BlackBerry first announced the Built for BlackBerry program along with the $10K developer commitment. The program was aimed at separating the great apps from the not-so-great and give developers who are committed to the program an opportunity for additional discovery and exposure. Several months into the program, we’re seeing some promotion from BlackBerry pushing these apps, but do developers and BlackBerry users care? It seems a little arbitrary who gets this designation and if it’s not fully accepted by developers, it probably won’t make much of a difference with users.
The above screenshot summarizes the issue nicely.
BlackBerry Travel – an incredibly useful app that doesn’t get the Built for BlackBerry designation? Perhaps BlackBerry has decided that its own apps won’t get the designation, but that seems like a very odd decision.
The Wall Street Journal – does a simple news app really need the Built for BlackBerry designation? It’s just piping content in without much else going on.
Angry Birds Space – are you telling me Angry Birds Space doesn’t deserve the Built for BlackBerry designation? That’s odd. What’s more likely is that Rovio doesn’t see the value in going through the designation process which should say something about the process.
Some of my favorite apps on BlackBerry 10 don’t seem to care about Built for BlackBerry either. Take for example Blaq, a great Twitter client that leverages some really interesting features of Cascades to create a unique User Interface. This app should definitely get the Built for BlackBerry designation without needing to apply.
Another favorite developer, Ebscer, doesn’t seem to have any apps with the Built for BlackBerry designation.
The CBC News app has the Built for BlackBerry designation and it’s incredibly simplistic. It also has a lot of 1 star reviews.
As a user, given what apps seem to have Built for BlackBerry, and what apps don’t, why would anyone really put any weight into this designation? It’s not exactly a Michelin Star.