IM+ for the BlackBerry PlayBook now held in BlackBerry App World limbo

im+ For BlackBerry PlayBook
By Bla1ze on 15 Jul 2011 10:03 pm EDT

If you frequent the CrackBerry BlackBerry PlayBook forums you've note doubt noticed a thread discussing the release of IM+ for the BlackBerry PlayBook rather, the lack of release. SHAPE services, the company behind many popular BlackBerry Apps and a BlackBerry Alliance member has taken up issue with RIM and their App World approval practices. And they have some pretty valid reasons for doing so. We've received the following email from SHAPE services explaining the issue:

On May 19th the first submission of IM+ for Playbook was sent to RIM. We've got auto response from RIM  acknowledging the submission of a new release.

Since we haven't heard from RIM back and the developer was working on improving the app, on June 2nd we have submitted an update and got second auto response from RIM. We have never heard from RIM about the status of IM+ for Playbook.

As our Alliance Manager Maria mentioned in her Google+ post there were numerous attempts from our team to reach people from App World.  After there has been some discussion on CrackBerry forums and other BlackBerry related websites, some of guys have managed to get through to RIM and received a response from BlackBerry representative denying the submission.

Now it's obvious for us that RIM doesn't want IM+ for Playbook to exist. May be they see it as a threat to their BBM. This would be very anti-competitive behavior. Or is it just a chaos in RIM house? Anyway at the moment our development for Playbook is on hold and IM+ for PlayBook developer is temporary switched to IM+ for Android

Needless to say, that's not the information you want to be hearing from any BlackBerry developers especially when they are working on apps for the BlackBerry PlayBook -- a platform that needs new quality apps and needs them as soon as possible. Many folks in the forums have asked why we waited so long to post this, it's clearly an app that everyone is waiting for and if for some reason it is being held back on purpose then it should be known. Fact is, we were hoping we wouldn't have to considering the vocal stance SHAPE services took on the matter, RIM should have addressed the issue before it ever made it to our inboxes and on our forums but they haven't.

As it stands right now, we've requested an update from RIM regarding the situation and what plans they have to address it but no info as of yet has been relayed. Hopefully, we'll hear from SHAPE services noting the availability of IM+ for the PlayBook before we hear from RIM.

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Reader comments

IM+ for the BlackBerry PlayBook now held in BlackBerry App World limbo


Apple blocks stuff all the time from iTunes, so I say to this BFD. I wouldn't spend 19.95 for this product and I doubt even half of the bitching assholes who post below would pay it either.

I would like to state here and now that I will pay 19.95 for this (or whatever the equivalent is in GBP). I am already an extensive user of IM+ Pro on my 9780 and would like to use it on my Playbook too. And Kindle while we are at it.

RIM hasn't approved either becuase it violates something like aMail does or it doesn't want compeition for a similar service it might be developing or has developed.

That's great RIM. But: I'm a blackberry user of three years now. and i dont care rim. i dont care if youre afraid your profit will tumble because of some small application on a platform that already needs huge improvements. i dont buy these devices because i want you to survive. i buy them to use them. your product should be your product. your product should not be your return to investors. GAHHHHHH.

RIM has a million things that it is working on. People need to be paitent. When RIM is ready, they will respond.
They don't want to allow for an app that is "half baked". Then the media an analysts will cry, "Oh boo hoo ... look ... RIM is still allowing for half baked products and apps. Boo hoo."

You get the picture?
People must learn to respect RIM, and be paitent.
Everyone wants new phones .... well that is their focus .... NEW PHONES.

1. RIM having a "million things" they are working on is their problem as evident by ignoring Shapes.
2. I'm LMFAO at your "half baked" comment on apps. Half baked apps go with the half baked tablet.
3. Nobody is respecting RIM. PERIOD.
4. This is the dumbest comment I've seen lately. Everyone wants new phones, so that gives them the right to ignore their developers? Did you know that two different teams/departments handle app submission and building new phones...

