OverDrive Abandons Support for their Blackberry App

Due to OverDrive Abandons Support for their Blackberry App Library eBooks Overdrive declining sales, Blackberry has long since stopped being one of the major tablet and smartphone makers, so today's news should come as no surprise.

The library ebook vendor OverDrive sent out an email this morning  to their library partners, announcing that they were withdrawing the OverDrive Media Console app from the Blackberry App World.

It seems that the app, which ran on the BB Playbook as well as Blackberry smartphones, is only used by a fraction of a percent of library patrons and has been steadily losing users over the past few months. Rather than simply let the app wither on the vine, OverDrive is formally abandoning it.  This is in fact the better option than simply stopping development without telling anyone (which happens far too often with apps).

Update: A reader has informed me that the Blackberry app is the same app as the Media Console Android app. Anyone who has a Blackberry device can simply sideload the existing Android app, which is available on the OverDrive website. I'm told that app runs well on the Blackberry, leading me to wonder why OverDrive didn't simply update the app that was available in BB App World rather than remove it.

Here's the text of the email:

Effective April 10, 2014, the OverDrive Media Console (OMC) mobile app for BlackBerry will no longer be available to download on BlackBerry, BlackBerry 10, and Playbook devices.

BlackBerry users with the app installed prior to April 10 will be able to continue downloading eBooks and audiobooks via OMC. However, no further development or testing will be dedicated to it.

In the past year, OMC for BlackBerry has experienced a steady decline in downloads. Only .3% of all visitors to digital library websites come from a BlackBerry device. After much consideration, OverDrive has decided to remove the app from BlackBerry App World and continue to focus our development efforts on more widely used platforms such as iOS and Android—both of which have more daily downloads than BlackBerry has monthly.

As of October 2013, OverDrive was the leading library ebook distributor in the world. With over 27,000 partner library and schools in 36 countries around the world, OverDrive is far larger than 3M Cloud Library, Ingram's MyiLibrary, or Baker & Taylor's Axis360.

 

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

10 Comments

  1. 126 March, 2014

    “steadily losing users over the past few months.”. That would be because it stopped working properly.

    Nate, I don’t think you understand how their BlackBerry 10 app worked.
    They did not put any development effort into it. It was actually their android app.
    I downloaded and installed the latest android app and it runs really well.
    While I can agree that it is not worth the effort of developing a native BlackBerry 10 app, I don’t understand why they would remove the app. Removing the app would probably take as much effort as submitting the updated version.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder26 March, 2014

      In that case I have to wonder why they launched it at all.

      Reply
      1. 126 March, 2014

        Until the recent BlackBerry 10.2.1 update, you had to sideload android apps.
        Even though you can now install apk files (including app stores) directly from the device, I don’t think most users are aware of the fact. BlackBerry world is still the main place to download apps.

        And Overdrive didn’t know that BlackBerry 10 wouldn’t sell well. With the minimal effort required to submit the app, there was really no reason not too submit the app.

        Reply
    2. Nate Hoffelder26 March, 2014

      Thanks for the info!

      Reply
  2. 126 March, 2014

    I also think it is worth noting that BlackBerry users can still download the app from the Amazon App Store.

    Reply
  3. Q27 March, 2014

    It’s also worth noting that the BB10 and PlayBook Android app player is incredibly quirky. It works wonderfully on some devices, while running like crap on other devices with the same version of the BB OS.

    BB was supposed to update the Android player with all sorts of stability fixes, but they never really seemed to make it happen.

    Reply
  4. Joe9 March, 2015

    I have the link for Downloading straihght from Blackberry World. It works perfectly on my Blackberry Q10.

    I dropped my Q10, shattering the screen, last week, and was not happy that the OverDrive Media app did not replicate on the new Q10. I contacted my library & OverDrive Media and got the rote reply that they “no longer supported Blackberry devices”, which was frustrating because I know that the software exists, as I had been using it on the old phone just a few days before.

    I attempted to sideload the app, via google apps, but must have too fat of fingers, or they got too clicky & impatient.

    What I did discover is that there are ways to link to the software in Blackberry World. A sustained click will offer a share icon, then a list of several way to share the link to the app. I chose the bar code /smart tag, since most of the others involve radio transmission, which I lost on the old phone.

    (I tried uploading the picture of the bar code, which didn’t work, so I sent myself the link from the new phone…)

    Here is the LINK – ENJOY!: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/80929

    Reply
  5. Joe9 March, 2015

    Thie link above & here only works from within Blackberry Hub on your BB10 device. Copy & paste it to email to your account within Blackberry Hub, then tap on the link there, to open the OverDrive Media app within Blackberry World.

    Reply
  6. Frank Burke8 June, 2015

    Hi Joe, Thank you for this info. I am downloading it now. I thought I would have to do side loading of this from google which looks complex. thanks again
    Frank

    Reply

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