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PC World: Most of Missing BlackBerry 10 Top "Apps" are Games

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I was reading an interesting non-scientific comparison PC Magazine did comparing the app stores on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, & Windows phone and it had me wondering. Why do people still use the word “App” to describe games? Is There a Difference Between Apps & Games in Mobile App Stores?

Sascha Segan did an informal comparison “taking the top 20 free and top 20 paid apps from the Apple, Google, and Amazon app stores, supplementing the Apple list with the company’s top 10 overall free and paid apps of 2012.” He skipped over apps that are platform specific like ROM Managers and widgets leaving 102 apps of which 68 were available on Android and 52 on iOS. Keep in mind that means iOS and Android have a pretty wide spread on what is considered a popular app.

Segan then found that BlackBerry 10 had 15 of the 102 apps plus 20 functional equivalents equaling 35 and Windows phone had 35 of the 102 apps plus 29 equivalents equaling 64. He then goes on to state that “most of the missing apps with no equivalents were games.” Specifically he seems to be catching big name titles like Temple Run, Real Racing 3, Candy Crush, and other top billing games not existing on all platforms.

This has me wondering if Segan really does not make a distinction between games and apps. I realize that BlackBerry has a way to go before games come to BlackBerry 10 as a tier 1 platform but that is not even the case for Android and iOS. Many games are released on one platform to only make it on to subsequent platforms much later. Apps on the other hand try to cover as many platforms as they can afford to within reason.

This is why I think BlackBerry has to focus more on actual apps and not games. Skype will be a big win for them since it is a globally popular app. The big US players like Hulu and Netflix are largely irrelevant to 95% of the global 7 billion population that cannot access them on any platform. What we want to see are the relevant apps from our banks, services, along with popular games.

What do you think? How important is having the same apps as other platforms compared to having the same games as other platforms?

12 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Agree 1000% :) This is why I’ve been praying for Skype to get here yesterday!

  2. I don’t game much, so having a ton of games doesn’t really help me at all. It doesn’t mean games aren’t important, but without those key apps, it’s harder to get things done over the web. I need productivity apps, communication apps, social apps, and time saving utilities.

    I loved the integration with Poynt: white & yellow pages search, movie listings & reviews, ticket purchases, restaurant reviews, local events, and maps with turn by turn instructions. I can get by with apps like that.

  3. I couldn’t care less about games, but that’s what people want (toys) and I think BlackBerry has understood that when designing the OS. You have everything you need to build games, compared to apps, especially if not going native.

    Regarding apps on BB10, I see three issues:
    – App does not exist: Netflix, Highlight
    – App has an inferior replacement: Google Maps, Flipboard
    – App has a decent, but paid replacement: Readitnow

    So, it’s not great, but it’s getting better.

    • I like the breakdown. Three different app distinctions. Sort of like the difference between needing a service and a function/

    • I don’t mind paying money for good apps. I agree the first two categories of apps you point out are quite real, but the third isn’t quite in the same group. Android folks are used to not paying for anything. App developers are now beginning to shy away from that platform since it has limited revenue generation.

      • Hmmm…Do you have proof that devs are having 2nd thoughts about Android?

        I do agree that people are more used to not have to pay on that platform. It’s really obvious when you look at the top 20 apps on Android and iOS. iSheeps do shell out the cash more easily it seems, but it’s mainly because it’s a totally different market segment.

  4. There’s an interesting article in Gadget Masters that theorizes that due to the the BB10’s HTML Suppport and adaptability to other platform apps: Android, WebOS etc that eventuall the Z10 will overtake IOS and Android in the number of apps.
    http://www.thegadgetmasters.com/2013/03/08/how-blackberry-10-can-overtake-ios-and-android-to-have-the-highest-number-of-apps/

    • HTML5 apps? Won’t most folks just create an HTML5 site for mobile platforms instead? I see HTML5 apps as a easy sell for RIM in BBW, but it remains to be seen if it will take off. iOS and Android don’t have HTML5 SDKs for that reason.

  5. Don’t believe the hype. As much as I’d love for HTML5 to succeed, we’re not there yet:
    – Speed isn’t there yet when you’re trying to build apps with elegant UIs or just want to follow the BB guidelines.
    – It doesn’t “just work” cross-platform. They each have their issues and Android has big ones that won’t be resolved any time soon (scrolling in the GB browser).

    But I do think it was a great idea to have an Android VM as it gives:
    – the illusion of having tons of apps when in reality there will be a lot of slow or broken apps
    – an opportunity to devs to test the waters and introduce native apps later
    – users access to some of their favourite apps while they wait for a better or official replacement

    • Oh, @ofutur, you’re harsh! “…illusion of having tons of apps when in reality there will be a lot of slow or broken apps…” Okay, I’ll give you that some ports are bad and some others could have been rushed at launch to win some prizes from RIM and to achieve the 70k number, but I can’t see that continuing even today. If app developers want the money, they will want a solid product out there or they will get a bad name fast. It just takes one person to be burned by a sale and all their buddies will hear about it. The reputation of a developer is very important.

      • I totally agree. If the download numbers are there, updates will follow.
        Lots of these apps, though, will just slowly sink down the charts. Maybe BB should introduce some sort of archive. If your app hasn’t been updated in a year, it ends up there and users will have to agree to do an extended search to be able to find it.

        But I’ve been saying for a while now, that BBW needs qualifiers:
        – B4BB
        – Quality app
        – OK app
        – Don’t bother <- This will be implicit

        They do review all the apps, even complaining if your design violates brand guidelines, etc., so they should be able to quickly assess the quality of your app.

  6. I am not pleased with the blackberry world of apps and can’t wait to get out of the device. The free apps you download such as some of the gps apps all such unless you pay for them. Then you can’t find apps where you can download music or even such things as song id. I have been spoiled by Android phones because of the freedom of apps that are great quality for free compared to the free apps provided by blackberry. I even tried to upload a story maker video to Facebook and it was pulled off Facebook according to copyright, so yet another unhappy app world user.

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