02-21-2013 10:44 AM
Staff UI Prototyper (read: full-time hacker)
02-21-2013 03:51 PM
First off, just because your app didn't get approved and mine did and you think its simple is not my fault. You think I didn't work on my app just as hard as you did yours? I met all the criteria too. Also not sure if you know what a Dive Planner does but there's a reason mine is $3.99 and look around on other app stores, they are similarly priced (most are more). Planning a dive isn't like planning a trip to the store. There are a lot of variables/outcomes that are calculated. It would probably surprise you how much code is in that app. So if you just think its "simple" by looking at screenshots you should keep your ignorance to yourself. Maybe I got a nicer reviewer than you but saying my app doesn't belong this isn't very nice.
Also, don't know if this helped my case but the reason I made the app was because there hasn't (and still isn't) a dive planning app in BlackBerry World (BBOS included). And if you look around other stores, they have many. So it is something that has a demand that hasn't been fulfilled by an app for BB for years.
Next, I never planned on what you see on BBW to be the final version of "The Dive Plan" but I felt version 1 met all the qualifications of BFB so I applied. Again not my fault it got approved and your "more complex/sophisticated" app didn't. I am working on the "version 2" that maybe won't be so "simple" so you guys won't feel so bad about it having BFB certification.
Finally, I do agree with suggestions of marking native apps or Cascades apps with some filter or tag would be nice. That would at least make apps that don't get BFB or don't even apply but are still "probably better than non native apps" get some recognition in the store. Obviously people from BB are reading this so hope to see that added in some way.
P.S. I know this has no bearing on if my app should get BFB but I like to think I do a lot for the community but now I read on the forums that one of my apps is getting trashed by "the community" makes me not really want to help you guys very much right now.
02-21-2013 04:02 PM
For what it's worth, I'm a diver, and I was delighted to see your app. It's a nice compromise between dive tables, and shelling out $400 for a dive computer. Well done!
02-21-2013 04:03 PM
Brian, nobody said your app doesn't deserve BFBB. Nobody said you didn't work as hard on your app as others did. Nobody said your app costs too much money. Also, nobody said it was YOUR FAULT that other people's apps including mine did not get approved.
I have no idea where you got the feeling that your app is 'being trashed'. I certainly did not. I don't engage in trashing anybody else's hard work.
The only point I and others made is that the whole 'app is simple' rule is being applied seemingly random and in a very inconsistent wat. In that context your app was mentioned. It's a single-purpose app for a niche market. Exactly like my calculator, for example.
The fact that I wonder why your app got approved while mine didn't does not in any way indicate that I disrespect your app or the effort you put in it. I can't speak for everyone else but I'm 99% sure nobody else disrespected your effort either.
Just wanted to put that out there. It's the BFB project that's being criticized here, not your or anyone else's app.
Staff UI Prototyper (read: full-time hacker)
02-21-2013 04:09 PM
I don't think anyone is intentionally trashing your app, IMO it was just used as example while we are trying to understand the pattern of BFB approval. It is a nice, quality and unique app, but you will agree that it is a niche-app, i.e. it will be used only by limited number of users (divers). So the question raised here is "do other niche-apps (like "WhiteNoise" or "PRN Calculator") have a chance"?
Another example: in the native BB10 calculator there are two additional modes: Tip Calculator and Unit Converter. Still there are third-party apps of that kind approved for BFB. So again the question "do apps that duplicate the core BB10 functionality have a chance to get BFB if they improve the functionality"?
02-21-2013 04:13 PM
Brian, I think probably your anger is directed at me, or should be at me because I'm the only one, or the first one, who identified by name what I consider to be the simpler BFB apps.
I apologize for giving offence, since I don't mean to suggest anyone who got approved didn't deserve it under the terms of the program as they're currently being interpreted. I did hesitate before mentioning any, but I wasn't seeing the discussion helped along by being so polite that nobody dared name any apps they believed were similar to their own in scope/complexity.
For the record, my feelings about White Noise are exactly what you describe about your app. It's a seriously non-trivial thing to write an app that does what it does, yet still looks and feels as simple as it does to the user. In fact, as far as I'm aware there are NO apps on any other platform (except the PlayBook of course) which do the same thing. Apps that look similar on the face of it take people about ten minutes to write and submit for portathons (using canned noises, like a soundboard), but those same people would struggle to write this one with possibly weeks of work.
You're quite right that I don't understand dive planning, but I'm quite willing to give it the benefit of the doubt that it's doing more than some simple canned equations. I quite like the look of the app, it's definitely got style to it, looks like a BFB app, and I'll take the word of anyone who knows anything about diving that it's a useful app. (In fact, when I talked to the BFB people at Jam Europe they explained to me that it was.)
For the record, I consider my own apps submitted so far for BFB to be at the bottom end of simplicity, and there are at least 3-4 others that I played with at the BFB booth which seemed similarly simple. Simple isn't a bad thing... in fact, that's what the whole debate is about here. Not that simple apps shouldn't be approved, but that they should be, only more consistently than they have been.
Anyway, I honestly didn't think I was "trashing" your app, and again for the record I think it's nice, looks simple (which a good design should), and I trust that it's as useful to a diver as mine is to someone who sleeps lightly or has tinnitus.
And without intending to trash anyone else's app either... John's currency converter also looks simple to me, as it appears mainly to let you enter a value, and it retrieves the latest exchange rates from the web and presents the equivalent value in various currencies. The Photo Booth app appears to take four images and stick them together in a composite image. These and a few others are fairly simple apps, I think, even in their developers own views. They certainly didn't take only a few hours to write, mind you, and each of them has hidden complexity that isn't apparent to any of us. All are useful to the right audience.
Anyway, I don't know if I repaired anything with that. Either way, please accept my apologies for any offence given by past posts, or this one.
02-21-2013 04:51 PM
I'm still waiting to get my app even looked at for initial approvals let alone BFBB! I have been waiting for almost 2 months!
02-21-2013 07:14 PM
I'm not mad, I'm just chiming in since I was brought up in the conversation (I know it is sometimes hard to express proper tone through text).
I would also like to clarify that there is a difference between "single function" and "niche". Yes The Dive Plan is niche, but it is definitely not a single function. Each of the 4 tabs could easily be its own app and the tables are worked out in both feet and meters. So even though it only appeals to one audience it performs many functions for that audience. Then on top of that I like to think I further enhanced it with something like app share capabilities (not just added them to get a check on the list). Sharing your plan is actually very important in diving because you always dive with a buddy so you would obviously want to share the plan with your buddy prior to the dive. Then attention to detail like the help menus, proper feedback (saying Dive exceeds maximum time rather than error 101), ease of use, etc.
So for any apps claiming that you have are niche and a single function (by design) app, it probably is much harder to get BFB as there are two things going against you. I am not aware of exactly what any of the apps that have been denied do, just saying if that's the case.
And again, I'll express my vote for another tier of approval to help show good apps, but not quite whatever it takes to be BFB, from the junk.
02-21-2013 07:41 PM
'Single Function' is a **bleep**ty term anyway. It's highly ambiguous.
You can say: "My calculator can ONLY calculate things so it's single function. It can't do any dive planning!".
You can say: "My dive planner can ONLY do dive planning so it's single function. It can't calculate a square root!"
In a way all apps are 'single function' and all apps are NOT 'single function' as soon as it can perform more than one operation.
If they want to 'ban' 'single function' apps they'll have to first better define what that means.
Staff UI Prototyper (read: full-time hacker)
02-21-2013 08:25 PM