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Developer
Posts: 248
Registered: ‎11-22-2011
My Device: Blackberry Playbook
My Carrier: vodafone

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

@peter9477 OK, i will share some pictures. Should i do it in an new thread?

 

The issue for me is, that its not clear, which "level of complexity" is needed. Its not explained anywhere. We can only guess.

To be at the mercy of somebody who reviews for B4BB, while i am not understanding the rules is pretty awful.

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

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

georg22, I totally agree about that, and it's why I think it's possible for us to look more closely at some that were approved and some that were not, provided they're near that boundary. Edge cases always tell one a lot, and RIM does not have a history of responding with anything like thoroughness in these forums. The discussions here do sometimes lead to Dev Blog posts when there are questions which they're prepared to answer at length.

I'd keep it in this thread for now. I just skimmed back and this question of "single simple function" seems core to the topic of this 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!
Developer
Posts: 1,523
Registered: ‎12-18-2012
My Device: Z30, Z10 LE, DevAlpha C, PlayBook

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

My remote barcode scanner was also rejected with the following reason:

Apps that perform a simple single function such as scanning a barcode or display a graphic are not eligible for this program.

http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/20393785/

 

 


Andrey Fidrya, @zmeyc on twitter
Developer
Posts: 248
Registered: ‎11-22-2011
My Device: Blackberry Playbook
My Carrier: vodafone

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

Hi,

 

i want to provide the link to my rejected app: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/19967840/?countrycode=EN

Its a pretty simple app, i know but its useful for sure. My wife wanted this app for herself.

To integrate a service, a advertising-service is added on the top of the main screen.

 

BFBtestingteam wrote: " Specifically we found your application does not meet the criteria as outlined in user benefits and would encourage you to consider enhancements like BB10 Ui Guidelines and Integration of one BB Service" 

 

I can deal with BB10 Ui Guidelines argument. Maybe its not allowed to use at least some graphics in headers and so on. The BB Service argument is plain wrong, because i added one.

 

But what about the "user benefits" criteria. Its a mystery for me.

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

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

georg22, to me it looks like a very nice app. Attractive, well laid out. Keep in mind that I'm no expert... just another dev with a rejected BFB app so far. That said, here's my feedback.

1. Although advertising meets the "service integration" in a technical sense, it does NOT add any utility for the customer (in most, or maybe all cases). Therefore although it serves to check off that "box" in the BFB checklist, it doesn't increase the utility of the app in any way.

2. The rest of the app appears to have no BB10-specific features at all, such as some way of letting you copy/paste/share/send data. (I can't think of how that would work with this app, so I'm not able to give constructive criticism on this. I'm in the same boat with White Noise, where I'm unable to think of ways to improve the utility for the user while sticking with the purpose of the app. It's "perfect" as-is. :-) :-( )

3. Taken solely on the basis of what it appears to do from the screenshots and description, it is a very simple app. It could be replaced basically by a printed table on a small card. Is that correct? Their intention is not that all "nice" apps be BFB-certified... looking pretty and native and "swipey" is perhaps necessary but not sufficient.

I think the idea with "user benefits" in such cases is simply that although the user benefits are clear, they are very limited.

I do honestly have a hard time seeing how the user benefits are so much greater in certain other apps that are approved, however.

In my opinion, "Sizes" should not qualify in its current state, and maybe my "White Noise" should not qualify, but then I still don't grasp how "The Dive Plan" or jtegen's "Papillon Currency Converter" do qualify. I get the impression there's a real case of "splitting hairs" going on here. From what I can tell, they both perhaps a single function, and a simple one at that.

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: 248
Registered: ‎11-22-2011
My Device: Blackberry Playbook
My Carrier: vodafone

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

Thanks peter9477. Yes maybe sizes should not qualify. I can deal with it.

 

But i want to understand.

 

It was never said "service integration" except advertising because advertising is useless. But this should have been said before.

It was never said that "limited user benefits" is not enough. As long as there is user benefits. And where are the boundaries? Where are examples to understand what BB wants? Now we get a picture - but its to late for me.

I never read that specific BB10 features are necessary. BB10 Navigation, yes. But what else. 

I dont know which part of the UI-Guidlines i missed. I can only guess. I asked the bfbtestingteam - no answers.

I can not read theire thoughts. And without details i dont know what i have to change. Changing something and resubmit is a risk, because i have only 3 tries. At the moment i will not touch my app again.

 

I watched a webcast about B4BB a few months ago. The app which was shown was rediculous, but the speaker said that as long as the checklist is OK, the app will qualify. So this led me into the wrong direction. I should have worked on one "perfect" app only, instead of three smaller ones. My mistake.

 

I have two more apps, small but more complex than sizes, so there is mybe a very little chance to get one qualified. But its very frustrating to be left in the dark by BB and the B4BB -testingteam.

 

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

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

georg22, note that I wasn't implying that advertising doesn't address the "service integration" aspect. I'm merely saying that in and of itself, it does nothing to actually add "user benefits", so it becomes merely something to check off a list. To put it another way, the fact that you added advertising apparently means they would not reject the app because it was lacking "service integration", but it doesn't go towards helping them actually accept the app.

I believe some of the other types of integration, which actually add value for the user, would help address both aspects. They'd not only inherently meet the service integration requirement, but they'd also add some of this mysterious "user benefits" thing which some of our apps are lacking quite enough of.

