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After several complaints, BlackBerry has decided to introduce a review process to re-assess some apps that were mistakenly rejected from its US$10k Developer Commitment and Port-Athon projects. Many apps were mistakenly classified as “single function” apps, while other well constructed apps were rejected outright.
This is a key development plan for BlackBerry, as past devices have been slated for the lack of quality apps. BlackBerry currently has a little over 70 000 apps available in its BlackBerry World app store, a far cry behind Apple and Google’s stores, which are each stocked with more than 700 000 apps.
In a blog post, the company’s head of developer relations, Alex Saunders, says “I’ve looked at many of the apps, and I’ve seen that some of the apps that have been rejected have greater utility than the reviewer initially thought. So, based on the feedback from you, our developers, we’re making some changes on how we address these apps in Built for BlackBerry review.”
It would seem that some of the app reviewers have been slightly hasty in classifying certain apps in the single function category, which would make the app unsuccessful for the BlackBerry platform.
In addition to that, a new “appeals” format has been initiated for the future that will allow developers to question rejected apps for review by senior BlackBerry reviewers.
“If you feel that your app has been misunderstood or unfairly rejected… a group of senior reviewers at BlackBerry will take your feedback under consideration,” Saunders writes in the post.
To further help developers, Saunders says BlackBerry will be publishing case studies of app development and reviewing processes to further assist developers.
This seems to be a shift in tactics by the smartphone manufacturer, with more transparency and openness regarding its business plan for developers. With Apple stretching its number of apps close to a billion, and Google’s apps easily reaching its store, this could be a good move by BlackBerry.