Quite a few of our readers sent in a recent article in the WSJ titled: “RIM Tries Harder on Apps.” The main point they start out with is an example from Widality where the developer says they are having a hard time selling their software due to a lack on in app payment options. I personally totally agree with them but this is a feature RIM has already announced and plans to roll out very soon. Truthfully this is a feature that Apple and Google added to their App Stores about 10-12 months ago so RIM is not light years behind. (Google & Apple) I hear Widality’s point but it just seems like something RIM is already addressing.
The WSJ then brings an example from PopCap games who created Bejeweled and Plants vs Zombies. They have a valid point saying that there are quite a few BlackBerrys around which “not great gaming machines” due to old operating systems and processors. The irony is that their two main games are not what you would call “processor intensive games” when you compare them to racing or other graphically intense games.
While I see both of these points I think the WSJ focused on two weak cases when they could just mention how complicated it is to develop a BlackBerry app. This is RIM’s main focus in trying to make app development easier and more something that can happen in a week instead of a few months.
They do make a good point that the upcoming in app purchase capability coupled with the new advertising service and analytics solution will make the BlackBerry platform more promising for developers. Still I find one big problem with this whole app store war that is going on now. Most of these apps are not what I would consider apps. For example, most of the apps my friends rave about on their Android or iPhone devices are games. I totally concede that the BlackBerry is not a great gaming platform with RIM’s lackluster support of OpenGL but business users usually don’t care much about games.
The apps I want to see developed on the BlackBerry platform are productivity and communication apps. That is the reason I purchased a BlackBerry. To get things done on the road while having a little bit of fun a listening to music and watching video. Everything else is just a perk.
What do you think?