With the DUMB, CLUELESS, and DENIAL comments you just made, you could run for CEO of RIM.

I don't use IM+, but if this is true... SHAME ON YOU RIM. How could you hold back apps that are useful while letting junk onto AppWorld. Very disappointing.

It's ABSOLUTELY about anti-competition. Read what I quoted in my post here regarding aMail, the same applies to IM+:

For avoidance of any doubt, unless You obtain written authorization from RIM executed by an officer of RIM, You
acknowledge that the License (as defined below) does not include and You are not licensed to develop, market, rent, distribute,
transfer, license, sublicense, or furnish any software applications which modify, delete, duplicate or replace all or any material part of: (i) the email functionality or features of all or any portion of the BlackBerry Solution except where such applications are developed for and distributed solely in connection with RIM Handheld Products in accordance with this License; (ii) the
functionality or features of all or any portion of a Synchronization Server or Synchronization Agent which has been incorporated
by RIM into any portion of a BlackBerry Solution; or (iii) the functionality or features of all or any portion of any Distillers
which have been incorporated by RIM into the Attachment Service.

There is a reason why they are looking this over.
They are being cautious in what they are doing. That is why they are a well respected company by governments and law enforcement agencies.

Any BES environment can deny the installation of an app that doesn't meet their policies so this is totally a ridiculous statement. This more like business as usual from a company that didn't get its wake up call.

hmmm interesting thread you got here. I dont question why i own a playbook. I question the fact that before they launched it on april 19th. why did they show skype,msn messenger and other apps that arent there now. i know rim is going through alot of pressure from the outside world on new phones,apps and stuff. Maybe its time RIM expands and hire some new people on contracts to build new apps instead of give us BS information on lies... RIM needs to stop lying and face facts.Why would they launch OS7 then launch QNX. They got 6months to prove to the world about CO-CEO...they need to modernize there internal structure. Cause in 8months... when they want to launch QNX it may be too late. They need to get some new people @ RIM and get rid of the rodents in there organization who keep leaking information about upcoming devices.Apples success is due to there information being kept private and they only talk about it when it is ready to release.
really wish rim gets there stuff together and give up PIM and something enhanced to the video chat app

RIM stated to me in an email posted in the linked forum that they have received no IM applications that support the PB..Shape says they sent it in on May 19th and followed it up with an update sometime later.

With that being said it's RIMs words against the Devs..

Who do you trust?

If your a Dev and have submitted an IM application and it has not shown up I am sure the CB folks would love to know about it. (except for email clients which making one is a no no per RIM)


Are you serious right now? Why would a highly reputable developer with applications for the blackberry phone OS go through all this trouble and pretend that they submitted an app when they had not? That makes absolutely no sense and its pathetic you would even bring that up as an option. What purpose would that serve the developer. They've already show they submitted the app with proof.

I just put the question out there. After talking with
someone from Shape via email I do think they did submit
the program and then even submitted an update to it.

What concerns me the most is RIM is not even responding to
Shapes inquires about it. This I think is call stone walling.

While it is forbidden to produce an email client I see nothing that prohibits them from producing an IM app.

If RIM does not respond it is because they are hiding something. If it was an honest mistake they need to say so and move on.

Again, someone needs to go to Waterloo and take that gun away from Mike and Jim.
You know, the one they keep shooting themselves in the foot with.

RIMS favorite saying right now is "You need to understand".
This shows they are not listening to people and that we should listen to them and bow to there wisdom. They same wisdom that has seen their stock tank, investors threaten to pull out or hold a vote to remove them as co-ceo's.

RIM has so many things going for it and hope they can pull their head out of whatever they have it stuck up right now.

There is life for RIM without Mike and Jim....

and so it goes...


I think you're right. Somewhere along the way there must be a miscommunication. However, it's no excuse for a big company like RIM not to respond back with a reason why an app isn't approve versus with leaving them hanging.

