Archiving BlackBerry apps with App World 1.1.
You can now archive apps on your MicroSD card. (Credit: RIM/BlackBerry)

One of my biggest complaints when BlackBerry App World debuted this past April at CTIA 2009 was that applications installed to Flash memory, giving you no option to store more apps on a microSD card. On Friday, RIM, the company behind BlackBerry, began rolling out an update to the App World, version 1.1, that takes a few steps toward dealing with this. In addition, the update enhances the storefront's organizational features.

App World 1.1 features a new menu option called "Archive," which will temporarily dispose of your file to free up some space, until you decide to reactivate it. Select the archive option and App World will actually uninstall the application from your internal storage and reinstall it on your microSD card, after which you may need to reboot the BlackBerry, depending on the app.

How will you know when an app has been stowed? The bottom left corner of the application's icon will display a green arrow. Once archived, you can always restore it to the main device memory with a click (and possibly another reboot.)

The archive feature, while one way to get apps you rarely use to relinquish their hold on your device memory, is still only a workaround. It costs you extra steps to archive, restore, and possibly reboot (the greatest timesuck of all), and still doesn't offer the solution to install programs to the device memory in the first place, as does Microsoft's Windows Mobile platform.


Like the iPhone App Store, BlackBerry App World 1.1 will now display the top 25 paid and top 25 free apps in the catalog. The filtering metaphor also extends to the search results, where you can now sort software titles by date, rating, name, price, relevance, and developer name.

In addition, RIM has added a few more categories and subcategories to help you narrow down your browsing.

New users can download the app store from or from the mobile browser. If you've already got the app installed, keep an eye out for the red notification badge on the App World icon on your phone.

BlackBerry App World 1.1 comes in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish, and is available, for free, in the US and UK, Canada, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Ireland, Austria, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, and the Channel Islands.

BlackBerry App World is compatible with BlackBerry phones running operating system 4.2 or higher, that also have a track ball or touch screen. Read more details on the BlackBerry blog.

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.