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Developer
DueNorth
Posts: 135
Registered: ‎09-25-2012
My Device: Dev Alpha

Got a chance to talk to BlackBerry about B4B and more

[ Edited ]

Here are some tidbits from talking to Tom Anderson,  Senior BlackBerry Developer Evangelist,  at an event.

 

The number of submissions to the B4B program exceeded their expectations and capacity. Not our fault, and they have increase staff to handle the load plus extended many deadlines.

 

The bar for B4B is very high. Besides the standard BB10 UI look, it must flow.

 

A B4B games shouldn't have just 5 levels. It should be a full experience, a completed story with a purpose.


Utilities that do only one thing (although perhaps very well) probably won't pass. It needs to be to a full experience.

My example: If you have a piano app, you should have tutorials on how to play the piano, multiple types of pianos. Some purpose to the app like unlocking more achievements as the user improves. To have an app just look pretty and play sounds while sharing on BBM... won't cut it.

 

It needs to appeal to the general audience.

 

My observation, even games like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope aren't really "B4B" and it does very well. If you want to get B4B, you will need to make it BlackBerry way.

 

As for the Limited Edition Developer device, he hasn't seen it but supposedly it is the Z10 but with a "different" appearance. People should easily identify that it is not the typical Z10. BlackBerry employees (and related) aren't supposed to get those so they are really special. Once you are registered (qualified), you should hold on to your Dev Alpha for a while before turning them in because it will take a couple months before the actual device will be available (4-8 weeks from now).

 

SDK Update. There should be another update next week which contains support for the Q10 (QWERTY) device. We should also hear about the Dev Alpha C.

 

I hope this helps.

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Developer
jaiaca
Posts: 96
Registered: ‎10-06-2012
My Device: Z10

Re: Got a chance to talk to BlackBerry about B4B and more

Thanks for the update. I have a question though....

What (and when) is BlackBerry doing to promote Built for BlackBerry apps and games?

Nothing was mentioned of this during the launch which was a bit disappointing.

I have a word search game (WordsPlus) which is Built for BlackBerry certified. And on the web nor simulator, there is no section on BlackBerry World for Built for BlackBerry apps/games....My game doesn't even show up in their "Fun With Words" section (on the sim) which I find quite annoying personally.

Anyways, I was just wondering if he mentioned anything about the marketing of B4B apps/games.

Also, I borrowed a dev alpha to complete my game. Would I by any chance be able to get a "left over" phone?? :smileyhappy:
Jason I. Carter
Follow me @jasonicarter
Built For BlackBerry - WordsPlus & WordsPlus: Free Edition | word search has never had it so good
www.twocasualcoders.com | never casual on quality
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Developer
jtegen
Posts: 6,541
Registered: ‎10-27-2010
My Device: HTC One, PlayBook, LE Z10, DE Q10

Re: Got a chance to talk to BlackBerry about B4B and more

They have said their will be a special section in BBW that will have the BFB apps. Plus, these apps will be used to promote and market the device, so they will get pretty good exposure.
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Developer
DueNorth
Posts: 135
Registered: ‎09-25-2012
My Device: Dev Alpha

Re: Got a chance to talk to BlackBerry about B4B and more

Sorry, I didn't ask for all the details of the program itself.

 

I would assume promotions will happen on March 4th when the sales start counting.

http://devblog.blackberry.com/2013/01/extending-the-deadline-for-built-for-blackberry/

 

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Developer
apman
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎11-12-2010
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Got a chance to talk to BlackBerry about B4B and more

Thanks for sharing your inside information, DueNorth - that's really useful!

 

But am I the only one who thinks the 'single function' criterion in the BFB checklist is a bit misleading?

 

  • Apps that perform a simple single function such as play a noise or display a graphic

I'm sure everybody, like me, nodded in emphatic agreement when they read this condition - of course those kinds of apps shouldn't count!  But now it seems that basically any app that serves one well defined purpose, no matter how complex and feature-rich, may be denied along with the fart apps.

 

I wonder how many apps BB10 would have launched with, if during the heady days of the BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour events they had expressed it as clear as your RIM contact now: "The bar for B4B [and therefore the 10k commitment] is very high." - I don't remember hearing anything like that! And as much as I agree, that the bar *should* be high, I can't help feeling a little bit cheated to find it higher than I managed to attain even with my best efforts.

 

 


My app : Get set - Get up!   Get ready for the snooze revolution.