Developers spends lots of man hours and money to create these apps and if I don't get a response back, I would be piss. At lease tell them the app is violating patents laws or is inappropriate.

Apple gives their developers a reason why they pull an app off the iTunes store. If the app has porn or it's too violent or gory then that's a legitimate reason to pull it off but common a social media app doesn't offend anyone.

I hope RIM sees this or there will be more endless bad publicity for them this year. This is just not their year. Sigh.

Thanks Bla1ze!
It's one thing to delay app approvals, it's a whole another ball game to not respond to developers and users. It's shows just how arrogant and ignorant they are. RIM better respond to this post and provide an update on native email.

Wow... this is sad.. I was so ready with my Paypal to checkout this app on my playbook :3
Damn :<

Been on the phones in its different incarnations forever. Pricey on the Pro version but excellent. When they submitted it for PB in May, I thought it would have been a done deal - but no - we have this fiasco. We are the consumers who buy the Apps that, in fact, make your phone come alive. Shouldn't we be entitled to some explanation at least?

I wonder if the guys who are getting submissions at RIM are the ones to blame for the weak app selections? That department could be RIM's worst enemy!

Yes! all departments please accelerate your hole digging duties.

I hope they realize that climbing out of the hole is only possible if its not too deep.

The 2 CEO's at RIM are doing everything possible to kill off the company's chances. A developer made a very nice native email app called amail for the playbook and it's still in limbo too. I am becoming a fed up fan of RIM. How is RIM to motivate developers to write apps for their app starved platforms with this approach?

Maybe the app is still being tested.
Or maybe it had a few bugs that are being addressed by inside RIM staff.
Or maybe the lawyers are giving it the 'once over' to ensure that no patient laws were infringed upon.

There is a reason for everything.
When RIM is ready .... it will explain.
But for now, go play ... and be nice.

RIMpire strikes back !

Hey Shape,

Bag rim and their noapp world, set up your site to download OTA to playbook and we will side load it. Rim can kiss my ass. Holding up your app which would be killer for their bullshit games wanting to control the ecosystem. Well, their control is probably the reason the developers have shied away. And of course this news, wont sit well with current or future developers.

Screw RIM. Why doesn't someone set up a website to compete with App World where developers could sell their bar files and we could sideload them. It sure wouldn't take much to improve not only on the content but the whole shopping experience.

Well done for writing this CrackBerry. I know you need to balance your articles so not to upset RIM but this is healthy for RIM's future.

I've notice many things anti RIM go missing from your Blogs which is a little annoying, at least the forums keep it real.

dear rim. i am just a average joe, everyday consumer that has purchased and supported your products since the aol messenger pager which i still have by the way. i know your bread and butter is in enterprise and the business sector, but much like nextel early on, the consumer market could not be ignored and brought them to the top of there niche when they finally embraced the consumer. now by their stagnation, they cannot even be given away mainly because CONSUMERS could careless for them now. when you forget about the ones that allowed you to reach your pinnacle, they too will forget about you and the snowball effect will only worsen. i bought a playbook on the first day. a bold, a tour a curve a 7 series all in the first day. we the consumer have shown so much loyalty to you and your company. developers have shown you the same loyalty, yet still you shun us both, the buyer who will draw developers and the developers who will draw the buyers. maybe its time for you to stop. just stop everything and ask not your workers, not your shareholders, not your execs, but the only people that can truly save this sinking s.s. rim ship, what do we want. and not just ask but to ask and actually listen, then maybe, just maybe you could find your path to redemption and salvage what ever respect there is left for you in your industry. you have become not the older brother that your siblings respect and want to be like, but are quickly becoming the black sheep that everyone in the family tells you to steer clear of because you cannot do any good and will only bring you down with them. im sure that we here are all pulling for you, but we all fear that we are falling on deaf ears and it may just be time to grow up and move on.

RIM ........ don't listen to all the negative people.
I know that you have a lot on your plate.
Just do a good job with your products.
I will keep buying them, and will continue to sleep with my BB every night.

whining and negative criticism should not be should be welcomed.

