February 5, 2013 5:30 AM
One of the more impressive elements of the BlackBerry 10 launch was the size of the new BlackBerry World app store: we have 70,000 apps available today, CEO Thorsten Heins proclaimed, and soon it will be 100,000.
And, presumably, that’s true; I have no reason to doubts Heins’ word and I am not going to count them. But what went unsaid is that many of the apps are junk.
For example, type “twitter” into your new Z10 and you get 105 app results. There is one definite hit — the official Twitter app — and a couple of possibly useful clients. The vast bulk are launchers, search apps, Twitter weather apps (whatever the heck that is), and apps that sound too amateurish to put on your smartphone. For example: “Neatly is comprehensively supplied with a list of features that makes you feeling convenient toward the application where you can reach your aspiration level.”
Listen, it might be a great app and the programmer is probably a nice person, but there is no way I am putting that code on my shiny new device.
In its desire to make a big announcement, I suspect BlackBerry threw any code into the app store. There was, in fact, a whiff of bait and switch in the BlackBerry World announcement. For example, the press release states that “1000 of the top app partners will be making their applications available on the BlackBerry World storefront.”
Will, at some unspecified date. But today, there is a lot of critical stuff missing. My full list of essential smartphone apps is here (LinkedIn Group version) but here’s a quick look at what I need that
- BlackBerry World currently does not deliver (in rough order of importance):
- Kindle and Kobo (e-books)
- Hootsuite (a professional-level Twitter client)
- Dropbox (there is a third-party Dropbox client; I want an official app)
- i.TV (or equivalent TV listing app)
The list is not huge but it is significant in terms of how much time these represent. My smartphone is always with me, and I use it often during the day. Outside of core functions (e-mail, texting, Twitter and Facebook), I often read on my phone and watch Netflix videos. The Z10 does not fill those two critical roles. (And yes, I have notebooks and a tablet and e-readers from both Kobo and Kindle, but most people probably don’t.)
I want a do-everything phone, and the Z10 — despite the big numbers BlackBerry trumpets — is not yet that phone.
Wolchak has been a professional print journalist for almost two decades. Starting as a news photographer, he worked as a staff writer and then editor at ComputerWorld Canada, a national trade magazine. Wolchak then moved up to the national business magazine arena as the editor of Backbone. He has also served as a public speaker and discussion moderator, has taught e-commerce at Sheridan College and is active in social media. He has also worked with a large number of corporations on digital strategy, content creation and marketing initiatives on projects as varied as executive speeches, book editing, internal communication, Web site design, online and print marketing and research projects.
Posted by Sue Ansell at February 5, 2013 5:30 AM