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BlackBerry® World™ Development

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Developer
jtegen
Posts: 6,541
Registered: ‎10-27-2010
My Device: HTC One, PlayBook, LE Z10, DE Q10
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: Current ranking are unfair to Playbook devs

The Vendor FAQ regarding how and who gets featured does not get followed. There has been <2 star rating that have been featured, apps that have been featured that were never submitted and apps that get featured on a regular basis. It seems to be more at the descretion of the marketing department of who, when and how often.
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Developer
mapleleafs90
Posts: 374
Registered: ‎02-12-2011
My Device: Bold 9780
My Carrier: Wind Mobile

Re: Current ranking are unfair to Playbook devs

What are the requirements for the Spotlight Image?
The Spotlight Image must meet the following specifications:
Dimensions: 340 x 340 pixels
Bit Depth: 24-bit RGB
File Format: PNG
Edges not rounded off
What are the requirements for the Spotlight Description?
The Spotlight Description must meet the following specifications:
Length: under 50 characters
File Format: TXT
Translations: you must provide an English Spotlight Description. In addition to English, you must provide a translation of the Spotlight Description for each of the languages supported by your nominated application



It says we need a spot light image. Is this outdated? Because when I submitted my app I had to make a featured image banner . Will I be required to also make a spot light image?
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Developer
peter9477
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
My Carrier: none

Re: Current ranking are unfair to Playbook devs

@mapleleafs90, this really sounds like a topic for a brand new thread.

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!
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Developer
shawnblais
Posts: 439
Registered: ‎10-25-2010
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Current ranking are unfair to Playbook devs

[ Edited ]

Ya the spotlight is a totally different issue.

 

What I'm concerned with is the Top 25 rankings. 

 

Top 25 should reflect the 25 apps that users are purchasing most on the Playbook, or at least a revolving selection of the top 50 or 100 (this would be preferable, to spread the wealth a little). This way quality apps, with momentum can rise to the top.

 

Blackberry downloads should not be taken into account. 

 

RIM, if you're listening, you need to do every little thing you can do to make sure your Playbook dev's are making money. You need them in a huge way, and every bit counts. Playbook Apps == QNX Phone Apps, and this is the future of your entire company.... the truth is devices are not really rated on hardware anymore, they're judged on the size and quality of their app stores.

 

Trim the Blackberry apps from Top 25, and figure out some upgrades to AppWorld that improve discoverability. A top 25 for the entire market is at best a bare minimum.

 

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Developer
shawnblais
Posts: 439
Registered: ‎10-25-2010
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Current ranking are unfair to Playbook devs

Would like to hear acknowledgement of this issue, and if it's not going to be changed, please provide a rational for the current approach.

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Developer
peter9477
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
My Carrier: none

Re: Current ranking are unfair to Playbook devs

I would like to see this fixed too.

I had a weekend sale on Battery Guru (announced only in a CrackBerry.com forum).

Sales were brisk, and it soared up into the Top Paid list for several days, but never managed to get above 7th, just behind Dead Space, two Featured apps, and four others which I'm fairly certain were at the top only because they are BB apps. (Ignore the math there... it was up to 7th, because every now and then one of the other seven I just mentioned would dip below it.)

I strongly doubt they sell enough of the PlayBook version of their apps to merit that positioning. Unfortunately, as a result Battery Guru never made it into the top 5 spots, where it could have been seen without hitting the little "expand" arrow.

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!
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Developer
KenSalmon
Posts: 114
Registered: ‎08-09-2010
My Device: Tour
My Carrier: Bell

Re: Current ranking are unfair to Playbook devs

Another visibility issue I've raised in the past is when a vendor updates a large set of apps that are all identical except for (one supposes) pointing to different online content.

 

Case in point: several weeks ago, I noticed this effect for an app tied to my local newspaper, the Calgary Herald. Simultaneously with this app being on the "Recently Updated" list, that list was more than half occupied by the same app, with names for the various city newspapers across the country that it represents. One doesn't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that all these apps are not radically different; they are essentially the very same app, but conveniently launch up pointing to one or another of the same company's newspaper sites. But together they occupied more than half of the available 25 slots for recent updates.

 

Last week, there was another example, whose name escapse me at the moment, but this time they filled nearly all 25 recently updated slots. It was obviously a case of updating the app, when each instance of the app points to some different content.

 

I don't begrudge the vendor the opportunity to update their software, and to be noticed. But there needs to be a better way of handling this than just taking over most of, or in the recent case nearly all of, a particular list on App World.

 

 

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Developer
peter9477
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
My Carrier: none

Re: Current ranking are unfair to Playbook devs

@KenSalmon, right on!  I've been whining about that for a bit too.

 

The "last week" example would have been Skylab, with a bazillion cloned "Offline GPS" apps which apparently bundle a mass of OpenStreetMap tiles for various regions.

 

They flooded the Newest list, pushing a bunch of people out within hours if not minutes of them showing up, so those people got effectively zero exposure, killing their first few days' worth of sales.  They also did some trivial updates and flooded the Recently Updated section, also flushing out anyone legitimate.

 

(Possibly worse than that, they write fake reviews, vigorously remove negative reviews, and so far nobody I've heard of is happy with what they bought.  That wouldn't necessarily matter, but combine it with the flooding with cloned apps, and it's really a wonder RIM hasn't thought it might not be a good idea to have a vendor doing these things and getting such excellent visibility courtesy of RIM.)

 

Solutions to this problem could include some form of detection for "cloned" apps (my own name for these near identical ones) and only showing one of them.

 

Better yet, use a rate-limiting filter, preferably a so-called "token bucket".  RIM, this is a well-known technique for managing this sort of thing better, allowing bursts (e.g. 3 apps at a time) but not allowing anyone to flood the system.  Please investigate it with some urgency.


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!
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Developer
jtegen
Posts: 6,541
Registered: ‎10-27-2010
My Device: HTC One, PlayBook, LE Z10, DE Q10
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: Current ranking are unfair to Playbook devs

The only suggestion is that if a developer gets caught up in a app SPAM attack, is that they increase the version and update it a week later.  Does not help those with new releases, but it is hard to defned against.  The only thing that could be done is to stagger mass updates from one particular vendor.  For example, if more than 6 updates occur in 1-2 days from a single vendor, the remaining apps will be delayed 1+ weeks and then repeat logic until all have been released.  It would force the vendor to be more particular in how and when they do the updates.

 

Like anything, there has to be balance in the community.

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Developer
peter9477
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
My Carrier: none

Re: Current ranking are unfair to Playbook devs

It occurs to me also that it should not be essential for ALL submissions (new or updated) from a given vendor in a given time period to be shown. If a vendor submits "too many" (to be defined) in a given period, App World could simply select whatever number it is allowed to list in the Newest or Updated lists, and the rest are simply skipped over.

That would leave it entirely in the hands of vendors to manage this, as they could choose to ignore that and pump 50 app updates through all at once, or voluntarily stagger them over a period of some days.

I realize some people (clearly including those who exploit the current setup) might disagree that doing any filtering would be "fair", but I'd argue that these "top 25" lists represent an artificially limited resource created by RIM, and it doesn't serve the community as a whole (or, ultimately, RIM) for them not to act as good "stewards" for it. That could mean implementing fixed rules and algorithms, as I've suggested, or simply having a manager in charge and monitoring for generally damaging situations like one vendor stealing the show. Even with an automated algorithm, somebody should have oversight so they can keep an eye on things and ensure App World works to the greater benefit of the community. Doing so could only help it compete with the Apple, Google, and other app stores.

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!
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