My Plea To BlackBerry Developers And RIM Regarding Paid App Registration Codes

By Bla1ze on 10 May 2010 04:14 pm EDT
My Plea To BlackBerry Developers And RIM Regarding Paid App Registration Codes

One thing that has always bothered me about the BlackBerry platform is how it handles registration of paid applications. As it stands now, when you purchase and download an application most developers require your PIN, then issue you a registration code which allows your paid application to work. The problem that exists with this structure is easily noticed when you partake in frequent OS upgrades. Any BlackBerry user who uses a lot of paid apps will tell you, re-registering your applications after a OS install can be a pain in the butt. Ever since the last 9700 OS leak, my apps have remained unregistered simply based on the hassle I have to go through inputting the registration codes.

Some developers have gone and created work arounds which automatically register your apps through the internet upon reloading an OS. This is a great practice. However, not all developers have taken on this task. Pretty much every other platform has a way of automatically registering paid applications when device changes occur. Heck, even jailbroken iPhones keep track of your paid applications. Yet, Research In Motion have yet to consider this an issue or offer some method of doing so. Aside from BlackBerry App World, you are stuck re-entering registration codes for applications and we all certainly do not use BlackBerry App World.

Sure, you could create an excel sheet. Sure, you could copy and paste them all into memopad but why should you have to? Walk with me here and think about this. An onboard database that is made available to developers through an API which allows them to write registration code data that remains untouched after an OS upgrade. Then upon reboot your applications automatically re-register themselves. Wouldn't that be great? So I leave this semi rant here to collect your thoughts on the matter and as a plea to RIM and developers to come up with an alternative method to manually inputting long registration codes. Also, if you are a developer and have reasons as to why this is NOT a good idea, please share those as well.

Reader comments

My Plea To BlackBerry Developers And RIM Regarding Paid App Registration Codes


I do too but think it should be implemented differently. I think that RIM should build into the code a section called key storage. This will always be preserved by the device and reloaded. It could then allow developers to link their registration to this section so that its preserved, so if you buy and app like it but your phone is running slow you can delete the app and download it again at anytime you want (especially considering most trials are just time based version of the real app) without having to write the key down as it will still be saved in a Key storage api. BUT the thing is this keystorage api would have to be hardlocked into the device + md5 hash encrypted and more so that no one could use this to create a keygen.

Having to upgrade is a huge Pain. What is even worse is when you get a device replacement and you have to go back to the company to unregistered your previous device and have them cut you out another registration code.

While most of the companies where really quick about getting back to me it was a HUGE hassle having to get in touch with each company.


Having to upgrade is a huge Pain. What is even worse is when you get a device replacement and you have to go back to the company to unregistered your previous device and have them cut you out another registration code.

While most of the companies where really quick about getting back to me it was a HUGE hassle having to get in touch with each company.


...I got an idea!!!

stop upgrading your os every 5mins. What on earth is so exciting about an OS leak? Does it prevent global warming, stop violence, hunger?

haha! Just wondering. I mean really, if it's that much of a pain, why install every leak that leaks. lmao!

...if you make it a problem. Y'all are just inconvenienced by the whole process, so you are complaining. That's what I see.

I kind of agree with jx. Your average BlackBerry user probably doesn't switch OSes or installs as many apps as your average CrackBerry forum-goer. Some of the devs have chimed in here that it's a developer issue; if anywhere, that's where most of the finger-pointing should go.

It's not just about upgrading to every leaked OS that you can find. I recently replaced my Bold 9000 (headphone jack was broken). Now my PIN has changed and it's a hassle to get a new PIN. In our IT group we have about a half dozen applications 5 of us use and it's a royal pain to keep up with all the reg codes and PIN associations.

Have you ever tried to contact some of these developers about issues with multiple devices regarding reg codes and PINs?

Indeed QL does! Pretty convenient if developers would adopt this as getting RIM to do it would seem to be something that is not as needed by everyone.

Same here I'm completely with you on that one Bla1ze. Everytime I see a new leaked OS for the 9700 it is bitter sweet. I eager to discover new features but reluctant because of all the hassle of registering all my apps again.

This post is gonna get a LOT of interest!! I certainly hope this is addressed soon, as I feel your pain with re-activating all my apps!!

Great post ;)

This is a no-brainer. RIM really has continued to drop the ball on this issue. A few developers have pioneered some work arounds, but they shouldn't even have to!

