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Blackberry Cellphones Handhelds Software

RIM Attracts 15,000 Apps For BlackBerry 10 In 2 Days 193

Posted by timothy
from the pay-enough-you'll-get-all-you-want dept.
CWmike writes "It's starting to look like the BlackBerry store will be well stocked with apps when Research In Motion launches BlackBerry 10 (see YouTube preview) at the end of this month. The company held an event over the weekend where it offered app developers incentives to port their programs to the BlackBerry 10 platform and managed to attract 15,000 app submissions. 'Well there you have it. 37.5 hours in, we hit 15,000 apps for this portathon. Feel like I've run a marathon. Thanks to all the devs!' wrote Alec Saunders, vice president of developer relations at RIM, in a Twitter message. The 'port-a-thon' event was held in two parts: One aimed at Android developers and the other at apps written in other platforms, including Appcelerator, Maramalade, Sencha, jQuery, PhoneGap and Qt. RIM was offering $100 for each app ported and subsequently approved for sale in the BlackBerry 10 app store, up to certain limits. Developers could also win BlackBerry 10 development handsets and a trip to RIM's BlackBerry Jam Europe developer event." It's hard to believe that many current iOS or Android users are leaping toward Blackberry, though. If you're in one of those camps, is that so crazy?
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RIM Attracts 15,000 Apps For BlackBerry 10 In 2 Days

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  • The question is... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GerbilSoft (761537) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @02:18PM (#42594211)
    How many of those 15,000 "apps" are actually useful, and how many are just worthless single-site frontends?
    • by 6Yankee (597075) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @02:24PM (#42594329)

      5,000 single-site frontends and 10,000 fart apps.

    • by geekmux (1040042) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @02:28PM (#42594387)

      How many of those 15,000 "apps" are actually useful, and how many are just worthless single-site frontends?

      And how is this question relevant here vs. every other app store boasting the same 1:1,000 ratio of good to worthless apps?

      Seems a bit premature to bash RIM for doing nothing more than what everyone else does...and that is publish huge nicely rounded marketing numbers for apps, regardless of value-add.

      • And how is this question relevant here vs. every other app store boasting the same 1:1,000 ratio of good to worthless apps?

        Well for a start, it would mean that Blackberry has 15 good apps, vs 700+ good apps on iOS and Android.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by geminidomino (614729)

        Seems a bit premature to bash RIM for doing nothing more than what everyone else does

        In the general case, that's true. But when you consider the thrashing they've been taking in recent memory, doing "nothing more" than anyone else does probably won't accomplish a whole lot for them.

      • by Old97 (1341297)
        Quite relevant because what matters is the true count of useful applications - not the filler. By your reckoning (1:1000) that means RIM has 15 useful applications for BB10. Nothing to brag about. I've got 4 times that many very useful iOS apps on the devices I own and I've just scratched the surface. Android using friends of mine have dozens of useful apps on theirs.
        • Quite relevant because what matters is the true count of useful applications - not the filler. By your reckoning (1:1000) that means RIM has 15 useful applications for BB10. Nothing to brag about. I've got 4 times that many very useful iOS apps on the devices I own and I've just scratched the surface. Android using friends of mine have dozens of useful apps on theirs.

          More specifically it means that they have 15 useful applications *from this portathon*. I suspect the number to be higher - as it's fairly easy to port opengl games and html5 apps, outside of android apps.

          They've already said they'll have over 70k apps at launch - it's not like this one-weekend event is their only effort to get applications on the platform. Unofficial estimates put them over 100k. That'll mean ~100 useful apps (if we stick with 1:1000) -- whhich is, frankly, on par with other platforms.

          They've also previously said that they have 90% of the most popular 600 android and ios apps, and 18 of the top 20 apps .

        • by mr_walrus (410770)

          have you missed the part where most android apps will work on BB10 and Playbook?
          simply only need to repackage/sign an existing android installer package into a BB package.
          anyone can do it. i've done it.

    • by lennier1 (264730)

      I'd be more interested in finding out how many of those are even legit.
      http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57562905-94/blackberry-app-world-said-to-hawk-pirated-android-apps/ [cnet.com]

    • A better question: how many of those 15,000 apps were actually ported by the original developer [theregister.co.uk]? Apparently RIM has had a slew of unauthorized individuals grabbing popular Android apps, stripping them of their protection, then using RIM's own tools to convert them to a format compatible with BB10, before finally submitting the apps as their own original work. The fact that they just incentivized that behvaior by paying $100 for every cheap port suggests to me that they likely had a whole lot of that going o

  • by alen (225700) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @02:21PM (#42594269)

    instead of an iphone or one of the Galaxy phones?

    do they do anything that iOS or Android does not?

    • by Spy Handler (822350) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @02:26PM (#42594363) Homepage Journal

      it has... Canadian Technology!

