is the Top Downloads section (25) – denoted by a starred folder - of BAW that tells you which apps you are most popular. You can also search for applications by clicking on the magnifying glass icon; search works within categories as well.

The download process is simple and straightforward, but we still hate the fact that RIM wasn’t able to implement a backend payment structure of their own. I just don’t trust PayPal and I know lots of folks (besides myself) who have had issues with them over the years. Anyway, clicking on any app that tickles your fancy will present you with the following options: Download, Reviews or Screenshots. I don’t think I need to go into detail or describe what each of these entail, but I will tell you that when you purchase a free application you’ll be taken directly to My World (we’ll get to this in a second), but if it’s a paid app you’ll be asked to sign into PayPal before proceeding.

Now that we’ve searched through apps and purchased a couple or downloaded all the free apps, you’ll want to hit up that last icon with the outline of a person or My World. In My World you can keep tabs on all the apps that you’ve downloaded, write reviews, recommend or uninstall apps. A nice feature about My World is that you can virtually host apps that you might not use all the time without actually having the app downloaded to the device. If you want to reinstall an app that you previously deleted, you just need to log back into PayPal and voila.


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