Blackberry apps

I love my BlackBerry. Since I cajoled our IT manager to upgrade me to a Bold with an SD card, I haven’t looked back. But I have looked sideways. We recently added iPhones to our network (more on that next year) and I have to admit to casting envious glances at Sean and Lynn’s mobile devices.

Despite the huge array of apps available on the iTunes App store, I am hopeful and expectant that I will have the same options available to me in the near future.

Many of the reasons for this are laid out on Fred Wilson’s blog:

On the App World interface (which I actually prefer to the App Store:

App World isn’t as slick as the iPhone app store but it works well.

But one of the reasons the iPhone is so popular with developers is that it is so easy and open. Right?

Its fantastic that Blackberry allows developers to provide downloads of their apps directly from the mobile web. I used App World for some of my apps and the mobile web for others. Both modes work, especially for free apps

On multitasking:

Once you get the apps installed and working right, the experience is incredible. Blackberry supports multitasking and so I’m listening to Pandora and BBM’ing at the same time I am writing this post.

Obviously multitasking is not available on the iPhone, as I delight in telling my Apple-enabled colleagues.

In conclusion:

The phone is great, the software is powerful, but the browser is awful and the entire user experience is too complicated. Blackberry can and should fix this because iPhone and Droid are coming on strong, even in Blackberry’s core enterprise market, and they don’t have a big window of time to get it right.

More on Fred Wilson’s blog: Blackberry apps. My feeling is that iPhone users have been better trained to download applications to their devices than BlackBerry users. Part of this is because of the breadth, depth and utility of applications on offer. Part of this is that the iPhone user likely has an early adopter or explorer mentality but the other part of the equation is that BlackBerry is the device of choice for the enterprise. This means users are used to be highly restricted in what they can do with their work-issued machines. If you work for a large organization, think about your laptop, your IT policies and your reticence to download items to your machine. Now extend that to your BlackBerry.

This means the challenge for RIM to train users to feel comfortable downloading to their devices is daunting, but the pay off is immense if the core BlackBarry user starts to upgrade their device with applications from App World.

Disclosure – I worked on a personal campaign for Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM, maker of the BlackBerry.

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