Well well, it's been quite a week. It may not have been the world's best kept secret but we were still excited to see the launch of RIM's new application store.
Joining the ranks of Apple and Google, BlackBerry App World aims to bring a more personal experience to its users by providing a host of applications to download. It was only launched on Wednesday, but by the time you're reading this RIM anticipates there being over 1,000 apps already available, with that number set to grow on a daily basis. We've seen it first hand (click here to see our exclusive video footage) and we're happy to report that it's both easy to get to grips with and the content is of a high quality - we recommend Call of Duty if you're a keen gamer.
So, is the world of applications the way of the future? In a word, yes. While there's plenty of dross out there (the novelty value of turning your T-Mobile G1 into a purring, needy pet soon wears off we can assure you - Krystle II if you don't believe us) the good far outweighs the bad. Understand foreign words and phrases with Translate (available from Android) or brush up on a spot of Hamlet with the Shakespeare application (iPhone). Pimping up your phone to suit your own specific needs not only enhances the handset itself, but also your everyday life. Individually we're all different and as such we have different needs.
With RIM joining Apple and Google, more and more handsets are becoming compatible with application stores and this market is only set to grow. Symbian is expected to unleash its own open source platform before the end of 2009, as is Microsoft with its Windows Marketplace, while Palm is rumoured to unveil its App Catalogue with the much talked about Palm Pre handset. What's more, we've just had word that Orange is set to open its own Application Store sometime next year (sadly, at present word is that it will initially only be in France), while O2 has touched the surface with its Litmus community and Vodafone with its Widget Manager. All this suggests that the operators are dipping their own toes into the application ocean.
One thing's for sure, apps have shaken up the mobile phone world and this is just the beginning. In the meantime, you'll have to excuse me as I need to go and feed my T-Mobile G1 before it destroys my sofa.