Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.
RIM has announced that its redesigned BlackBerry World app store is now live, after music, movies and TV shows were added the store for the first time.
The store has been rebranded BlackBerry World — it was formerly BlackBerry App World — and that change of name denotes the fact that, like Google and Apple, RIM has added new types of content. The BlackBerry-maker says the changes will make it “the one-stop shop for all of your mobile entertainment needs”.
The changes to the store are effective immediately in the Web-based version — here — but RIM says that it will be rolled out to PlayBook tablets and BlackBerry smartphones “in the coming weeks”. It further cautions that it may take up to 24 hours for the changes to appear on users’ devices.
The big change is the addition of a music and videos section, which gives the BlackBerry faithful more than just apps for their devices. The new BB Music service boasts “millions” of songs and is available for an initial 30-day period without cost, after which it is priced at $4.99 in the US — international pricing has not been confirmed. One interesting feature allows friends to ‘swap out’ 25 of a user’s 50 profile tunes to help discover more music.
RIM is promising that the app store will have 70,000 apps when BlackBerry 10 goes on sale on February 1, and the basic design has been overhauled to make it more social, with new options for connecting to social media.
The mobile version on BlackBerry 10 devices will include better content discovery, with the introduction of trending apps to help find what is popular at any given time. One subtle but important change sees the revamped store now link to all users’ BlackBerry ID, which uses their choice of payment for buying content.
RIM has put a lot of emphasis on content for BlackBerry 10, the center piece of which has been technology to allow games and content from other platforms to be easy ported to the new platform. RIM has hosted a number of ‘Port-A-Thon’ events aimed at encouraging developers with cash rewards for each app that is ported to BlackBerry World.
Last week RIM doubled the incentives on offer for its final event to a total of $2 million. Earlier this month, the Canadian firm revealed that one event saw more than 15,000 apps submitted for the store over the 37.5 hour period.
BlackBerry 10 devices are launching at an event at the end of January. A leaked inventory that surfaced last week suggested the first devices could go on sale from February 28, but no official release date has been communicated as yet.
Headline image via Berrytokyo / Flickr
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