We’re fast approaching the two-year anniversary of the launch of BlackBerry App World™ storefront. That would be the launch of the store itself – but for you, our developer community, BlackBerry App World has been open for app and theme submissions for over two years. We’ve come a long way, and we’re excited about increasing the opportunities for you to build and distribute amazing apps for BlackBerry® platform users around the world.
We’ve recently made announcements regarding new country rollouts for BlackBerry App World, upcoming carrier billing integrations, and of course the BBM™ Gifting Platform. While these are great additions, we are always trying to make it easier for current vendors to submit and manage their apps, and for new developers to get signed up. I wanted to take this opportunity to address some of the big questions we’ve seen in the Developer Forums, blog comments, and on Twitter® regarding app development for BlackBerry smartphones and the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet.
Why do you require a notarized proof of identification?
This is a great question, and definitely one we get often. Whether you’re a large business or a garage developer, we want to make sure that you and only you can register yourself as a vendor. When a business registers as a vendor, we request proof of incorporation (business license or ID for example).
For individual developers, we have been requesting a notarized form to validate your identity. Your privacy and the protection of your identity are extremely important to us. At the same time, we realize that for many developers, this is an extra burden and in some cases can be very difficult or costly to obtain. We’ve been working with the community and our business teams to find a better way to handle this. We’ll provide an update in the coming weeks.
Will you start charging $200 for app submissions or vendor registration again?
At our BlackBerry Developer Conference last September, we announced that we were waiving the $200.00 registration fee and also waiving the submission fees. To clarify, there are currently no fees with submitting apps, and there are no limits to the number of apps you can submit –currently, there is no plan to change this. We truly believe that it’s our privilege to provide you with a world-class marketplace for your applications and themes.
What do I select for device and OS when submitting BlackBerry PlayBook tablet apps?
The two most reported issues concern OS and device selection. We’re addressing these further in upcoming BlackBerry App World Vendor Portal updates.
First, for device selection – you’ll be able to specify what platform you’re uploading the bundle for.
In the screen shot above, you can see that we’re adding a new “Platform” selector. Once you’ve made your platform selection, the list of OS versions will filter so that you only see the OS choices appropriate for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet or BlackBerry smartphones. We’ll also be changing the OS selector so that you can check off the exact OS versions that your app or theme support.
The other big change will be in device selection. With the next release of the BlackBerry App World vendor portal, we’ve removed the “All Devices” option. You’ll now be able to choose BlackBerry or PlayBook tablet first, and then the list of devices will filter to either just BlackBerry smartphones or the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.
The Signing Keys Questions
On Tuesday February 23rd, we announced the availability of the BlackBerry Signing Tool for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet,and we’ve since received a number of questions about what this means for apps that are already submitted or approved in BlackBerry App World. Don’t worry, we’ve got answers.
“If I’ve already submitted my app for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, do I need to sign it and resubmit?” Yes. Once you have your app signed, you will need to re-submit it as a new release of your app in BlackBerry App World.
“Does that mean my app needs to be re-approved?” No. If your app has already been approved, we will just treat it as a new release and it will go through the normal new release review process (with no approval requirement) – typically 1-2 business days.
“If my app wasn’t approved yet, and I re-submit, does that bump me back to the end of the queue?” Definitely not. When you submit a new release, it doesn’t affect your place in the queue. We literally have testers on both sides of the planet reviewing apps 24/7, so we’ll get to yours as quickly as possible.
“How does that affect the free BlackBerry PlayBook tablet offer?” There is no effect on the offer. The rules are that you need to have your app submitted before 11:59 p.m. ET on March 15, 2011. The signing of the app is required for distribution in BlackBerry App World when the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet launches. If your app isn’t signed, you may still qualify for the offer, but you will not be able to offer your app for distribution. See the full offer details.
With the upcoming regulations regarding mobile payments, how will RIM be paying vendors in India via PayPal®?
The government of India has an enacted new legislation regarding PayPal transactions in India. Effective March 1st, payments may not exceed US $500.00 per transaction. To continue providing an uninterrupted service to those affected vendors, our payment partners will be splitting any payments above US $500.00 into multiple payments. Vendors will still receive their full revenue distribution. You should also note that as of March 1, 2011, you will not be permitted to keep a balance in your PayPal account beyond 7 days of receipt. For more information related to this change, please read the PayPal India Notification.
As always, we want your feedback to make BlackBerry App World the best place to distribute apps to BlackBerry platform users. We’re constantly interacting on our Developer Forums and on our Twitter account – so keep the feedback coming.