Let’s hear it for BlackBerry App World – store hits three billion downloads milestone

BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 - App World

Still loving your BlackBerry? Check out our picks for the best BlackBerry phones so you can download more apps.

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) has been having such a hard time of it lately that it’s actually rather pleasing to be able to report something a little brighter about the troubled company.

It concerns BlackBerry App World, RIM’s Google Play or iOS app store equivalent. The Ontario-based mobile maker reached something of a milestone this week, announcing that downloads from its app store had hit the three billion mark.

Sure, Android and iOS users may scoff at such figures, with each of those stores having hit the 20-billion-plus download figure some time ago, but for RIM it’s a chance to draw some positive attention to its app offerings, indeed, an opportunity to bust “a myth out there that there aren’t [many] apps for BlackBerry smartphones and the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet,” as the company put it in a post on its BlackBerry Developer blog on Friday.

The post’s author, Victoria B, said that on average, 2.5 million apps are being downloaded from BlackBerry App World each day. “What’s even more important – and impressive – is that the number of daily downloads continues to increase,” she continued. “It took 786 days to reach the one billion mark, 210 days to reach two billion, and only 176 days to reach the three billion number.”

The figures include only those apps downloaded from BlackBerry App World – in other words, not those downloaded from third party BlackBerry app stores, or those pushed internally at companies. Apps downloaded directly from the web are also not included in the figures.

There are currently 90,000 apps now in its app store, according to RIM’s data. Again, it’s a small number when you consider there are more than half a million available for iOS devices and a similar number for Android devices, so yes, RIM still has some serious catching up to do. If the store can keep app developers on board until RIM releases its next-generation BlackBerry 10 devices next year, then, depending on the popularity of its new offerings, things might pick up even more for BlackBerry App World.

Despite tough times for the mobile maker, CEO Thorsten Heins is focusing on the positive as he attempts to turn the fortunes of the company around. “As some pundits write RIM’s obituary, the company’s global subscriber base continues to grow, to more than 78 million people in 175 countries,” he wrote in a piece for the Globe and Mail last week, adding, “In many of those countries – some of the fastest growing markets in the world – RIM is the top smart-phone; and in some, RIM devices account for the top three spots.” Friday’s news of an app store continuing to grow, albeit at a modest rate, should also please the man at the top.

Mobile

Exclusive: Take a look at what a next-generation 5G phone will look like

With 5G phones debuting at MWC in mere days, there is discussion about whether they will be clunky bricks that die after a few hours? A reference design from Qualcomm offerrs a glimpse of the future: This is what 5G phones will look like.
Product Review

Nokia’s 3.1 Plus is an affordable phone that’s crippled by its camera

The Nokia 3.1 Plus is HMD Global’s first smartphone to be sold by a U.S. carrier in-store. It’s only available on Cricket Wireless right now, which underlines its focus on affordability. Should you buy a phone this affordable?
Computing

These 30 useful apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find.
Mobile

Google insists it’s doing what it can to purge Play Store of malicious apps

Google's efforts to provide a secure and safe Play Store for Android users resulted in the company rejecting 55 percent more app submissions in 2018 compared to a year earlier. But the challenge is ongoing.
Mobile

Short on phone storage? Here's how to delete apps in Android

With everything we tend to use our phones for, it is all too easy to let your Android device get filled up with apps. Time for a clean out? Then check out our simple guide on how to uninstall apps in Android.
Mobile

New Apple patent hints clamshell-style foldable phone may be in the works

Apple has filed a patent for a foldable phone that suggests the company could be following in the footsteps of the likes of Samsung and Huawei. The patent describes a clamshell-style foldable phone with two separate sections.
Mobile

Xiaomi Mi 9 will be one of the first phones with monster Snapdragon 855 chip

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.
Wearables

Galaxy Watch Active isn't official yet, but you can see it in Samsung's own app

Samsung may be about to resurrect its Sport line of smartwatches under a new name: The Galaxy Watch Sport Active. Leaks and rumors are building our picture of the device at the moment.
Mobile

Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Wearables

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.