Last week, RIM updated its Blackberry App World storefront to version 2.0, an important update for consumers and developers alike. For end users, the "My World" view within the updated store has been streamlined to show installed apps, pending apps, archived apps and deleted ones. There are also new ways to discover apps, like the "top 25" lists, which highlight the best apps in a number of categories.
But what developers will really want to know about are the new billing and distribution options App World 2.0 introduces.
Although we've known about the pending update for some time, it wasn't until Friday that RIM sent out the official news that the improved App World storefront has gone live for all. Here are the top things developers should know about the update:
1. App World 2.0 Enables Web-to-Phone Downloads
Most importantly, App World 2.0, now introduces Web-to-phone downloads, which means users can browse to the online storefront and purchase apps from the Web. Those apps are then sent to their Blackberry device.
In order to access this functionality, users will need a Blackberry ID and will have to install a browser plugin to facilitate the transfers of apps from PC to mobile. In addition to app downloads, consumers can also now use App World to read and write app reviews and make recommendations to friends.
2. Credit Card Payments Now Accepted
App World 2.0 now supports credit card payments (Visa & MasterCard only) for purchases - a handy feature, given Blackberry's corporate focus. With credit card payments now accepted, it will be easier for business users to buy "work-related" apps since they can use their corporate credit card to expense the purchases.
3. Operating Billing Launched
Besides credit cards and the previously introduced PayPal support, a third payment option is also now supported: operator billing. Although this is only available on supported carriers, it's yet another good way to encourage purchases, since it requires no up-front credit card entry or other hassles.
4. Apps Can be Distributed by QR Code
Finally, App World 2.0 also includes the ability to create QR codes (2D barcodes) for your apps. For developers, this simply enables another method for app advertising as you can put the QR codes on all your marketing material, your website, business cards, fliers and more.