In any case, whether official through RIM or just as a developer collective, I hope that backing up settings to the SD card becomes a standardized practice.

The upside is that I have re-registered and set up all of my apps so many times that it is impressive to watch me set up my phone after an OS install. I'm like a machine. A really dorky, pathetic machine who prides himself on how fast he can install/register/setup apps.

Take that, dad.

I feel the same, I have not even installed the latest 9700 update because I am tired of going through and registering my apps that I purchased.

I'm running OS .607 on my 9550 don't really like it, I would like to go back to .517 but don't want to re-register all my apps again. What a pain!!

There is another way developers can keep an app registered without an entire webservice if you use the Desktop Manager to upgrade your device. In our apps, such as QuickPull, we save the registration code during the Desktop Manager's automatic backup process. Then, once the OS is loaded, the backup is automatically restored, and the app just needs to check it and re-register the app.

The reason reg codes are lost usually is because apps use the PersistentStore feature of BlackBerry devices. This data survives battery pulls, but not OS upgrades. I doubt RIM would ever changes this because they themselves use the PersistentStore, and the Calendar app on build 607 stores some data there, and then you upgrade to build 710, that old data may not be in a valid construct anymore. It's much easier to just clear it all out on an upgrade than try to worry about it. The same goes with third party apps for that matter.

I believe your suggestion is the best way since syncable items are backed up during an OS upgrade (not sure about OTA upgrades) but I have yet to get around to looking at it.

Looked over-engineered based on the samples.

As a developer I can tell you that saving the data to the desktop manager during an upgrade can be implemented, and there is no reason not to save the registration code there, and then auto-reregister upon reboot.

Developers should check out net.rim.device.api.synchronization.SyncItem and use it along with your net.rim.device.api.system.PersistentObject and net.rim.device.api.system.PersistentStore classes. It is actually rather easy to use.

This is how both Pixelated Plus and 10,000 Farkle are able to maintain your high scores and achievements through OS upgrades...

Developers send me a message so I can get you over to one of the sites I know that's pirating BB apps and games. Let me just say the MOST POPULAR APPS and GAMES are on it for free and most of you may not know about it.

I will not post it here though (for obvious reasons).

I would be interested as I am having a few apps being developed for sale right now.

Please and thank you.

Even though I dont use paid apps because like what I need paypal for first of all and why can't purchasing apps be more easier and have carrier billing or BlackBerry App World to give more options like iTunes does like Credit or Debit cards, Pal Pal or etc but they should automatically register our registration code and also RIM needs to step up on device memory if they tryna compete with Apple which that is another topic. The minimum app memory for an iphone device is 4GB and their top max is 32GB of memory for apps, games and etc. Like come on now likw what the hell is 256 MB or 512MB. SMH! Oh, RIM games for blackberry is another thing. Some are alright but compared to the iphone with tons of games not evengames but apps. SMH!

I agree 100%!!! with me constantly upgrading and trying different hybrids im always having to put the codes back in and I have so many paid apps.

The support is already there. Any app can do a look up of the license key as RIM stores it with the app someplace. I don't recall where, perhaps the jad. Anyway, my games all have support to look up the license key as I am sure many others do.

So what is the problem?

1)There is no documentation on this. You have to search the dev forums to even know it exists and then find some piece of code that RIM more or less gave out.
2)There is no way to test whether it works.

Does anyone know if mine works?

Unfortuntely, not for the games I have. I have to manually put in the code for Wrath. You guys did Freddy Falling too right? Well I have to put the code in on that one too. And it doesn't save my high scores :( But they're phenomenal games so I'm not complaining! :p

I've been saying this same thing for a long time, too. Great post! Hopefully this gets a lot of app dev attention and action!

Completely agree. Even if you had to use desktop manager like the one post above, something that was documented and all apps that worked with it is fine. Anything is better than what is out there now.... keeps us from buying more apps as well, so the dev community should jump on this to fix it if RIM won't.

why do you have the quick pull app. You can do a reboot by simply pressing Alt, Shift, Delete.


Tether is a perfect example of an application that just works right. When I upgrade/ downgrade my OS it goes online and checks my PIN. Change device just go on-line and change PIN on-line. Simple, easy no BS. Berry Weather, Docs to Go, Garmin Mobile etc... WTF!! My take is that these developers either 1. don't give a rat's arse about the end user, or 2. are dishonest business people who are looking to score a few extra bucks from users that lose their registration info. Either way, it doesn't reflect well on them.

