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Developer
HorizonXP
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎03-28-2011
My Device: BlackBerry 9900 & PlayBook

Authomator got rejected. Suggestions to make it BFB?

I got a super quick response on my BFB submission, which kind of makes me think that maybe they didn't test it completely. That said, it was rejected, and I'm not sure I agree with their reasoning. Would appreciate the insight of others more objective than I, so that I can determine how to proceed.

 

You can check out my app at the website http://www.authomator.com/ and on BlackBerry World at http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/22517879/?countrycode=US. As you can see, it's been favourably reviewed so far, and I've been responding to support inquires as quickly as I can. 

 

I've pasted the relevant part of the rejection here: 

 

Specifically we found your application does not meet the criteria as outlined in user benefits and would encourage you to consider enhancements like:

  • Please comply with the BlackBerry 10 UI. For more information, please click on this hyperlink: BlackBerry 10 UI Guidelines
  • Please integrate your app with one of the BlackBerry service.  For more information, please click on this hyperlink: Integration of one BlackBerry Service
  • Please add more features to improve your app functionality so it can differentiate your app with other apps in this category.

I'll start with the easier points. For service integration, I've built-in features like BBM Invite to Download, BlackBerry Advertising Service (banner ads at the bottom of the free version), and BlackBerry Payment Services (in-app upgrade to unlock active frame feature, and remove banner ads). Technically, Invocation is also incorporated, based on the links in the Help/About page. I don't see how I'm not integrating a BlackBerry service, but perhaps I'm wrong. 

 

In terms of differentiating from other apps in this category, I can outline the following:

a) It actually works. You'd be surprised at how few of the other apps do.

b) Using the camera to scan QR codes. None of the other apps do this.

c) Displaying updated codes on the active frame. If you upgrade, you unlock this feature, which lets you display your 3 favourite accounts on the active frame. They update whenever the code changes, so you always have the most recent code to login with.

 

Finally, for the UI guideline portion, I can appreciate that there is a difference of opinion here. The app is written entirely in Cascades, with some minor customizations. You can see the custom progress indicator that we've built to countdown the expiry of the code. This is not a native Cascades control, but it's built using Cascades controls and we made the effort to make it look and feel like a Cascades control. 

 

Moreover, we did take liberties with how items in the list are shown and highlighted. Each account does not share the same colour indicator, so when you highlight/select an item, it's not the native Cascades blue. I can agree that this may be different than what the UI guidelines might intend, but it doesn't preclude it. 

 

The rest of the UI follows the guidelines in my opinion. The cross-cut menus, action items and system menu all follow the guidelines. We even followed the guidelines about deleting items. 

 

Anyway, that's my opinion about the rejection. Would appreciate the community's feedback, and perhaps input from BlackBerry as well. I'd like to resolve these issues before I re-apply.

 

Thanks for reading.


Founder of Pulsecode Inc. and taab
Authomator - Two-factor authentication codes on BlackBerry 10 - http://www.xitijpatel.com/ - Follow @xitijpatel
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Developer
peter9477
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10

Re: Authomator got rejected. Suggestions to make it BFB?

Based on what you've described, I'm pretty puzzled that it didn't get approved, but I know nothing about two-factor authentication or what the app is really all about.

I've installed it but haven't had a chance even to run it yet. I may have comments about some of this once I do.

I mainly wanted to mention two things:

1. They're talking about implementing an appeals process, where you'd have a chance to point out things like the above, and someone other than the original reviewer could look more closely at it with those points in mind. No word on this yet aside from the statement of intent, however, but it seems relevant.

2. Thanks for writing a straightforward, calm post like this instead of all the rants of which we've seen so many lately. I'm sure you're as frustrated as others have been (me included sometimes) but this kind of post is much easier to read and think positively about than the rants are. Good job and an example to others...

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
Ebscer
Posts: 875
Registered: ‎08-31-2009
My Device: 9530, 9630, 9800, 8530, 9900, 9810, 9930, PlayBook, Dev Alpha

Re: Authomator got rejected. Suggestions to make it BFB?

Your main problem is assuming that there is a corolation between your app and the feedback you recieved.


Read my thoughts on BlackBerry Development at news.ebscer.com
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Developer
BBSJdev
Posts: 6,116
Registered: ‎07-05-2012
My Device: Playbook, Dev Alpha C, Z10 LE, Z30

Re: Authomator got rejected. Suggestions to make it BFB?

[ Edited ]

Careful now Ebscer that's dangerously close to being funny, sarcasm's not looked on too favourably in these here parts. :smileyhappy:

 

I laughed anyway!

 

HorizonXP,

 

I think the problem you might have is not knowing what they looked at as your app needs further purchase to unlock a good deal of the 'social' features.  The ones you have initially are more for you than the user, in your description you quote,

 

'BBM permissions are only used to enable Invite to Download, so that you can tell your friends how to get their own copy of Authomator. BBM is not used for any other purpose'.

 

It's been speculated in these forums before that implementing services which just benefit you aren't really what the program is looking for. And from a marketing perspective by the way pointing out to users that your app is limited probably not the best thing to do. :smileyhappy:

 

Having looked at your competition do any of them use invocation if so then that's probably the explanation for the quote about a differentiator.

 

I didn't get very far with it sorry as I'd need to read up on these codes, as someone who hasn't used them before your app pretty quickly stumped me with no extra help available to guide me through but then perhaps you're happy with that and people who don't know anything about these aren't your target audience, perfectly valid.

