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