Boy did I have an epiphany last night. Every time I talk to a mobile developer, they complain about what a pain in the ass it is to develop for Blackberry—given that so many of the device/carrier combinations require customizations. On top of that, numbers for app downloads on Blackberry trail other platforms.
Yesterday, I figured out why.
A friend of mine asked me how she could get Twitter on her Blackberry. I told her “Oh, just search for it in the app store.”
Easier said than done. I was stunned at how poor the Blackberry experience of downloading app was.
First off, you have to download the damn app store! Seriously?? I’m honestly at a loss for words to figure out why they’d set it up this way. That’s going to get fixed, right?
On top of that, when you download the store, you have to scroll through a legal document to approve the terms of service. I guess if you’re a corporate Blackberry user, you’re used to filling out TPS reports, so this isn’t a bother.
So finally, I get to the store, search for Twitter, and download it. After telling me the download was done, I clicked it. I was offered a demo and some reviews. Huh? I already downloaded it. Clicking what appeared to be the downloaded app didn’t get me anywhere.
So I went searching around the phone… for like 5 full minutes. I couldn’t find the app at all, and I’m in tech. It wasn’t in the folder marked “Applications”. Turns out it was in some random folder called “Downloads”. I didn’t see that folder upfront—feel like I would have clicked that.
Maybe it’s just me… but did this kind of user experience not come up before, or is Blackberry just not really that serious about the applications market?