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Contributor
jkurtw
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎01-06-2013
My Device: BB10 simulator
My Carrier: Verizon
Accepted Solution

Rejected for being -too simple- B4BB

[ Edited ]

I found out about the BB 10k commitment a week before the App World submission deadline of Jan 11th. I put in 27 hours that week outside of work and time with family to get up to speed on the SDK and crank out an app that clearly meets all the criteria on the Developer Checklist.

 

While I will readily admit it is not a technical feat by any means, Animated Emoticons provides "Genuine entertainment value" and uses the Invocation Framework to enable sending a variety of images/emoticons/etc. to friends using any app that supports png MIME types.

 

This is a direct port of my 5 star app on webOS. If it has 5 stars, people must like it and believe that it provides genuine entertainment value. However, I just received the Built for BlackBerry rejection email stating:

 

·         Apps that perform a simple single function such as play a noise or display a graphic are not eligible for this program.

 

 

I pulled up the terms and conditions of B4BB and this is pulled from the User Benefits section:

  1. User Benefits - One of RIM’s goals of the Program is to make sure that BFB Apps provide users with obvious benefits in one or more of the following areas: genuine entertainment value; enhanced productivity and enriched communication. The Testing Team will look for, where appropriate, the implementation of functionality like the invocation framework or BBMTM. Apps that perform a simple single function such as play a noise or display a graphic are not eligible for this program. Applications must provide functionality that is considered useful to the end user, as determined by the Testing Team. 

 


As you can see, this clause comes from the same section that states the app should provide "genuine entertainment value".

 

I feel like I was tricked into diving into this program only to be subjectively rejected because the review did not feel like the app was going to show off the BlackBerry platform.

 

In my humble opinion, it is stretching it to apply the examples cited of "Apps that perform a simple single function such as play a noise or display a graphic" to an app that is providing a set of organized content that can be browsed, selected and shared via the Invocation Framework.

 

Hopefully, there will be enough users on this platform to make my crank week worth it with out RIM offsetting the risk via the $10k commitment.  

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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: Rejected for being -too simple- B4BB

[ Edited ]

It is tough to determine the threshold. I know that apps that might display the photos folder in a unique way are not being approved  unless they do more then display a photo and share it with BBM. Can you think of additional features you can add to make it more useful to end users. Emoticons are already available in BBM (and other chat apps).  

 

From what I can tell from the screen shots, is that you have a list of emoticons.  From what I have heard from RIM and discussions over the phone about this (for my apps that ll got initially rejected), is that the apps have to show off the best features of the device and display content in a useful way.  I am not certain if a list of images rises to that level.

 

Dont get me wrong.  I like you're app, I just personally think you many need to provided more features before re-submitting.  For example, make it an invocable target so it can be embedded in other apps.

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Contributor
jkurtw
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎01-06-2013
My Device: BB10 simulator
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: Rejected for being -too simple- B4BB

Appreciate the reponse.

 

It just seems like there is a very subjective element to approval process that was not articulated in the guidelines. RIM already has the requirement that you make at least $1k on your app in the first year. That alone should be enough to remove silly, unvaluable apps from the runnings.

 

There should have been some high level statement about the types of apps that would be considered. They provided a checklist that I can check off... 

 

Anyway, it got me to build the app. If there are users, I will make some coin.

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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: Rejected for being -too simple- B4BB

[ Edited ]

Yes, and the rules say Android apps are not going to get approved, but a lot got submitted anyway. I think a lot of developers said "why not" and now the whole system is backed up.

I said this in another thread, but it will be subjective. For example, an app that is entertaining in one culture may not be in another. We know that the BFB testers appear to be non-North American (not a bad thing), just subjective norms are different around the world.

It is difficult to separate "I put a lot of work into an app and it is the best work I have done" vs. "is there a market for this app".

Effort != Market Success

BTW, I did not mean you with your app, just a general comment from a lot of posts in this forum.

If you can improve your app with new features or create another app knowing more about BFB, you can always re-submit or newly submit again.

