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Share Your App Purchases on Your Social Networks with Blippy

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Through a partnership with Blippy, a social-commerce site, the BlackBerryCool Store now lets you share apps with your friends using secure a OAuth system. You can now connect your BBCool store account with Blippy, and let your friends know of any cool deals you’ve found. No other personal information other than the app you purchased, with its name and price, is shared. This service is totally optional but if you have a lot of BlackBerry friends, they’ll surely appreciate the heads-up on some cool deals or apps.

More information about the new Blippy service for the BlackBerryCool Store here.

The Three Rounds of the App Store Battle

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App_Store_App_World_Beyond

The mobile app market is maturing fast and as a developer with a successful app in App World, I wanted to prompt some debate on what the next wave of app stores will be like and how we can work together to get there.

Round 1 was started by Handango, and quickly followed by Handmark and MobiHand among others. Their global presence enables developers to deploy once and see their app appear on the Internet and on multiple carrier and affiliate sites. However, download volumes, on-device discoverability and ease of payment were historically poor. Interestingly, none of them (apart from GetJar) focused on free apps. Meanwhile, the carriers were rolling out their own app stores where the majority of downloads were ringtones, screensavers and games, but that was valuable because it educated their customers that downloading apps was possible. In summary, round 1 was the “for profit” app stores. As developers, we have a lot to thank those pioneers for.
Continue reading Widality President Terry Hughes’ take on the App Store evolution

Trusting 3rd Party BlackBerry Apps: What Can They Do?

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what hat hacker

BlackBerry Cool has been asking me about what BlackBerry apps can do and recently the notion of malicious applications has come up. In this article, I address what third party apps can do, and how it relates to the safety of your personal data.

The first area to look at are you emails. Emails can contain very private personal information including username/password combinations and if the user isn’t diligent, credit card information. It is possible to listen for incoming messages and pull out their contents, so you should always be cautious of any app looking to alter email permissions. I would have to look more into whether an app can read all of your existing messages that were already on your device before the app was installed. I can’t think of a good use case for this so I obviously haven’t tried it myself.

Username and Password information are commonplace with third party apps. As for stealing 3rd party passwords, it all depends on how the 3rd party app/service is storing things on the device. For example, a developer can listen to framework calls (I won’t divulge how) and check to see what parameters are passed into those calls (for example the identifier that specifies where a password is kept in persistent storage).
Continue reading about what BlackBerry apps can do and the security of your personal data

Lessons for App World from existing BlackBerry content providers

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WES 2009
Photo courtesy of Nan Palmero.

Here at WES 2009 there is a lot of talk about App World. While it is an evolutionary step for RIM and BlackBerry, third parties have been providing content to early adopter BlackBerry users for years. To understand how RIM can improve App World, we can look to existing portals for tips. Handango, Mobihand and Handmark are some major portals, while companies like Bplay are offering BlackBerry content as well.

One of the first things you’ll notice about App World, and we’ve been hearing a lot of complaints about this, is the marriage to PayPal. Third party app vendors offer a wide range of payment methods and RIM should do the same. Ideally, we would see carrier billing, but more on that later.
Continue reading about improvements App World could make