RIM has really ramped up the content on their official channels in response to some of the discussion that has been going on lately regarding developer frustrations and what the community would like to see. It’s great to see the company so open about this stuff, and it goes a long way to showing the community that they’re listening and reassuring them that these frustrations are being dealt with. App World’s Alex K had this to say about some of your questions:
Why do you require a notarized proof of identification?
For individual developers, we have been requesting a notarized form to validate your identity. Your privacy and the protection of your identity are extremely important to us. At the same time, we realize that for many developers, this is an extra burden and in some cases can be very difficult or costly to obtain. We’ve been working with the community and our business teams to find a better way to handle this. We’ll provide an update in the coming weeks.
Will you start charging $200 for app submissions or vendor registration again?
At our BlackBerry Developer Conference last September, we announced that we were waiving the $200.00 registration fee and also waiving the submission fees. To clarify, there are currently no fees with submitting apps, and there are no limits to the number of apps you can submit –currently, there is no plan to change this. We truly believe that it’s our privilege to provide you with a world-class marketplace for your applications and themes.
What do I select for device and OS when submitting BlackBerry PlayBook tablet apps?
The two most reported issues concern OS and device selection. We’re addressing these further in upcoming BlackBerry App World Vendor Portal updates.
First, for device selection – you’ll be able to specify what platform you’re uploading the bundle for.
In the screen shot above, you can see that we’re adding a new “Platform” selector. Once you’ve made your platform selection, the list of OS versions will filter so that you only see the OS choices appropriate for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet or BlackBerry smartphones. We’ll also be changing the OS selector so that you can check off the exact OS versions that your app or theme support.
The other big change will be in device selection. With the next release of the BlackBerry App World vendor portal, we’ve removed the “All Devices” option. You’ll now be able to choose BlackBerry or PlayBook tablet first, and then the list of devices will filter to either just BlackBerry smartphones or the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.
The Signing Keys Questions
“If I’ve already submitted my app for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, do I need to sign it and resubmit?” Yes. Once you have your app signed, you will need to re-submit it as a new release of your app in BlackBerry App World.
“Does that mean my app needs to be re-approved?” No. If your app has already been approved, we will just treat it as a new release and it will go through the normal new release review process (with no approval requirement) – typically 1-2 business days.
“If my app wasn’t approved yet, and I re-submit, does that bump me back to the end of the queue?” Definitely not. When you submit a new release, it doesn’t affect your place in the queue. We literally have testers on both sides of the planet reviewing apps 24/7, so we’ll get to yours as quickly as possible.
“How does that affect the free BlackBerry PlayBook tablet offer?” There is no effect on the offer. The rules are that you need to have your app submitted before 11:59 p.m. ET on March 15, 2011. The signing of the app is required for distribution in BlackBerry App World when the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet launches. If your app isn’t signed, you may still qualify for the offer, but you will not be able to offer your app for distribution. See the full offer details.
With the upcoming regulations regarding mobile payments, how will RIM be paying vendors in India via PayPal®?
The government of India has an enacted new legislation regarding PayPal transactions in India. Effective March 1st, payments may not exceed US $500.00 per transaction. To continue providing an uninterrupted service to those affected vendors, our payment partners will be splitting any payments above US $500.00 into multiple payments. Vendors will still receive their full revenue distribution. You should also note that as of March 1, 2011, you will not be permitted to keep a balance in your PayPal account beyond 7 days of receipt. For more information related to this change, please read the PayPal India Notification.
We’ve always thought that RIM would continue the free app submissions indefinitely, or at least until their app market is at least as big as the competition. It’s also good to see that the Vendor Portal is getting some much needed work done pronto. It’s been a while since we’ve seen any major improvements and RIM needs a lot more work in this space. Apple’s developers even have an app where they can remotely track their app’s progress with clean graphs and visual elements. For all those questions with an unsure response, it’s still comforting to get a “we’re working on it” response.