BlackBerry® World™ contains a number of filters that will ensure users will only be able to download applications that will work on their handset. By understanding and utilizing these filters, a developer will minimize the chance that users will download incompatible software. It is also important to note that these filters only apply to BlackBerry World and the application should be designed to handle the same issues internally in case it is available via alternate distribution channels.
The first filter for every application is the Country filter. The developer should only select countries that are supported and should not select countries in which the app/service will not function. Countries are selected on a per application basis.
The File Bundle filter allows a developer to upload multiple file bundles for each application. Each file bundle can be assigned a minimum Handheld Software version and compatible devices. Multiple file bundles per application are supported.
Handheld Software Version
The third filter is the Handheld Software Version filter. The developer can use these to target different handheld software versions with independent file bundles.
Handheld software versions 4.2 and up are supported. This enables the developer to tailor their application and take advantage of the newest BlackBerry features without abandoning older devices. When specifying a target handheld version, the developer must keep in mind that only the minimum software version for a file bundle can be specified, not the maximum. This means that if a file bundle is uploaded for 4.2 and another is uploaded to 4.6 a user running Handheld Software version 4.5 will receive the 4.2 version. The same handheld software version can be selected for multiple file bundles provided they do not explicitly support the same devices. This allows the developer to have unique builds for handsets running the same Handheld Software version but with a different feature set.
Finally, the developer can specify which devices are supported by each file bundle.
Developers should be careful to only select devices that can properly run the application. Here is a subset of device specific issues that can be avoided by filtering by device:
- GPS, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi support required
- Application is targeted at a different screen resolution
- OpenGL support required
- Application performance is poor on slower devices
Detailed specifications for every BlackBerry device can be found on http://www.blackberry.com.
Some compatibility issues can not be categorized based on device:
- The application may require Bluetooth accessories
- Certain functions may be present on the device but disabled by the carrier, such as GPS
- IT Policy and Application Permissions may be set by the device's BES in a way that conflicts with the proper operation of the application.
If the application requires an accessory or feature that the user may not have and it can not be blocked via the BlackBerry World filters then the developer should explain the constraints in the application description text.