Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 22nd Aug 2013 22:18 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

"BlackBerry has a thriving ecosystem with BlackBerry 10." That's what CEO Thorsten Heins said this May at a developer conference before revealing that users had a choice of 120,000 apps from its still-young app market, BlackBerry World. The problem is that over a third of those apps come from a single developer. Yes, a Hong Kong-based company called S4BB has published just under 47,000 apps to BlackBerry World since launch. That's not a good sign of a "thriving ecosystem."

This is what happens when the technology press lets itself be dictated by companies. The companies were the ones who started touting quantity over quality when it comes to mobile application stores, and the press played right into their hands. In a statement to The Verge, BlackBerry confirms the issue, but states that it's not actually an issue at all. Of course they say that. They want to keep touting that number.

Companies wanted this to be a numbers game, and now it is. Go into any mobile application store, and 99.9% of the applications in it are crap. Comparing numbers reveals nothing. It never has, and never will.

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Are you aware that Instagram is an entire social network with tens of millions of people? Its much more than photo editing (given that it doesn't even do that to a major extent).

Of course, it is also yet another photo sharing service. But I don't think this is the main reason why people started to use it initially, since they already had lots of other options for that available before. Think imageshack, Flickr, blogs, Facebook...

On the other hand, I've noticed that some iPhone users make quite a powerful mental association between editing photos on their devices and installing Instagram. So the software's basic filtering capabilities, as limited as they are, truly seem to be a strong selling point.

Apps can fill platform holes, augment platform capabilities, or even extend the platform feature set.

Most platforms don't give application developers enough power to truly extend the platform feature set in a seamless fashion (ie by not having to constantly hunt software in a crowded menu and learning a completely new and alien UI). They do make an exception for media sharing services, though, for some reason.

The main counterexample that survived to this day is Android, and by using it, one can understand why such a level of customization is forbidden on other platforms : as it turns out, most application devs are really bad at making quality system software.

Edited 2013-08-24 08:57 UTC

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