CEO Thorsten Heins has predicted that the store will house more than 100,000 native apps for BlackBerry (right now there are over 80,000 for the new platform) when its flagship Z10 handset launches in the US on March 28, so it figures that the company wants to help users in the country find the best of the bunch right off the bat.
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A post on the BlackBerry Developers blog explains that BlackBerry World — which began supporting music and video and got a price snip in January — will support keywords in search helping to spotlight more apps. In addition, ranking details — which include download numbers and user ratings — will be integrated into search results to help the cream rise to the top.
This is a big deal for app developers since a search for “action games”, for example, will return a list of apps within the action games category, as well as any apps that have the words in their title. Likewise, searches that match company names will bring up a list of the vendor and its apps in the store.
BlackBerry has also fixed formatting issues on product pages, re-enabled the option to sort apps by popularity and re-introduced RSS feeds — yes, that thing that Google is intent on killing.
In terms of overall numbers, BlackBerry World had 90,000 apps as of last summer. In comparison — using considerably more recent figures — Google Play has 700,000 apps, while Apple’s App Store count was at the 775,000 mark as of January.
Here are the full details of the main changes, which are rolling out to local BlackBerry World stores “this week”:
Keywords – your content title, category name(s), and vendor name will automatically be added as keywords. For example, searches for ‘action games’ will return games in Games > Action category. Searches for “title” ”vendor” will find ”title” from ”vendor” – so searching for “Color ID Motek” will return Color ID.
Boost – With the changes, rankings will now include downloads and ratings information to help boost the ranking of the results. Note, downloads and ratings don’t determine whether your app appears in search results. That’s determined by title, keywords and short description – the search criteria. Downloads and ratings determine the search rank along with the search criteria. For example; all other criteria being equal, the app with the larger number of downloads will have the better ranking.
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