BlackBerry takes app store to desktop

If you find browsing for new applications on your BlackBerry to be a slow and cumbersome process, fear not: Research in Motion has translated its BlackBerry App World to a desktop setting.

The new store greatly expands users’ ability to search for applications by category, by popularity and by cost. The store contains a whole new section that lists the most popular free BlackBerry applications and has a similar list for paid applications. RIM still arranges the applications on its desktop store in the same categories it uses for its traditional wireless store, including business applications, games and utilities.

The five most popular free BlackBerry applications available through App World right now are the App World mobile application; Ka-Glom, a Tetris-like puzzle game; Pandora, the popular personalized radio application; WeatherEye, an application that specializes in weather forecasts; and Viigo, a popular application hub that can give users access to popular applications such as Twitter through one click.

As far as paid applications go, the top three are Livestrong’s calorie counter designed to help users lose weight and eat better; Vlingo Plus, a voice-initiated application that can give users access to Twitter, Facebook, e-mail and other applications simply by speaking commands; and UNO, a digital version of the classic card game.

Application stores have become a key battleground for device manufacturers and carriers looking to draw in customers by offering them the widest variety of applications. Apple’s iPhone App Store is the most successful application store, as Apple claims that it has served more than 1.5 billion downloads over the past year alone. Palm, meanwhile, plans to launch a beta test soon for its own application store that will deliver apps for its popular Palm Pre device.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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