After a few coy glimpses, the next generation of BlackBerry’s on-device app store is now in the public eye. Beyond some of the visual updates, there are some new functional ones as well. Every month, they’ll be showing a a new set of themed apps, which are linked in the featured carrousel on the front page, alongside individual apps. This reminds a bit of the HP TouchPad’s Pivot, only a little more lighter on the reading. You can also quickly share apps through Facebook, Twitter, text, and BBM now. Although not available in the current beta, it sounds like App World will start supporting subscription payments for ongoing services (streaming music apps come to mind). Search has been refined so you can sort results be name, price, rating, popularity, or the usual ol’ accuracy. The search bar is also available at the top right from the get-go, which is a nice touch.
App World has served up a billion applications to date, which might not be quite as impressive as some of the larger competing platforms, but with a whole slew of new devices around the corner capable of handling snazzier apps, that could change very quickly.
Moving themes and games to the front page of App World 3.0 is a smart move, given their popularity, but I’m a little confused about the difference between My World and My Account; it’s possible one has more to do with billing and contact information, while the other is more for managing your collection of apps, but it seems natural to fold those to together. Maybe there’s some new defining features there that they have yet to roll out. Barcode scanning and search are also set to get a few more new features, and it’s possible that there will be a dedicated enterprise apps section too, but we’ll have to wait to hear more specifics.
You can register for App World 3.0 in the BlackBerry Beta Zone to check out some of the new goodies.