[UPDATED] BlackBerry World vs BlackBerry App World: Not Just a Name Change

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BlackBerry has made a lot of changes to BlackBerry World, its app distribution portal, with the launch of BlackBerry 10. The new portal has a lot of positive design elements on BlackBerry 10 devices, as well as it received a makeover on the desktop. The problem, is that with this new design, Vendors have lost some of the functionality that made App World great. For me, as a Vendor, it has really have become a nightmare. Here are the current key issues with the new BlackBerry World:

BlackBerry World

1) Sort by popularity is gone – All of the most successful apps that have been developed over the years will be no longer be showing up at the top in each of the sub categories.

2) Sort by rating does not take the total number of ratings into account – An app with a single, 5-Star review, will be listed at the same position as an app with 500 5-Start reviews. Even worse, the single 5-Star app will be listed ahead of an app that have 499 5-Stars and 1 4-Star review.

Since the ‘popularity’ sorting has gone, the only way for an application to stay on top of a list is to have constant 5-Star reviews. This means that a vendor such as myself has to deny any none 5-Star review. This does not make sense for the customers and will likely lend itself to abuse.

3) Search index changes and supported devices – This new search index does not work at all. It’s a total disaster. As soon as you select a specific device, the Search is unable to return any results. See the below screenshots.

This is the search without a device selected:

BlackBerry World

Now, when you select a device, the search returns nothing:

blackberry app world search

As you can see in the supported device details of the application, the 9900 is for sure supported by FileScout (in all countries, for all carriers):

blackberry world search broken

4) No RSS-feed for reviews any longer – One of the cool features of the old BlackBerry App World was that you could subscribe to the reviews made for an app via RSS. This made it very convenient for a Vendor to stay up to date with reviews and the things that are said about his apps. This is something that even Apple didn’t have and where you needed a third party. I have no clue why this very useful feature has been simply removed from BlackBerry World.

UPDATE:

5) No way to format text in the product description – The Vendor Portal says “Descriptions can be up to a maximum of 4000 bytes in length and must be in plain text; HTML tags are not supported but newlines and spacings are preserved.” This is simply not the case in the newly launched BlackBerry World. The given formatting will be removed completely which makes it unnecessarily hard for potential customers to get additional information about the product.

I would really like to think that BlackBerry will be updating its store and it’s a shame that we’ve taken a leap forward in some areas, such as additional Music and Video content, but we’ve taken a few steps back with BlackBerry World, at least with the Desktop version.

I’m curious, as a BlackBerry app consumer, do you use the Desktop version of BlackBerry World? What do you think of the changes?

  • http://www.eliainsider.com Elia Freedman

    So you know, Apple does have RSS feeds for reviews. They aren’t public, though. Instead you subscribe through the admin console iTunes Connect.

  • http://twitter.com/marquardt24 Matthias Marquardt

    Thanks Elia! – The iOS apps we develop will be submitted by our clients (even if this sounds like a lame excuse why I did not know that iTunes offers an RSS feed)
    This makes it even worse that BlackBerry (aka RIM) have simply removed this functionality (IMHO for no reason)

  • http://about.me/kylemcinnes Kyle McInnes

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned running a wesbite over the years, it’s DON’T RELAUNCH YOUR SITE EVER! Things always break and you end up 1 step forward and 3 steps back.

  • http://twitter.com/marquardt24 Matthias Marquardt

    I am not sure what’s the reason behind this development… Of course I just can speculate – since even after more then a week that I have tried to get in contact with BlackBerry Vendor Support (still no reply yet) – of course bringing in new content (Music & Video) is a great challenge but either it’s a lack of testing (weak QC & QA) or it have been done by purpose. WHY BlackBerry would do something like that by purpose? I just can assume nobody would like to tell us…

  • http://papogp.com Diego Nei

    On the formatting of descriptions, my app’s was all messed up too, but all it took was a few “enters” and “spaces” to get it back to gold.

    On search and reviews, you have my full support. It is lame. And to make matters worse, it would seem people cannot read anymore. My app (Papo GP) is another blog/social catcher from App Builder. The bad search engine makes it show for GPS searches. Ok so far, honest mistake. But people downloading it and giving crap reviews because they can’t figure the app out… What happened to BlackBerry people?

  • http://twitter.com/marquardt24 Matthias Marquardt

    So you just added two in the descriptions ?!

  • http://twitter.com/marquardt24 Matthias Marquardt

    But to be honest, I am SO FEDD UP that I as a developer have to fix things, that have been broken by BlacKBerry (RIM) – yes I am used to that – it’s a constant history – another reason why I do not believe in BB10

  • pickaboo

    i like app world much better

  • http://twitter.com/StuffMadeByMe Stuff Made By Me

    ever since app world 3 launched they messed it all up !! my BerryGoodThemes sales halved immediately after and have been dramtically lower than before AW3 ever since.. hense why i gave up on BB and move to android!