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      To me, the only thing that differentiates the BlackBerry devices is the presence of the BES server so you can access your company Exchange. And I think the phone to phone messaging is supposed to be more secure.

      But, as a consumer, BlackBerry has always had its strengths in the corporate environment -- which is why people started buying the other makes of smart phones when they became available. Because, for the most part, people have no need to connect to a corporate Exchange on their personal phone.

      And,

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Android, iOS and WinPhone now can talk directly to Exchange and any other email server that uses ActiveSync. They can also be controlled that way, so BES is not really that valuable anymore.

        • by rubycodez (864176)

          that's not the issue. BES can control individuals or groups of phones to only run certain programs or access certain features. that's what's missing from those alternatives + Exchange

          • by alen (225700)

            you can do this with add on products for ios and android. and you can do it to some extent on iOS as well with some little known apple tools to manage iphones in the enterprise

            but why would anyone want to? the itunes app store already weeds out malware. this whole management thing sounds like power hungry IT nazis wanting some sense of control.

            i can understand in situations like HIPAA or some other special cases, but most organizations BES is overkill

          • by whoever57 (658626)

            BES can control individuals or groups of phones to only run certain programs or access certain features. that's what's missing from those alternatives + Exchange

            In other words, it's all about "Enterprise features", or, to give it it's real name "CIO wants to use Windows/BB, etc.".

            The world has moved on to BYOD, why would I want someone else to be able to control what programs I can run on my personal device? The answer to this dilemma is virtual machines running on the phone, with the VM able to acces

            • by schnell (163007)

              The world has moved on to BYOD, why would I want someone else to be able to control what programs I can run on my personal device?

              I'm guessing you work at a company or office dominated by "white collar" workers. In the larger business world, the preponderance of headcount is of "blue collar" and "grey collar" workers, and companies are giving those workers smart devices in rapidly proliferating numbers. Whether it's because they want their workers to be able to respond to e-mail, run Point of Sale apps on their devices, run job clock in/clock out & GPS tracker apps, dispatch and routing apps... in many cases your local garbage tru

        • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @02:57PM (#42594827) Homepage

          Oh, I agree ... historically, that's been the primary reason for BlackBerry stuff. If you can access Exchange from other devices readily, what does RIM bring to the table?

          At which point, they're just another manufacturer with nothing to differentiate themselves or make their platform a better choice.

          If they don't have something nobody else does, I don't know what is going to bring customers they've already lost back.

          I'd love to see a list of reasons why someone should go with a BlackBerry, because I'm at a loss to come up with a single one myself. That's not to say they don't exist, but they need to be sure to explain to people why it's worth looking at their products.

          There was a time I'd have said "a phone running QNX, wow, that must be awesome". Now I just wonder how badly they've mangled QNX.

    • by asmkm22 (1902712) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @03:07PM (#42594959)

      Email, mostly. It's much easier to type out an email message (or text, for that matter) on a physical keyboard than on a touchscreen. For me, that's a really big deal.

      There's also an argument to be made about the Blackberry feeling more "industrial" or "professional" than iPhones or Androids. I don't particularly care about being able to play games or watch Netflix on my phone because I use my phone for business and for placing calls. I imagine I'm in the minority on that one though, because it seems like many people today view their phone as some all-in-one gaming machine that happens to make phone calls as well.

      Personally, I can't wait to be able to ditch my Android and get back to a half-screen-half-keyboard Blackberry, provided the phone is responsive and the battery life is decent.

      • by Belial6 (794905)
        While I don't know of any half screen half keyboard Androids, there are always a couple of android phones with physical keyboards, and there is a iPhone case that has a physical keyboard built into it. So, a keyboard isn't really something unique to BB.

        That pretty well leaves you with Image. That isn't something that can really be argued one way or the other, although you seem to try.
        • by asmkm22 (1902712)

          Why would I buy an iPhone just to be able to get a case that acts like a keyboard, when I could just buy a Blackberry?

      • by gbjbaanb (229885)

        I think the other reason was that the BB messaging stuff was secure so the cops couldn't intercept the messages you send to your mates when you were planning to go out and riot (the London riots were apparently inflamed massively because of BBM. It also has some nifty group features in it apparently. (I've not used it).

        This is also why it was a hit with corporates - you email about the meeting you go to would be unavailable to people snooping on the wireless comms. (I make no comment about the value of the

    • by gmuslera (3436)
      If the user interface really feels like the one in the N9 (look pretty much like it), should be pretty nice to use. And if have the apps you need and/or can run native android ones, i would say that is a better option. At least until Sailfish comes out.
    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      You can ask the same question in all three directions- why choose an iPhone or Android phone over BlackBerry?

