Right after RIM announced it was creating a $150 million fund to support BlackBerry software development, Handmark (the parent company of awesome game studio Astraware) released plans to launch a couple of lifestyle programs and several Astraware games for BlackBerry. Coincidence? Hmm.
The two Handmark programs will be available May 28. Bible Translations features wireless access to 16 translations of the Good Book. Ringtone Junkie is a ringtone manager that also includes unlimited access to its basic ringtone catalog.
Game fans will have to wait a little longer. The press release promises games in Q3 including squishy shoot-em-up Platypus. Astraware’s flagship gamepacks Solitaire, Sudoku, Casino, and Boardgames will show up in Q4.
RIM is obviously trying to extend into the non-business market, but I had my first experience with a BlackBerry Pearl yesterday and I really, really don’t get the appeal. A friend was missing calls because the ring volume was too soft, and it took me about five minutes to figure out how to fix it. I might have done it in four if the darn trackball wasn’t slowing me down. RIM wants me to play games on that thing? I’d rather chew off my own thumb.