Does BlackBerry Have Your Favorite App?

By Lori Castle, Editor in Chief — March 12, 2013

Cisco WebEx Meetings, Box, Citrix Podio, Ricoh HotSpot Printing, SalesNOW CRM and BMC Mobility for Incident Management were suggested by BlackBerry as apps to get you started. That was back on launch date and they are clearly enterprise related supporting the company’s vision of the best work experience on a device.

Twitter and Linkedin apps for BB10 were already recently updated based on “user feedback.” Facebook is available, but very poorly reviewed, so what else does the world of BlackBerry 10—actually BlackBerry World—have to offer by way of your favorite apps now that the device is here? Do the current apps support personal favorites for that side of the device?

BlackBerry World
The company continues its blog “BlackBerry World Wednesdays,” now focused on BlackBerry 10 ready apps. Those highlighted on March 6 include NHL GameCenter 2013, Press Reader, Pacemakerfor Z10 (music mixer), Tetris and Lexicomp for BlackBerry 10 (clinical database access).

Business Essentials
On the store landing page, after choosing apps, there’s a large icon of a stapler that touts “business essentials.” In addition to those already mentioned, there are 19 apps listed here. Highlights of a few include:

Password Keeper: Keeps all your passwords, logins, and other information safe and secure. It allows you to store all that information in a single location for easy access and reference. Your information is encrypted and protected by a single user-determined password. You can also import your Password Keeper data from a previous BlackBerry device so you can start using the application right away.

Expensify: Expense Reports: Imports your expenses straight from your credit card, throw your paper receipts away with our eReceipts for most purchases under $75, submit PDF expense reports by email, and reimburse reports up to $10,000 entirely online. Now with a better QuickBooks export feature. Set policies and import them for employees to use. Use this app to log expenses and scan paper receipts on the go, and then sign in to Expensify.com to create, submit, and reimburse full expense reports online.

Mobility for SAP: Provides secure mobile access to SAP CRM, SAP ERP and different SAP Workflows for sales, service technicians and management.

Business & BlackBerry 10?
It’s easy enough to find the category for “business” apps, but it’s difficult to narrow down those that are BB10 ready (within a category). The term business also seems to loosely apply as one of the latest apps within the category (but not for BB10) is called “Fake Call: Fool Your Boss and Friends.”

To find platform specific apps, a search for BlackBerry 10 returns results in for “Apps & Games” that contain the name in the title, but it appears the only other way to find BlackBerry 10 ready apps is to actually click on the app and click on “supported devices,” which offers a drop down list.

Enterprise highlights (of those with BlackBerry 10 in the title) include:

CellCast App for BlackBerry 10: Is an enterprise mobile learning platform that enables for organizations to push and track training materials, performance support modules and business communications to their on-the-go workers, partners and customers.

Mobizy for BlackBerry 10: Virtually connect your entire organization in one simple, effective, and functional platform. Choose the right applications for your business and benefit from services that manage your contacts, leads and opportunities. Follow them until they become customers and manage your sales force effectively. Assign field services to your task force and keep posted about overall performance. Communicate in real time with your employees and control their working hours.

Notepad for BlackBerry 10: Provides a notebook style interface, fast response times, and offline access; users are able to quickly and easily create, view and edit notes.

Personal
A check of Apple’s and Google’s top 100 free apps revealed that while BlackBerry 10 can offer a few of the most popular there are noticeable deficiencies.

It does have top downloads like Chain Dots (equivalent to Flow Free), Find My BlackBerry, Flashlight, The New York Times and The Weather Channel. Apps like Angry Birds, Kindle and Skype have been mentioned as coming soon.

Noticeable absences include — Adobe Reader, YouTube, Starbuck’s, Instagram, Pandora, Pinterest and Tumblr to name a few. When asked if a BB10 app was on its way, a spokesperson from Starbuck's told Mobile Enterprise: "At the moment, we offer a Starbucks app for iOS and Android. But, as we grow and evolve our mobile applications, we will continue to listen to our customers and develop on the platforms where we see the greatest opportunity and need."

Making More
BlackBerry has repeatedly stated that the 70,000 apps available at launch were the most ever on a first gen platform. The company is also emphatic about app development, holding developer “Jams” and enterprise focused Forums all around the world. It’s also running a "Blog Bounty Program," from March 8 through the 17th, inviting developers to create an app using the BlackBerry App Generator for BB10.

In addition, the BlackBerry/SAP Mobile Apps Challenge is offering $10,000 to the winner and is said to “provide innovators like you with an opportunity to reach millions of business users. By participating, you will gain access to BlackBerry and SAP virtual boot camps and expert coaching.”

At the BlackBerry Enterprise Forum in New York, Jeff Holleran, senior director of enterprise product management, mentioned the company’s new approach to development, "As we look at applications, we know it was challenging to write them on BlackBerry OS devices. Special experience was required. As we move to BB10, our commitment is to make it the easiest platform to develop applications for."

Despite this momentum, as the device finally comes out, a new waiting game ensues.

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