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At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week RIM brought forth the notion of "Super Apps" to the smartphone world. It wasn't that RIM introduced any new apps here, but defined what makes a smartphone application great and cited some examples of existing BlackBerry apps that fit that description: Poynt, eBay for BlackBerry, 7Digital Music Store, Facebook, the in-beta Twitter client, etc.. Some of the charateristics that take an app to the level of super app are as follows:
- The Always on Experience
- Tight Integration with the Native BlackBerry Apps
- Proactive and Notification-driven
- Highly Contextualized
- Social and Connected
- Designed for Efficiency
During the BlackBerry Developer Day at App Planet, this idea of building super apps was extended upon and I caught on video Chris Smith walking through the thought process RIM went through in building their new Twitter for BlackBerry Smartphones client. Chris is the Senior Director of the BlackBerry Development Platform for RIM. The key to Chris' presentation here is not here's what we did to build a great twitter app but the message is for developers to approach their own ideas, whatever they may be, with this thought process that will really uncover way to build an app experience that is tightly and fully integrated with the BlackBerry experience, making a super app experience for the end user that is greater than they will find anywhere else.
It's an interesting video and one that all mobile developers should definitely watch. To learn more about BlackBerry Super Apps, you can check out RIM's page on Super Apps. What I'm waiting see next are Super Duper Apps. I'm thinking a Super Duper App takes the definition of Super App and adds to it the ability to save/run the apps from the MicroSD card so they can be HUGE in filesize and therefore extremely pretty with tons of nice graphics and video. The best of both worlds combined.