At the BlackBerry Developer conference opening session yesterday they highlighted a bunch of consumer applications that they, RIM, thought were interesting, ground breaking or at least fun. What I noticed though was that many of them were not available yet for a device running BlackBerry Device Software 6.0. In the session they demonstrated the dictionary.com, not available yet for BlackBerry 6.0. They highlighted the things Xobni has done (cool product), not yet available for BlackBerry 6.0. The amazon app? Not available in the App World (it's available for download directly, but it's not where the other standard BlackBerry apps can be found).
Apparently moving an application to Device Software 6 is more problematic than expected.
Another thing that was very clear yesterday was that RIM is solely focused on consumer devices and consumer applications. The BlackBerry Playbook is for Enterprises mostly, so that's an exception. 90% of what they talked about yesterday in the opening session, except for the Playbook, was focused entirely on consumer-focused application.
With the new BlackBerry Messenger integration capabilities and the libraries for connecting to Twitter and Facebook, their intention is clear - make it as easy as possible for developers to build social networking into their apps. The question I have though is when is enough enough? How many applications do I need on my device that integrate with Twitter and Facebook? Do I really need that? I have a Facebook app, I have a Twitter app, why do I need all of my other applications to interface with those services? What's going to be happening soon (and has probably already started to happen) is that users will have too many applications. The BlackBerry, iPhone and other platforms can supported a limited number of applications - before long you'll be deleting stuff you don't use that often to make room. When all of my apps share common features, like interfacing with Twitter or Facebook, how do I then distinguish between separate apps?
One of the examples Mike Kirkup showed in the session was a hardware dongle you could attach to your car keys to a BlackBerry application can track them. One of the differentiating features he showed was that the tracking application integrated with Facebook and Twitter. That way you can quickly let all of your friends and followers know when you've lost your keys. Seriously? How is that important? How often do you lose your keys? Am I going to tweet when I lost my keys? Possibly, just in case I was with some of my followers recently (when I last saw my keys) Post on Facebook about it? Possibly, but why don't I just use my Facebook or Twitter apps for that? Even better use an aggregater to do it, but why does that functionality need to also be in the key finder app?
People are going to quickly realize that a big percentage of their device memory is being taken up by features of many applications that duplicate eachother. Where's the fun in that?