I agree totally about the webcast thing. I'm not sure what they plan to do about the fact they basically held that out as being an app which would meet the requirements. I suspect they'll have to admit that they meant only to show that it had sufficient service integration to meet that requirement, but beyond that I can't see how a trivial lotto app like that (if it's the same one you're talking about) would provide any more user benefit than either your or my app does.

Anyway, again, many of us are in the same boat here. I honestly don't see complaining helping as much as continuing to try analyzing the situation, and seeking clarification and elaboration on the possibly evolving requirements. We're all frustrated (except those who appear to have just barely stumbled over the invisible line, and those who leapt far past it on true merit).

As for UI Guidelines, I suspect that's a bit of a red herring, like when jtegen was told his Magellan Compass app needed more "entertainment value". Yours appears to me to meet the UI Guidelines just fine, although I haven't taken the time to download it just yet. (I'm working hard to finish the BB10 version of Battery Guru.)

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!
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 176
Registered: ‎01-20-2013
My Device: Bold 9790
My Carrier: Telus

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


georg22 wrote:

i want to provide the link to my rejected app: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/19967840/?countrycode=EN

Its a pretty simple app, i know but its useful for sure. My wife wanted this app for herself.

 

BFBtestingteam wrote: " Specifically we found your application does not meet the criteria as outlined in user benefits and would encourage you to consider enhancements like BB10 Ui Guidelines and Integration of one BB Service" 

 

But what about the "user benefits" criteria. Its a mystery for me.


I downloaded your app and I have a few thoughts. First the user benefits:

 

It should have user benefits (read all the guidelines on that page) in one or more areas. If it could be all three, I think that's even better. In my book, you get full marks for "Aesthetically pleasing graphics." Your app is very attractive. I don't know if it "provides engaging interactions."

 

Does it "enhance user's productivity" or "help them complete their day"? I'm not sure. I suppose it's pretty good in this respect.

 

Does it allow them to share content? No, it doesn't, but perhaps that would make it more useful. As for usefulness, I'm not sure it's an app I would use on a regular basis. Once I know my size, I don't really need it any more. However, my size changes from time to time and I would also like to keep track of my wife/husband or kid's, etc. sizes, but the app doesn't do that. It doesn't even provide an easy way to send myself the results once I've calculated my size. I'd probably need to write it down somewhere, which seems a bit of a shame when the app could do something like this for me.

 

About the UI guidelnes, I think I have some suggestions.

 

On the main screen, the selections don't obviously look like touch targets. There is no feedback to tell the user that he is selecting the right one and they are spaced rather closely to each other. I'm wondering if the UI guidelines condone such close spacing. There is also a "Table/Calculator" button in the top right corner which seems like an unusual place to put a BlackBerry 10 button, and the user would not expect to find a button there. I'd have to think about it, but the button might go better in the Action Bar. On the other hand, I think a "segmented control" would be the usual control for this situation.

 

One more thing: "foot length" is spelled wrong everywhere. (It says "lenght")

 

Just a few thoughts on what they might have objected to.

Developer
Posts: 248
Registered: ‎11-22-2011
My Device: Blackberry Playbook
My Carrier: vodafone

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

[ Edited ]

neilwick, thanks for the review.

About the UI of my app and the guidlines, I agree with you.The typos are already corrected for the next release.

 

User benefits is the criteria which is difficult.

 

Someone made the decision that this app does not increase users productivity. Like you said "Once I know my size, I don't really need it any more".

But when you travel o lot and want to buy clothes in different countries you are faced with different units and this app caluculates the unit you dont know. 

People who work at a boutique in an international airport might use this app daily to help their customers.

Its a kind of calculator. And look at the example in the link you provided: Its a calculator too.

 

I agree this app is a borderline example. Its just an example to show that "user benefits" can not be an objective criteria.

 

I made a second app for chemists. This app does not enhance the users productivity in everyday life unless the user is chemist. Will this app pass? I am curious.

 

My point is, that B4BB should guarantee, that the user gets an app which IS indeed built for blackberry (UI, navigation, flow, fast and fluid), and not an android port or an app with an unusual navigation. 

 

But now its more a kind of contest for premium apps. So the label "Build for Blackberry " is misleading. It suggests, that only these app are built for BB, and no others. And that's not true.

 

 

When someone at BB decides that an app is not useful enough or does not provide good entertainment or is not unique in its category, then it will be hidden under a pile of android ports, even when it is a well working Cascades app exclusively built for BB and has 5 stars.

 

I think this issue is a source of frustration now and in future.

 

Developer
Posts: 121
Registered: ‎01-21-2011
My Device: Z10 LE #00055
My Carrier: Telus

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

My app "PM Assist" just got rejected for the following reasons:

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

  • Please improve the app performance for a smooth transition as it lags when try to slide the options on the side of the screen.
  • Please add more feature so it can differentiate your apps with other apps on this category.

I will not be bothering to update this app to try to meet the criteria, since it's such a niche product, but more importantly, because it is an AIR app, and I don't think I'll be able to fix the smooth transitions issue unless I re-write in Cascades.

I also know that my other app, also written in AIR, will be rejected for the same reason.

I'm also bothered by the "add more features to differentiate from other apps on this category", since I'm not sure what category they are referring to.  As far as I can find, it is the ONLY project management utility for risk and stakeholders management.  But anyway, I'm not here to complain, just to point out that it is indeed elusive to grasp exactly what they're looking for.

VENTURCON
For BB10: e-Mmanuel Bible Reader, e-Mmanuel Audio Bible, PM Assist
For PlayBook: e-Mmanuel Bible Reader, Business Analysis Toolbox