At a press event last night RIM announced App World 2.0 details that included much of what we expected such as carrier billing and pre-installs on new devices. App World 2.0 will launch with the following features and enhancements:
- Supports OS 4.5 and above
- 4.4 and below to still support App World 1.1
- App World 2.0 app is smaller than 1.1 (in KB). This is due to dropped 4.4 and below support as well as general optimizations
- Improved image caching so there will be icons and apps when you load it up right away
- New BBM-style menu hierarchy categories with a new themes section (the whole system is called top 25). The top menu items are: Recently Updated, New, Top Free, Top Paid, and Themes.
Moving forward, App World 2.0 is going to progress differently than 1.x. RIM will be rolling out more frequent updates in general as they implement new features. The new features that they will launch will be small in scope but necessary to improve the software over time in smaller incremental steps.
With 2.0 we will see the launch of BlackBerry ID: a new system to keep track of BlackBerry-centric user accounts. This new system will keep track of all the software a user has bought or installed to make it easy to migrate to different devices or recover from a lost device. Your BlackBerry ID will also keep track of payment info so users can buy new software with ease. The three payment options on launch are: Paypal, Credit Card, and Carrier Billing.
At launch you will not be able to remove downloaded software from your personal list. An update will make it so you can modify your software list. There is an import prior Paypal purchases menu item so that you can link your legacy App World 1.x purchases into your BlackBerry ID. This is not an automatic process, but requires some input from the user.
I bet you any money that BlackBerry ID is a lot like Apple ID in that it will be the thing that keeps track of your music as well. There are hints that your BlackBerry ID isn’t just for App World, which immediately had me thinking of the music potential.
Expect an official press release from RIM shortly.