I was having a candid conversation with a friend yesterday about strategic moves that BlackBerry could make to quickly boost BlackBerry 10. One of the main themes that kept coming back was how badly the BlackBerry World team has failed the BlackBerry community. Just take yesterday’s revelation that almost 50,000 apps in BlackBerry World are spam from one developer or the basic fundamentals still missing in BlackBerry World. I have advocated quite a few times that BlackBerry simply open up the door for OTA (Over The Air) application installation but sadly BlackBerry has arrogantly stuck to BlackBerry World.
This arrogance smacks right in the face of the very active “Sideloading” community for BlackBerry 10 and the many limitations BlackBerry imposes on them. There are even multiple commercial services dedicated to bypassing this user unfriendly restriction BlackBerry places on their devices that did not exist on legacy BBOS devices.
By opening up OTA application installation BlackBerry could boost their app availability by hundreds of thousands of apps. Many Android developers already publicly offer their APK files for installation. Others are easily accessible and would open the door for everyone to get Google Maps, Instagram, Candy Crush and MANY more such apps on their BlackBerry 10 devices. On top of that it would also allow for all the apps that BlackBerry has so far restricted due to asinine policies by not forcing BlackBerry to be part of the transaction. It would have even simplified the BlackBerry Maps bug that hammered BlackBerry support earlier this week.
BlackBerry continues to allow BlackBerry 10 to be held back by the embarrassment that is BlackBerry World. At first BlackBerry advocated that these limitations were imposed because developers asked for them and they would improve security and visibility for apps. So far BlackBerry World has failed on both fronts on top of limiting functionality for BlackBerry 10 and PlayBook users.
Its is way past the time for BlackBerry’s CEO, Thorsten Heins, to either clean up shop at BlackBerry World or simply make life easier for BlackBerrys real customers. What do you think?
PS: This plan should be easy to implement for Android apps but BlackBerry would have to find a solution for Cascades apps where you can extract the source code from the BAR files.