      Traditionally the answer to that question has been "because BlackBerry sucks". But I'm open to the possibility that that might change. If BB10 has sorted out the user interface, found a way of stocking the app store, and improved the reliability (perhaps built in some fallback modes that prevent the device from bricking up every time the RIM servers go down), then I see no reason not to consider it a

      • by mr_walrus (410770)

        easy to root implies easy to hijack with malware... not sure i like that possibility.
        sideloading is no problem on bb10/playbook.

    • by arth1 (260657)

      instead of an iphone or one of the Galaxy phones?

      do they do anything that iOS or Android does not?

      Well, you cannot get your meeting schedules synced to your BMW without a Blackberry.

      But with 10, I think RIM is losing one important selling point - the physical keyboard. Touch screens are orders of magnitude more error prone, and capacitive screens are even unusable in some conditions. (The Galaxy Note II has a stylus, but who wants to lug THAT thing around?)
      It becomes just one of many.

      • instead of an iphone or one of the Galaxy phones?

        do they do anything that iOS or Android does not?

        Well, you cannot get your meeting schedules synced to your BMW without a Blackberry.

        But with 10, I think RIM is losing one important selling point - the physical keyboard. -snip-.

        No, RIM is releasing models with both all-touch and physical keyboards.

        • by arth1 (260657)

          No, RIM is releasing models with both all-touch and physical keyboards.

          That's good to know - they didn't with the Torch, and I am pretty sure that cost them.

  • If you're a developer / company with an existing BB app, and you see that your product is about to be EOL'd because there's an new OS coming out, then it be prudent to port your app to the new version. Presumably at least some existing apps make money on RIM devices. I have no idea what's involved in the port - whether it's a refactoring of codebase or complete re-write, but 15,000 apps that want to keep pulling money in the door sounds relatively low compared to the total number in iOS or driod stores...

  • So essentially, BlackBerry have paid $1.5 million in order to have a few thousand apps (of indeterminate utility) in their store for launch.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Which is dirt cheap considering hourly rates for even starting developers. I would expect that Microsoft, for example, has poured tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars for boosting the WP app store.

    • Re:App bounty (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @02:46PM (#42594677) Homepage

      Which, if you think about it, probably is a wise investment.

      If on day one there's 15 apps, nobody is going to buy one because it's dead on arrival and the money you spent developing it would be a waste. If there's 15,000 apps, it's possible to conclude it's not a completely useless platform.

      Releasing it without apps would be suicide, because there's nothing interesting about a smart phone you can't get software for. By now, anybody who has had a smart phone has a list of a handful of apps which are deal breakers.

      Now, the question remains as to if enough people will care enough to buy these. I'm not sure anything RIM does at this point is going to make me say "oooh, I need a BlackBerry" ... but they do need to get a significant amount of people to do that.

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @02:28PM (#42594399)

    FTFA:
    "RIM was offering US$100 for each app ported and subsequently approved for sale in the BlackBerry 10 app store"

    This isn't any indication that people are leaving their favorite fondle-slab for RIM's.

  • I am wondering how long will it takes to review all of those apps .... is there a alt community store for FLOSS ? because, mine is a meego's basic (but helpful) text editor and it is pending since sunday ... and I am ready to share sources ... -- http://rzr.online.fr/q/qnx [online.fr]
  • by shirikodama (2670887) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @02:49PM (#42594717)
    After going through hoop after hoop to try to release an app to their store including notarized this, and documented that... for a FREE FRIGGING APP, I gave up when they told me that I needed to submit a business plan to them. I couldn't believe it.
    • by taylortbb (759869)
      I've been doing BB development for a few years and they've never required business plans, don't know what happened there. Registering for App World requires a scan of government photo ID, most people use their driver's license or passport. It's human reviewed so it takes a couple days but it's pretty painless. All the notarized form requirements are gone. The signing keys are free now and just require an email. The entire process has actually become quite painless, and BB10 is actually a nice platform to d
  • Most of those "apps" are probably some kind of web content that was run through a packaging system to turn it into an "app".

    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      if they perform a useful function who cares if it's a web engine app?

      better that than a half baked re invention of the wheel atrocity of an interface (looking at you, facebook for android)
  • Maramalade? (Score:4, Informative)

    by djlemma (1053860) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @03:05PM (#42594919)
    Guess a typo in TFA got carried over into TFS. I was trying to search out all these SDK's and google got confused..

    So for those interested, it's spelled exactly like the stuff you put on toast. Info here.. [madewithmarmalade.com]
  • by SplashMyBandit (1543257) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @03:15PM (#42595075)

    RIM is popular in Africa:
    http://www.economist.com/news/business/21567977-its-devices-are-still-popular-there-africa-wont-save-rim-blackberry-babes [economist.com]

    And for your amusement, check out this genius sketch from Ronnie Corbett, "My Blackberry is not Worlking" [Credit: BBC - thanks Beeb!]:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAG39jKi0lI [youtube.com]

  • In all honest, Blackberry even as it stands now has better integration, infrastructure, and toe-holds in the enterprise market for mobile than Microsoft will ever get with respect to mobile. So, yeah - they'll do well and they'll steal market share that Microsoft might otherwise have gotten - and really needs. Look for BB to outsell MS in the mobile space once again with BB10.
    • In all honest, Blackberry even as it stands now has better integration, infrastructure, and toe-holds in the enterprise market for mobile than Microsoft will ever get with respect to mobile.