You are not doing RIM any favors by telling them they are doing a good job. That only encourages complacency.

We obviously care about blackberrys that's why we whine. If we didn't care to whine, there would only be post of folks like you telling RIM to keep up the good work.

The re-org is obviously causing confusion or chaos at RIM. It's a sad state of affairs when the perception is RIM alienating established developers or limiting competition of quality apps.

Just because it doesn't make it to app world, doesn't mean they can distribute their application through some other "app store". What's the big deal?

There is no comment here saying this (bulls*it nonsense) here yet:

The Playbook has a fully capable, desktop-like browser!!! NOBODY needs APPS!
There is and many others!


(*sarcasm rules*)

IM+ already runs on BB phones with the security and with BIS and BES and the running on playbook is nothing special. IM plus is already running, its not like they just made the app yesterday....

this company has lost the plot.
if we dont get PIM on playbook this summer i will sell my playbook and torch.
tired waiting around

What gets me is this is an Alliance member. It takes quite a bit to be one, and a lot of dedication to BlackBerry. If I were an Alliance member, I would try to work it out with RIM first, which it sounds like Shape Services did try to do. Hopefully RIM will see the publicity this is getting and either respond quickly, or put some extra effort into clearing IM+ through the approval process.

I would like to see RIM at least respond to something like this. Their communication with the use community is atrocious!

RIM has no problem releasing similar apps on the BlackBerry so clearly any refusal to process is not anti-competitiveness.

RIM's primary concern is always legal. As with many major corporations they have literally dozens of legal disputes at any time and all of them cost a fortune.

If this company is an alliance partner then they have direct access to development consultants at RIM, who will no doubt have explained any issues.

Sounds to me as though this company might be looking to generate buzz for their products. Seems to be working anyway. Hope Crackberry are charging these guys enough for all this publicity :-)

i swear, im going on vacation this august if i comeback without new bold and native email... apps for playbook and some good apps like im , skype im shifting to ios.

I came across this article. Look at the patent described in the article. This app would appear to violate that patent. It may be that RIM (i.e. legal) has taken the position that they will not pull the app from the App World store for the phones because the app was up before they received the notice, so they will leave it up to the developer to pull it, but they will not approve the app going forward. Not sure, just a thought.

My theory goes like this. IM+ utilized the bridge, therefore uses "free" data. AT&T have inserted themselves into the approval process (the same way they did with Skype on iOS) and have the app in limbo for " unapproved data usage". I doubt it'll be the last time it happens either, as long as AT&T are viewed as the customer rather than us being viewed as the customer.

Just a theory.

Like Apple, the nature of app distribution is proprietary due to the ownership the facility. This means that in order to sell your wares through these vendor funded eco-systems, you need to follow the rules. While I've not personally looked at the terms and conditions, one can expect to see terms to ensure that, in this case RIM, is not materially harmed by any submission and therefore reserves the right to deny access any apps that do.

RIM has done this in the past, I remember an IM app that looked very much like BBM which was unceremoniously removed from RIM's apps catalog. I have yet to hear of any legal action due to this aggressive action which might mean RIM had some justification.

It comes right down to, if you want to use a vendors infrastructure to sell your products, then you need to follow the vendor's rules. Alternatively, you can choose to distribute the app independently and not use this potentially restrictive method for distribution.

I have this app for Palm, Windows Mobile, and BlackBerry and find it to be junk. In fact, I no longer use it. I found on the Torch that having all the IM's from the different services to use less memory than IM+, and far more stable. I know that Shape has been around for some time, but out of all my mobile apps this one is one of the worst; so it does not surprise me in the bit.

I just looked at Maria's Twitter page (@FairyMary), and she said that RIM proposed a conference call to occur later today to discuss the submission status (as of four hours ago from the time of this post).

Nice to see that the power of Crackberry shines on through.

I believe most of the PB owners here want this tablet to thrive and the more good quality apps available the better..