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Contributor
jkurtw
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎01-06-2013
My Device: BB10 simulator
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: Rejected for being -too simple- B4BB

Yeah, no offense taken. I would say my app is low effort, high market success anyway :-)

I think I'll just wait and see how much traction BB10 gets before I put in anymore effort.
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Developer
helex
Posts: 274
Registered: ‎02-14-2012
My Device: Nokia N950 / BB Playbook
My Carrier: -

Re: Rejected for being -too simple- B4BB

I need to go to bed and I guess I posted already a little bit too much about this topic. So I won't say anything about BFB, the guidelines and how strict the rules are. The most of us have spent every free minute the past 6 months developing for BB. My girlfriend just can't hear it anymore. :smileywink:

 

But one small point I have to throw into this thread:

 

At the screenshot of your App I see a lot of smileys I had at my msn client ages ago. I remember Microsoft sold those at their store. May I ask, are you the creator of those smileys, are they somehow licensed or are they free available somehow?

 

Sorry for oftopic. I'm just interested. :smileyhappy: If you're the creator my deep respect. I loved this style at my youthful days! :smileywink:

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Contributor
jkurtw
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎01-06-2013
My Device: BB10 simulator
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: Rejected for being -too simple- B4BB

[ Edited ]

No I can't take credit for those :-) They are the same ones you find in many iOS and Android apps from people searching the web for public domain emoticons. Not sure where I found them anymore since it was during my webOS dev days a few years back.

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

Re: Rejected for being -too simple- B4BB

Remember that it's not RIM who is evaluating your app - it's an (apparently) independant agency. Also, it's early days for the BFB program where apps are concerned. I'm sure the rules/criteria will be tweaked along the way.

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

Re: Rejected for being -too simple- B4BB

Maybe they couldn't figure to how to get it to do anything beyond showing some emoticons on the screen. It's not obvious from your screen shots how the emoticons might end up in a message.

I don't think there's any point trying to prove that your app is "entertaining." That would apply for to games. What you want to prove is that the app provides a useful function which enhances communication or productivity in my opinion. If I were you, I would add a screen shot showing how a user would indicate a target for an emoticon, at least for the sake of user sales.

It might not be too late to revise the app and resubmit for B4BB testing and still qualify for the 10K commitment, since the deadline for that was extended.
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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: Rejected for being -too simple- B4BB

At one time, RIM said there will be an invocation registery for developers to post their apps as targets and how to invocate them.  RIM still needs to define and allow 3rd parties to define categories where apps then can fulfill the implementation of these interfaces.  We already have

  • share text
  • share images
  • open browsers
  • open files
  • bbm
  • calculator
  • maps
  • pim

But other categories that can have a central way to define can be

  • embed/link image
  • embed/link text
  • embed/link voice
  • etc

That would open up apps to be tagets for things like emoticons, clipboard text, clipart that can be quickly invoked to be used in an app.

 

<begin:rant>

I will voice this once again, but there really should be an invocation forum for these things to be discussed.  Right now, most of the invocation is being defined in Cascades which has nothing to do with invocation.  Invocation should be platfrom neutral and the schemas are hard to fine, follow a non-standard format (PPS v JSON or other) and trying to get information details on core app schemas seems to be nearly impossible to obtain.  For the invocation schemas to be truely open, RIM needs to allow the outside of RIM to contribute to these categories and definitions.

 

All core apps that can be invoke should publish there XML invocation registration.

 

For invocation to be fully adopted and successful, it needs to be transparent to the developer community and proposed changes should be published to allow a period of time for comment and allow developers to prepare for changes to occur.  Right now, it seems to be, we (RIM) will do something, not ask anyone, not tell anyone and then throw it over the wall after it has been released.

 

It also seems that core apps invocation do not share with each other so commonality can occur.  Likewise, even within an app, there does not appear to be consistency.  For example, look at the start date name/value pairs for calendar.  A transparent exchange of these schemas would elimiate some of these issues.  And there was no reason this was not done months ago.

 

Open standards increased adoption rate of those standards.

 

<done:rant>

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