      First, I'm not remotely a Windows fan. I like my iPhone and I could be happy with an Android, but I have zero interest in Windows Portable Tiny or whatever the official name is this month. That said, you really think BB could have better enterprise - read: "Exchange" - integration than Microsoft could (if they decided they wanted to pursue it)? It would be pretty easy for MS to market themselves as the "real" messaging provider, not the knockoff who just piggybacks off their stuff. Or more simply, "why play

      • BB10 supports ActiveSync. So BES will no longer be needed for email integration with Exchange.
        • BB10 supports ActiveSync. So BES will no longer be needed for email integration with Exchange.

          Making BB yet another Exchange client among many. What does it bring to the table here?

          • BB10 supports ActiveSync. So BES will no longer be needed for email integration with Exchange.

            Making BB yet another Exchange client among many. What does it bring to the table here?

            It means that you can use a BB10 device in a BYOD setting without IT having to install BES. Same as with an Android or iPhone.
            If they want more control over the device, IT can choose to use BlackBerry Fusion which gives them similar control as BES.
            Why are more options a problem?

  • Blackberry was the dominant smartphone. While many scoff at the keyboard, this phone was first and foremost meant for business. Whatever else you could say, it worked and depending on how you managed your apps and OS configuration, it had a superior life to any of today's phone. In this world everything is possible and Blackberry could get a boost in sales if their hardware and usability have kicked a notched up to match Android/IOS phones and most of all, have a superior battery life. I would go back i
    • The only way they'll do that is if they skimp on the screen. A small or low res screen can be used with a smaller backlight. My Android phone will last nearly a week if I don't use it. It'll only go about 4 or so hours with the screen on. It's not like Blackberry have some energy saving magic no one else has access to. Their older phones with keyboards sacrificed screen size for the keyboard, giving them less screen space to illuminate.

  • by accessbob (962147) on Tuesday January 15, 2013 @05:10PM (#42596441)

    RIM may not have the largest customer base, but BlackBerry users do actually *buy* apps (unlike Android...)

    And the apps are a joy to develop, at least if you have a real BB10 to test with (I do: I have a Dev Alpha). I get a choice between Eclipse and QT Creator for my C/C++, and a huge range of libraries. The platform is QL, and now Nokia have sold that to Digia, QT is coming to Android and Win8 phone in Q3, so I can port even C++ apps between platforms easily.

    What's not to like?

  • I figured someone would describe a bit about how to develop for the BB. Of course this being slashot we have instead fanboi rants from all directions. In any case, you can see it here:
    https://developer.blackberry.com/develop/platform_choice/bb10.html [blackberry.com]

    C/C++
    Java
    C++/QT
    AIR
    HTML5

    are supported.

  • At this rate Blackberry will exceed Apple and Google's 700,000 applications in 73 days!

    RIM is back on top!

  • I've never owned a Blackberry. But I like interesting OSes, and I like marketplace diversity. It's this sort of stuff that makes it interesting to own a device.

    I have an iPhone 4. The only Android device that's tempted me at all so far is one of the recently announced Sonys (waterproof, ANT+, Sony's typically good camera) and that's about it. The current state of the market offers me very little that's meaningful in my day-to-day life, and so phones are kind of boring. Samsung vs. Apple. Android vs. iOS vs. WP8! It's Meh vs. Meh if you ask me.

    I stick with iOS because it's a Mac household, I have other iOS devices, and my friends and family have iPhones. iMessage and Facetime are staples for me. It'll take an awful lot to pry me away from that.

    But that said, if the new Blackberry is interesting enough, I'll give it a serious look. The small players have to work harder to make things interesting, and RIM is now a legitimate 'small' player in this market. It's a bit do-or-die, so I expect some interesting stuff.

  • The old Nexus S is starting to show its age - and I don't just mean the scuffs and the cracked screen - so I'm shopping.

    Like many folks here, the lack of a real keyboard annoys me. I do tend to draft e-mails that are more than one or two sentences long, and the on-screen keyboard just doesn't cut it. My last phone was a Moto Charm, sort of a low powered android BB clone, and having real clicky keys was SO much better.

    As for apps, the sad fact is that 90% of them are crap. Including many from large c
  • I bought a Blackberry Playbook that I am really enjoying for the princely sum of $131.00, so this is good news.

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