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One Developer Has 4300+ “Apps” in BlackBerry App World!


Over the past few months I have seen more and more eBooks accepted into App World and I am not sure what to make of it. I just checked the Reference & eBooks section of App World is now the LARGEST category of “apps” in App eBook World. It has more than doubled (it was 2661 now 6100) since I last checked in October of 2010. At first I thought it could not hurt to have eBooks in App World but RIM really needs to quality control these submissions. Its not like we are seeing bestsellers available in app form. I decided to do some digging into the influx of eBooks and found something disturbing…

One developer, Co. Ltd., has 4358 “apps” in App World (vendor link seems to be from Tokyo). Keep in mind App World has 20,057 total “Apps” as of when this article was published. I would not mind if these apps were actually good but they seem like spam. From the selection I have checked most of the eBook “Apps” from For-Side look like out of print public domain eBooks that you can find on many websites free like Project Gutenberg.

It gets even more annoying once you realize that many of these books are actually the same book split up into multiple “Apps.” For example, we have Mark Twain’s “Following the Equator” split up into 8 different apps. We also have eBooks like “A Popular History of Ireland : from the Earliest Period to the Emancipation of the Catholics” both in one complete “app” and again split up into two parts.

RIM is not the only App Store to have such a problem with spamware/crapware but for RIM 90% of it seems to be coming from one developer. At first I thought the “Apps” were mostly free but only about 130 of them are free. The remaining 4230 are all paid “Apps” with the most popular being An Unsocial Socialist for $2.99 which is public domain and free on Project Gutenberg.

What I really wish RIM would do is create a free ePub, a free and open e-book standard, reader for BlackBerry that can simply download these works from Project Gutenberg. If not RIM they maybe they could simply help Keeper promote his free beta BePub ePub reader. It would be time better spent on RIM’s part and could be more popular than the relatively unnecessary BlackBerry Radio app.

So what do you think? Do eBooks have a place as separate apps in App World? How about charging money for Public Domain eBooks? Should one developer have more than four thousand apps? Let us know in the comments!

PS: There are a few other sources for free eBooks online like Kobo, Amazon Kindle, and MobiPocket (now owned by Amazon)

25 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. this is the problem now that app world is free to add products to, there are thousands of crap apps being added just because they can

    there is no way they would have spent $20 per app submission before, it would have cost $20,000!

    only way to stop the flood of shite apps coming in to app world is to start charging for submissions again!

    • Guvo also spams app world with their crap basement themes. I think rim needs to actually monitor submissions and not look so desperate accepting everything. They are trying to stay in line with the others that are doing better. If only everyone knew that app world is flooded with crap.

  2. The “Newest” section in the Blackberry App World is useless because of all these ebook apps. I stopped looking at it a long time ago since it was filled with what looked like spam from a book publisher.

  3. My opinion, eBooks have no place in App World.

    And it’s too bad there are scammers like this that take advantage of uninformed users and “sell” them something that’s public domain.

    I wish RIM could figure out a graceful way to seperate App World from stuff like eBooks and Themes and such. If it were me, App World would be JUST apps, and ringtones and themes and ebooks and such things that are really CONTENT were in some other place. I like the separation Apple has between App Store and iTunes. RIM needs a similar break between apps and content.

    • I agree. Turners aren’t even given any respect from RIM. If they did, they wouldn’t co tinue to release beta software that doesn’t work properly. Can you imagine if they did this to the SDK etc? Themes ate popular for a lot of people and do well for a select few. They deserve the same respect. In my opinion, RIM honestly doesn’t give a ahite about developers, otherwise theybwould push out topnotch developer software, respond to support, etc. Have any idea how long it takes to get a reply from these people? Don’t even get me started.

    • Second!

  4. That gets annoying wish rim would do some spring cleaning

  5. I don’t know why eBooks are in App World at all. EBook readers belong, but these books do not. These lame programs allow you to read only one book and shouldn’t be allowed in. I have MobiPocket Reader installed. If I want books I can either buy them thru its store or go find them elsewhere.

  6. This is insane! How could one developer be allowed to flood App World with useless ebooks that consist of over 20% of all apps in App World? Seriously crazy. I thought RIM was about security.

  7. App World needs monitoring. Crappy comments, crappy submissions. In no time it will be a pain to find something on it.

    • You’re right DonGato. The reviews are a joke. It has become a PIN sharing community. A ‘mark as spam’ button would be very helpful, although its so out of hand now it would be tough to go back and mark 90% of the comments as spam. Something does need to be done before it becomes near impossible to find quality content. App World could become the Limewire of app vendors.

      • I agree Jay, a “mark as spam” button would help a bunch. And I don’t think it would be pointless, get it in place and it WILL take care of itself in no time. Sure it will be a lot of work for RIM at the get go, but once the maroon’s realize their bogus reviews are gonna get rotary filed they WILL take their spam elsewhere.

        I would even volunteer an hour or two a week to go through reviews and tag for RIM review, no charge. I’m tired of the garbage and the “App World Date Club”.

  8. Thats one of my concerns for the PlayBook apps. I don’t want a bunch of crap apps that just fill the numbers. They need to be quality, so people will actually want them.

    • Looking at RIM’s track record with App World doesn’t leave a potential user with much hope. There will be a few well publicised “super apps”, but it will no doubt end up being 50% garbage for PlayBook too.

      Hate to be so negative as a BlackBerry user for 7+ years, but its all about apps any more. RIM is failing spectacularly on that front. All the cool new apps come first to iPhone, then Android, and MAYBE 6 months or so later a Windows or BlackBerry or webOS version (but usually not all).

  9. You are right, Ronen. This is really unfairly skewing the reality. BlackBerry has over 10,000 apps not counting ebooks and themes. Themes I can tolerate but definitely not ebooks!

    Hey, I was surprised to note that there are now over 2000 games in App World! Very interesting!!! I expect that number to rise sharply once the PlayBook is out!

  10. They are mad……………..

  11. I hope he is making money with his efforts, it is a nuesense. But he/she is working the system.

    • They really need to change the system to prevent these lame single book readers from spamming App World. They are a waste of money since good free alternatives exist. If enough people knew that, then they wouldn’t make money off these eBooks and would stop making them.

  12. I guess i getta get back to my BePub app =))

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