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

RIM: How do we support the beta?

While the OS2 beta is officially a "developer only" beta, the reality is that even novice users are installing it. Despite bugs in basic features (such as StageWebView and Geolocation), the ability to run Android apps and use new OS2 features will probably cause the beta to become very widely used. All the more so, now there is no hope of a public release for a long time.

 

This situation will inevitably cause headaches for us developers. Existing apps that work fine on OS 1.07 may fail spectacularly on OS 2.0 beta. For the casual user it is not apparent if the problem is in the app or in the OS. It is to be expected that this will have serious repercussions on our app ratings, reviews and revenue. I have already received quite a few support requests for a problem that is directly attributable to the beta, some without even mentioning an OS version.

 

While I applaud the beta for developers, I'm not so happy with every Tom, **bleep** and Harry installing it, having to handle 4 months of support requests and see it wreak havoc on our ratings and sales.

 

So how do we handle this? 

 

  • Do we bite the bullet and support OS 2 beta as well as we can?
  • Do we adjust our apps to warn users on OS2?
  • Do we petition RIM to disable App World reviews for OS2 beta users?
  • Do we petition RIM to allow us to prevent users from installing on OS2 via a "maximum OS version" in App World?
  • Do we petition RIM to publish frequent updates to the beta as major bugs are fixed?
  • ...

I don't have the answers, but I'd be interested in your views. 

 

I believe that RIM needs to step up to the plate and give us some pro-active guidance and timeline for this situation.

 

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Registered: ‎04-01-2008
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Re: RIM: How do we support the beta?

I know you're asking RIM, and I am certainly not, but as an end-user, I would certainly expect that if I saw on your app description "not supported for beta OS releases" or whatever, I would be satisfied to know what to expect from the developer in terms of support.

 

It's the same thing I'm facing now with trying OS5 and OS6 apps on OS7 handheld devices. If I want to try such an app on OS7, I'm on my own. And yea maybe I'm not your average user, either.

 

Likewise, I think your suggestions to "prevent users from installing on OS2 via a "maximum OS version" in App World?" is a wise idea.

 

With the supposed launch over four months in the future, and various OS2.0 beta releases yet to come, I agree you need some attention from RIM to make it work during that period.

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Developer
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Registered: ‎05-07-2009
My Device: BlackBerry Z10, PlayBook, 9900
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Re: RIM: How do we support the beta?

Good question.

 

I too am stuck in this scenario, my Dots+Boxes game works perfectly on 1.0.7 but the sound is flakey... only works 50% of the time in the beta 2.0 OS.

 

At the moment I'm not sure if I need to tweak my code to handle the new OS or if the new beta OS is just a little buggy and I should wait and see if updates fix it.


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Developer
Posts: 6,541
Registered: ‎10-27-2010
My Device: HTC One, PlayBook, LE Z10, DE Q10
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: RIM: How do we support the beta?

Adding a "warning" to the app description does little good. We had that for over a month when our app would not upgrade in App World and we still got hammered by bad reviews that had nothing to do with our app. Another option would be that users can only download "developer releases" when in "developer mode". That would make it slightly more difficult for non-developers to get it without requiring a change to how apps are managed in App World.
Developer
Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
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Re: RIM: How do we support the beta?

Maybe they could change the App World client to prevent submitting ratings and reviews from a beta release.

In fact, it seems very sensible for them to do that. Alex K?

Peter Hansen -- (BB10 and dev-related blog posts at http://peterhansen.ca.)
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BlackBerry Development Advisor
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Re: RIM: How do we support the beta?

This is under investigation.  I'll update soon once I have more information.

Mark Sohm
BlackBerry Development Advisor

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Developer
Posts: 439
Registered: ‎10-25-2010
My Device: Not Specified

Re: RIM: How do we support the beta?

[ Edited ]

jtegen wrote:
Adding a "warning" to the app description does little good. We had that for over a month when our app would not upgrade in App World and we still got hammered by bad reviews that had nothing to do with our app


Speaking of that... I've had it up to here with support requests complaining because they can't upgrade, or download my app properly. 

 

It's ridiculous how RIM supplies buyers only the developer's contact information, with absolutely no ability to contact RIM directly, and then is constantly having backend issues, causing customers to email rants to us... 

 

The worst part if I don't even know what to tell them. You need to contact RIM about this... how? Pfff no idea...

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Re: RIM: How do we support the beta?


shawnblais wrote:

It's ridiculous how RIM supplies buyers only the developer's contact information, with absolutely no ability to contact RIM directly, and then is constantly having backend issues, causing customers to email rants to us... 

 

The worst part if I don't even know what to tell them. You need to contact RIM about this... how? Pfff no idea...


Well, first off, that is not the "support model" for AppWorld (to contact RIM).

The carriers/mobile providers are the front line AppWorld support. Any user with AppWorld issues (technical, payment, AppWorld app itself) should contact the mobile provider. What they cannot resolve, should be escalated to RIM level tech support.

 

Problems with the third party application itself... should be handled by the developer.

 

Of course, you'll always get users who don't know the difference between support for AppWorld, and support for your third party app. If you haven't lately, peruse the AppWorld forum here, and you'll find hundreds of threads asking how such and such app works. Those questions should be directed to the developer through their normal support chain.

 

And, you'll find hundreds of threads of users needing support with AppWorld, BlackBerryID, payments, etc., and those of course belong to the subscribed carrier.

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Developer
Posts: 439
Registered: ‎10-25-2010
My Device: Not Specified

Re: RIM: How do we support the beta?

[ Edited ]

Playbook's aren't sold through carrier's really, are they? All support issues having to do with AppWorld should be directed at AppWorld.

 

My issue is that there is no channel exposed for user's to do so, nor is there an guidance to us, as to what we should tell consumers when AppWorld is broken or not working as it should.

 

So at the end of the day, I get bitched at, about something that is totally beyond my control, and I don't even have anything helpful to tell them,,,

 


JSanders wrote

What they cannot resolve, should be escalated to RIM level tech support.


Which is currently impossible for the user's to do. That's my point. How do user's contact RIM technical support? They don't... because they can't. They contact the dev since that is the only information provided to them.

BlackBerry Development Advisor
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Re: RIM: How do we support the beta?

If users are having problems with App World itself, you can direct them to contact RIM using help@blackberry.com or the form here:  https://www.blackberry.com/technicalsupport/index.do?ft=generic, which is accessible from the get help page under Additional Support found here:  http://us.blackberry.com/support/blackberryappworld.jsp

Mark Sohm
BlackBerry Development Advisor

Please refrain from posting new questions in solved threads.
Problem solved? Click the Accept As Solution button.
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