RIM recently held an event in New York recently to show off their forthcoming update to the Blackberry App World. This update comes with several big new features including QR codes, carrier and credit card billing, and a new Blackberry ID infrastructure.
A big complaint about the App World has been that the only way to purchase apps is via a Paypal account. RIM is remedying this by allowing users to charge it through your carrier or by selecting a credit card. While it’s not clear what carriers will support this feature, App World will allow you to enter your credit card information and save it to speed up future purchases.
In order to make it easier for developers to distribute their applications, App World 2.0 supports the QR barcode scanning that has become popular on the Android platform. Developers will get a unique barcode for each application which Blackberry users can take a photo of and immediately been sent to that app’s page in the App World. This will make it much easier for developers and users to share their apps with their friends.
App World’s new Top 25 screen will feature the newest apps, recently updated apps, Top 25 Free apps, Top 25 Paid apps, and Top 25 themes. Very similar to what is offered in Apple’s App Store, hopefully this will make it a little easier for Blackberry users to find the best apps and themes. Highlighting themes is a great idea for RIM because the ability to customize the look of your phone is an advantage the Blackberry platform has in the smartphone market.
Finally and most importantly, the App World’s new Blackberry ID platform is touted as a “device-independent user identification.” Users will now set up an account in App World which will be linked to all of their application purchases and downloads. People who use multiple Blackberries or are switching to a new one will love this because they will be able to easily download all of their applications across devices.
RIM hasn’t said exactly when this update will be released, but it’s expected to come very soon, possibly in an open beta at first.