Built For BlackBerry Update

Announcements

I’ve said many times that we listen to our developers and we evolve our programs based on your needs and your feedback. Today is another of those occasions.

The Built for BlackBerry program is very near and dear to my heart. If you have heard me talk about apps at our recent global BlackBerry Jam conferences, you have heard me say that the best chance an app has for success is to be an app of good quality that provides good value to users. Built for BlackBerry is a program to help developers be recognized for delivering a level of quality in their applications, while also giving customers a sense of assurance that the apps they are investing in will be of good quality.

There’s been a great deal of contention lately around the qualification process.

We have seen feedback that many well-built, well designed apps are not qualifying for our Built for BlackBerry program – specifically we are looking at the apps that have been rejected for being “single function” apps. I’ve personally gone through the forum posts on this topic.  I’ve looked at many of the apps, and I’ve seen that some of the apps that have been rejected have greater utility than the reviewer initially thought. So, based on the feedback from you, our developers,  we’re making some changes on how we address these apps in Built for BlackBerry review.

First, we’re going to re-review all the applications that were failed solely on the basis of being a single function app. This re-review has already begun and will continue until we’ve reviewed and communicated back to the developers of these apps. I should note that if an app failed as a single function and failed another portion of the criteria such as lack of BlackBerry 10 UI or Service Integration, then these apps will not be re-reviewed.  Developers of apps that failed on multiple criteria, including simple application, will need to correct the other reasons for failure first, and then resubmit the app for evaluation.  It’s also important to understand that very simple applications will still not be qualified to earn the Built for BlackBerry designation.

This new level of review may take us beyond March 4th – which is the start date for the $10k Developer Commitment revenue period. Because of this, any apps submitted before prior deadlines, but approved for Built for BlackBerry after March 4th will have their revenue retroactively tracked back to March 4, 2013.

Second, we’re going to institute an appeals process.  If you feel that your app has been misunderstood or unfairly rejected, there will be a mechanism by which you can submit your reasoning to us, and a group of senior reviewers at BlackBerry will take your feedback under consideration.

Third, we’re re-working rejection mails in order to provide better clarity and guidance. This is a delicate balancing act, however.  One trap we don’t want to fall into is designing apps for our developers – only you know the functionality you want to deliver, and in most cases you will be better qualified to understand your customer than our reviewers will.

And finally, Built for BlackBerry is designed to showcase the best than can be built for the BlackBerry 10 platform.  To help you understand the acceptance criteria,  we’ll be publishing case studies on these apps to help guide your app development.

We remain committed to the goals of Built for BlackBerry – recognizing high quality applications that deliver on the promise of BlackBerry 10 by creating experiences that showcase the power of the platform.  We’re adjusting the program today, in the spirit of the partnership that we’ve forged over the last year with you, our developer community.

And on behalf of everyone at BlackBerry I want to thank you for your continued feedback, good will, and support for the BlackBerry platform.
If you have any questions – I’m available – alec.saunders@blackberry.com

Keep jamming!

Alec

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