Research in Motion (RIM) has just announced that its mobile application store, BlackBerry App World, has been updated to version 2.1. The most notable new feature in the update is the addition of support for in-app payments. That means developers can now offer apps for free and earn revenue through in-app upgrades, virtual goods, subscriptions or other billable content and/or services.
Developers can integrate the new service into their existing or new applications by using the Payment Service software development kit (SDK) available here. The SDK lets developers determine "when and where the purchase experience will occur," says RIM, without leaving the app.
There are a few caveats to using the new SDK: the app must be distributed through BlackBerry App World, and that means RIM's same revenue-sharing agreement applies here as it would if you were selling a paid application. That's all par for the course these days, however.
Along with the SDK, RIM also provides a vendor portal in BlackBerry App World so developers can track both their app sales and the digital goods in one location.
For end user, the new Payments service means they can purchase apps using their BlackBerry ID, and can pay with a credit card, PayPal or carrier billing.