 

I couldn't see any non-cascades elements after 10 minutes of playing with it and as far as I got.

 

So apart from that your best bet is to try and talk with someone from BlackBerry and/or wait for the appeals process as Peter pointed out.

 


If you've been helped click on Like Button, if you've been saved buy the app. :smileyhappy:

Developer of stokLocker, Sympatico and Super Sentences.
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Developer
HorizonXP
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎03-28-2011
My Device: BlackBerry 9900 & PlayBook

Re: Authomator got rejected. Suggestions to make it BFB?

Fair comments about the app being a bit "esoteric" for new users. Educating new users about two-factor authentication is something we discussed. To be honest, our only solution was to provide a link to a tutorial/walkthrough in the help screen, where users would be told about various services like Gmail and Dropbox that can be setup to use 2FA, and exactly how they would use Authomator in that flow. It would include precise screenshots, and be done completely within the app via WebViews. Another option was to populate the initial list with a dummy account, and walk the user through that way on the first-run, but I abhor walkthroughs. If we can't design the app to avoid a walkthrough, we've failed.

However, I'm not sure that would address any of the reasons for it's BFB rejection.

BBSJDev, I'm not sure what "social" features you're referring to. Authomator is a security app that generates codes for you to enter on websites where you've enabled it, so that you have an extra layer of security. This means that when you login, you need to enter your username, password, and the unique code generated by Authomator. If someone tries to break into your account, they would need to be in physical possession of your phone with Authomator, in addition to knowing your password.

It's extremely unwise to make these codes "social". That's why BBM is only used for invite to download. If you like the app, great, share it with friends. I'm not going to implement features to share your codes via BBM or Facebook. That's idiotic. People who use this app for that purpose would find it ridiculous if that ability was there. That's why I intentionally disclose it in the app description. It's not a limitation, it's a feature that follows common sense.

The competition does not use invocation. The competition does not use any BlackBerry services, period. I have thought about being able to invoke websites with the code pre-populated. It's doable, but difficult to accomplish. Might do it for a future version.

At any rate, the premium upgrade doesn't unlock any social features. It removes ads, and unlocks the active frame feature. That's something that other apps in BFB have done. At any rate, BBM Invite to Download may be construed as being for my benefit, but the use of invocation and payment services is not.

I'm simply not seeing the smoking gun that shows why my app was rejected for BFB.

Founder of Pulsecode Inc. and taab
Authomator - Two-factor authentication codes on BlackBerry 10 - http://www.xitijpatel.com/ - Follow @xitijpatel
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Developer
HorizonXP
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎03-28-2011
My Device: BlackBerry 9900 & PlayBook

Re: Authomator got rejected. Suggestions to make it BFB?

Just to provide more evidence of the app's utility and suitability for Built for Blackberry, I'm providing links to two reviews done about it: 

 

http://n4bb.com/manage-factor-authentication-codes-blackberry-10%E2%80%8F-authomator/

http://crackberry.com/manage-your-2-step-authenticator-codes-authomator-and-its-active-frame


Founder of Pulsecode Inc. and taab
Authomator - Two-factor authentication codes on BlackBerry 10 - http://www.xitijpatel.com/ - Follow @xitijpatel
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Developer
BBSJdev
Posts: 6,116
Registered: ‎07-05-2012
My Device: Playbook, Dev Alpha C, Z10 LE, Z30

Re: Authomator got rejected. Suggestions to make it BFB?

All good evidence for the appeals process.

 

Just as a thought on the social side, can you not have groups within a company needing a single service? In which case this would bring the sharing element back in.

 

Sorry wish I had the time to investigate this area more to maybe help you out more.


If you've been helped click on Like Button, if you've been saved buy the app. :smileyhappy:

Developer of stokLocker, Sympatico and Super Sentences.
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Developer
TheMarco
Posts: 669
Registered: ‎02-19-2011
My Device: BlackBerry PlayBook 32GB

Re: Authomator got rejected. Suggestions to make it BFB?

You use THREE BlackBerry services so that argument is nonsense. According to the guidelines you're supposed to use at least one.

The UI thing appears to be a 'blanket rejection thing'. It makes no sense to say that without extra explanation.

The 'more features' thing doesn't apply to this app at all. It does exactly what it needs to do. Adding irrelevant features would actually lessen the app's value.

 

I see two possible outcomes:

 

1: You use the appeal process and get accepted (To me this app looks like one that should). Maybe some UI tweaks can be done but that shouldn't keep it from getting accepted I think.

 

2: They will clear up the 'too simple / single purpose' reasoning and it will turn out that anything that doesn't have / require many screens and other inherent complexity is simply not eligible for this program. 

 

My 2 cents.

 

P.S. Peter, sorry for the annoying, hard to read rants.

 

 

Staff UI Prototyper (read: full-time hacker)


My BB10 apps: Screamager | Scientific RPN Calculator | The Last Weather App

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Developer
peter9477
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10

Re: Authomator got rejected. Suggestions to make it BFB?


TheMarco wrote:

P.S. Peter, sorry for the annoying, hard to read rants.


I don't think anything in that post was a rant. It's constructive, and allows for the possibility that this particular incident is a mistake and could have a different outcome once the ongoing process changes complete... I liked that post.

 

The rants are the ones with the endless "OMFG BB is so pathetic can't they do anything right" stuff in them.


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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