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Developer
Posts: 100
Registered: ‎08-04-2008
My Device: Passport / Q10
My Carrier: T-Mobile
Accepted Solution

Application denied because my app competes with features on the platform?

[ Edited ]

So I was wondering if anyone else has gotten a response back like this yet:

 


Dear Vendor,

 

 

This email is in regards to your applications, named SimpleBrowser and SimpleBrowserPlus, submitted for review for BlackBerry App World™.

 

Since your applications provide functionality that complete with features on the BlackBerry platform, we cannot accept them for App World.  Your applications have been denied.

 

Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

BlackBerry App World Team


 

My application is a web browser called SimpleBrowser, main features are that you can browse full screen an use all of the available 1024x600 for browsing space, and it keeps the power on as long as the application is visible on the screen.  I use this for my baby monitor so I can have my PB sit next to my computer, and I don't have to touch the screen every 5 minutes.  Additionally I use it for work web pages that function quite nicely using the entire screen to display the content. (Lots of webpages are designed for at least 600 lines of vertical display space)

 

I can see how they say it duplicates some functionality, but I AM using the QNX StageWeb element, so that's not really a secret that I'd be duplicating something the system can do.  But what I don't understand is how an application like Comic Sans browser can be approved, while mine is denied?  Pretty much the same core functionality, but that was approved ages ago.

 

I don't want this to come across as a rant, but I'm kind of discouraged by this.  The reason for denial is not listed in the vendor guidelines at all: https://appworld.blackberry.com/isvportal/home/guidelines.seam

 

Anyone else had applications denied on a similar basis?  I googled it a bit, but couldn't come across anyone being told they were making an application that was competitive with the platform provided apps.

Developer
Posts: 100
Registered: ‎08-04-2008
My Device: Passport / Q10
My Carrier: T-Mobile

Re: Application denied because my app competes with features on the platform?

And for what it's worth, I did send them an email asking why other similar apps had been granted approval, but I was denied.  Also asked how we as developers can expect to know this information before we spend time writing, debugging, and packaging an application if it's not listed in the vendor guidelines.  I wasn't condecending or snippy in my email, I'd just really like to know the "why" and if it's worth taking the time to rename my application to something like "BabyCamBrowser" and market it with that intent.  If it's never going to get approved, then I'd rather stop wasting my time on it.

 

I'd expect this from a company like Apple (Who also has a much larger source of developers and applications to pick and choose from), but at least they lay it out in their developer guidelines and you know what to expect.  I'm unsure where I was expected to have gained knowledge of this requirement if it is not posted in the guidelines.

 

We'll see what they say back, but I expect it to take a few days before I hear anything.

Developer
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
My Carrier: none

Re: Application denied because my app competes with features on the platform?

After reading your post, I thought it might have been removed, but BackLight Override is still available.  It sounds like exactly what you've built, so it is very surprising that yours would be rejected, while it would be approved and is still available.


Peter Hansen -- (BB10 and dev-related blog posts at http://peterhansen.ca.)
Author of White Noise and Battery Guru for BB10 and for PlayBook | Get more from your battery!
Developer
Posts: 100
Registered: ‎08-04-2008
My Device: Passport / Q10
My Carrier: T-Mobile

Re: Application denied because my app competes with features on the platform?

Yup! That looks extremely similar to the app I made!  My free version doesn't have bookmarks or any of that, but the paid "Plus" version does, as well as a homescreen that can resume where you were when you closed the app or be set to a site of your choosing.

 

I'd dare to say that mine has a slightly more user friendly UI, but I am biased.  I went for icons vs text so that language support wasn't an issue.  Otherwise they look exactly the same at their core, possibly the other app doesn't have a sliding menu so you cannot use the entire screen for browsing.

 

So yeah, little purplexed here...

Developer
Posts: 100
Registered: ‎08-04-2008
My Device: Passport / Q10
My Carrier: T-Mobile

Re: Application denied because my app competes with features on the platform?

[ Edited ]

Just for a compairson, here are some screenshots that I submitted to go along with the app.  The second one is what the bookmark selection and editing section looks like.

 

IMG_00000013.jpg

 

 

 IMG_00000014.jpg

Developer
Posts: 1,280
Registered: ‎03-03-2011
My Device: Playbook, Z10, Q10, Z30 with Files & Folders and Orbit of course
My Carrier: Vodafone

Re: Application denied because my app competes with features on the platform?

[ Edited ]

Hmmm, that would mean picture viewers, audio/video players, RSS readers, Facebook apps, word processors, racing games etc etc would also risk being denied.

 

Clarification is in order!

 

Competition is a good thing.

Files & Folders, the unified file & cloud manager for PlayBook and BB10 with SkyDrive, SugarSync, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Google Docs. Free 3-day trial! - Jon Webb - Innovatology - Utrecht, Netherlands
Developer
Posts: 100
Registered: ‎08-04-2008
My Device: Passport / Q10
My Carrier: T-Mobile

Re: Application denied because my app competes with features on the platform?

Well, without competition that would mean that the app world would be filled with wonderfully unique apps that never duplicate each others functions.  All you have to do is be the first person to submit an app based on an idea, and you'd own the market.  That doesn't seem to be the type of environment that RIM is advertising, so it would be nice to get a statement from them on this issue. 

 

I'd hate to think they see my application as competing just because it allows you to edit the bookmarks and the stock browser doesn't.  Seems like a menial feature but its the only "competitive" thing I can come up about my app, other then that the stock browser is much more feature rich with tabs and whatnot.

 

Thanks guys for the comments!

Highlighted
Contributor
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎12-16-2010
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Application denied because my app competes with features on the platform?

Wow....I had an fully-featured web browser app I was going to submit.  Glad I stopped development on it.

Developer
Posts: 100
Registered: ‎08-04-2008
My Device: Passport / Q10
My Carrier: T-Mobile

Re: Application denied because my app competes with features on the platform?

What do you all think is an acceptable turn around time for my email regarding this?  I sent off an email within the hour of receiving the denial notice, and it was sent to BlackBerryAppWorldRequests@rim.com as that is where the email came from and where it was forwarded to when I made the original request on the status 2 days prior.

 

Hard to tell that RIM has gotten the email as you do not get any type of response that confirms they've received it and what the expected response time is.  Previously it was 2 days, but I'm unsure as to what I should expect on the timeliness of their response beyond that.

 

Honestly not even sure how you would escalate something like this with the app world team beyond the email address above, I don't think there are any other channels besides that and this forum.  Any other avenues you know of?

Developer
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
My Carrier: none

Re: Application denied because my app competes with features on the platform?

Some people seem to have gotten responses faster after talking to @BlackBerryDev on twitter...

Peter Hansen -- (BB10 and dev-related blog posts at http://peterhansen.ca.)
Author of White Noise and Battery Guru for BB10 and for PlayBook | Get more from your battery!