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Developer
thubalek
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎10-01-2012
My Device: Dev Alpha C, Playbook 32 GB

Re: Got a chance to talk to BlackBerry about B4B and more

For me example is Tipster. It is clearly single function app (that can be developed within one week) and it got B4BB.

I would love to hear more about it from BB.

My experience from Android it that people love well built single purpose apps, so not much happy if simple but perfect app can't get B4BB.
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-- My Blackberry 10 app at http://blackberry.hubalek.net
-- My Android apps at http://android.hubalek.net
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Developer
peter9477
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10

Re: Got a chance to talk to BlackBerry about B4B and more

The bar is actually rather lower than what we'd started thinking based on various types of feedback recently, but it's not so low that just anything gets in.

 

One of my own apps, White Noise, is definitely "single function" in the sense that it makes white noise. It is currently rejected, though I still hope to see it approved some day without significant changes. It absolutely is not a "simple" single function, however, given the nature of what this particular app does, along with the 2-3 extra peripheral features which it supports.

 

Other apps that have been approved are also quite clearly "single function" by my understanding of the term, in that there's at least one tip calculator. (Is Tipster also one of those, and did the above post mean it's approved? If so, that's at least two of them now.)

 

The main point seems to be that if it just does the one single function and NOTHING else, then it's definitely not going to be approved. The extra stuff that some of these apps are doing is generally by way of service integration, such as sharing some of the data via Share As or sending BBM messages. If all you've done to get beyond "simple single function" is to add "BBM Invite to Download" support, that doesn't exactly expand the capabilities of the app beyond "single function".

 

The most important thing to keep in mind is probably that the program is still being refined, so some of the early rejections are either mistakes, or apps that could be accepted possibly with only minor enhancements. There's also certain to be a bit of inconsistency in these early days, until they (and we) have more experience with it.

 

I'd encourage people with non-trivial apps which they think should meet the criteria in their current state to solicit feedback from the community via threads. We'll all learn more by seeing some of the rejections, and reasons given, and can provide feedback to the developer.

 

Also important would be if more of you with BFB-approved apps would please share some info on your apps, since it won't help if all we ever see are the rejected ones.


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
georg22
Posts: 247
Registered: ‎11-22-2011
My Device: Blackberry Playbook

Re: Got a chance to talk to BlackBerry about B4B and more

What does it mean to get beyond "simple single function"?

 

I have an app which calculates clothing sizes (different types of clothes and shoes).

Its a Cascades app and follows the UI-Guidelines. Its fast and a service (Advertising) is integrated. The reviews are great so far.

 

It was rejected because it "does not meet the criteria as outlined in user benefits" - which means "its not enough".

 

Well the "user benefits" was obvious for me, and for the reviewers too. 

 

Is the app too simple? But what should the app else do? I really dont get it. For me the app is usful as it is and i dont want to add more.

 

The criteria "user benefits" is not clear at all.

 

More worse: All of my apps are small utility apps, got great reviews - and will be rejected for sure.

 

This issue destroys my enthusiasm for BB development in total.

 

I guess BlackBerry currently accepts only apps, which will make more than 10000 with ease, so they dont need to pay the 10M...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Re: Got a chance to talk to BlackBerry about B4B and more

georg22, this is sort of the key question for many apps.

Take a look at The Dive Plan. It seems basically to provide some technical calculations, along with a Share feature using the invocation framework. Is yours around the same level of complexity?

Maybe you can share a couple of screenshots and/or a more complete description of functionality. I don't know what "calculates clothing sizes" really means...

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
thubalek
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎10-01-2012
My Device: Dev Alpha C, Playbook 32 GB

Re: Got a chance to talk to BlackBerry about B4B and more

peter,

 

no offence but really not sure whether community's opinion matters.

 

We can endlessly speculate why any app was approved and any other wasn't but it will not help us to make app that will pass B4BB. 

 

I would like to hear official opinion from BB. Does not matter how the level is set but I would like to hear it.

 

In fact I stopped to be interested int B4BB as it looks more like beauty contest. I don't see clearly setup rules.

 

I'm currently focusing on customers and sales.  On Android there is nothing like B4BB and I'm still successful among 750 000 apps so I don't rely on BB's certificates. What drives my nuts is that application review takes so horribly long time.

 

Tom

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-- My Blackberry 10 app at http://blackberry.hubalek.net
-- My Android apps at http://android.hubalek.net
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