Many of our applications support auto-registration to save the hassle here. To be honest, I am not sure this is a problem RIM needs to solve.

Please fix this RIM and/or developers. This is yet one more negative being a Blackberry user that the competition doesn't have to deal with. The awesome physical keyboard only gets you so far.

This is partially a developer problem and partially a RIM problem. Just connecting to the internet is a headache within the code unless you have a library.

This is part of the reason I have left registration out in the beginning but I'm starting to implement it in the most convenient way possible.

I believe we developers just want to get the app out ASAP and somehow protect our apps from piracy (guys check around your apps are being stolen btw).

So this is something RIM can definitely help developers on but it's up to the developer to implement it.

I've been considering the switch to Android and this is one of the factors. After my 5th install of an OS on my TOUR, I get tire of searching through my saved messages for the activation codes for berrybuzz and meterberry. Real annoying. I also hate having to reread and accept the license agreement for every app like its the first time ever using it. Another behind the 8 ball for RIM in my honest opinion. The only thing holding me back from the HTC incredible is lack of physical keyboard and the lack of desire to learn a whole new phone OS. It took me 6 months just to learn everything I know about the BB.

This is great and all, but this has been discussed and beaten do death in nearly every device's Forums for the past several months now. And it's only getting main-page attention now, and not even acknowledging the forum posters?! I'm not screaming plagiarism, but it does seem like the Crackberry Brass is trying to claim some of its members' ideas as their own without giving them credit. And I don't like it.

This is great and all, but this has been discussed and beaten do death in nearly every device's Forums for the past several months now. And it's only getting main-page attention now, and not even acknowledging the forum posters?! I'm not screaming plagiarism, but it does seem like the Crackberry Brass is trying to claim some of its members' ideas as their own without giving them credit. And I don't like it.

I dealt with this for the first time the other day. i had no idea i had to hang on to my registration code for berrybuzz. I had to sort through a million emails to find the code. also with berry buzz all my application preferences all reset which was also a giant pain in the ass to re do them all

I totally agree. I am constantly getting refurbished phones and every time I have to change my pin. With a few in particular it takes them days at a time to respond to an email to change it in their system and it is a biggggggg hassle its the most annoying thing! Please listen to this. Please hear our cries.

Finally someone speaks my mind! I totally agree with you. As someone who frequently upgrades his BlackBerry everytime there's new OS both leaked and official, going through so many re-registering apps can be so much pain in the butt.

Damn straight! Do I really have to pay for an app to manage and reregister something as basic as this???!!! It's bad enough i can't two-way directly to gmail, but this is really stooopid. Not stupid, but stooopid.

Amen, brother. Unfortunately, you're preaching to the choir. It would be nice if we, as a group, carried enough weight to force the developers to change, but that seems unlikely. Hopefully, some of them visit this website enough to see this article.

RIM, we know you all poke around the forums, and well, I'm guessing some of you buy apps from time to time too, so please listen up. I can deal with a crappy browsing experience, but the back flips just to reinstall software I've purchased is unbearable. Please .....please just fix it.

I assume even using BBSAK to backup your files doesn't backup the fact that it's registered?

This is gonna be annoying when I start upgrading my devices and/or warrantying them out. This is the first device in which I started to get some paid apps for, so I haven't ran into this yet.

This would be awesome. That's why I haven't updated to the latest OS for my 9700. Don't want to reenter the keys again.

I agree with you completely. It is very frustrating and I had stopped registering my apps too for the same reason.

....I think the general consensus is total agreement. I don't agree with some posts putting the blame solely on the developers. I wonder if the developers could rally together and contact RIM regarding this? Yes RIM sneak around forums such as Crackberry but will they just 'gloss over' without reading too deeply this sort of post?
Has anyone ever started and tried to get a petition to RIM regarding a suggestion? Just wondering if one of you guys think that would actually have an effect, bring it to RIMs attention or is as pointless as me being convinced I'll win the lottery each week?

I agree too that it is a pain in the butt. My solution is that I no longer buy apps. I only download free apps. Yes, they are not always fully functional or the best but I'm sick of registering apps. Also, when I have to exchange a phone because it's defective it's a total pain. Now it's free or no go for me. I have purchased QL and a theme but that's all and that was through bb app world.

Same here. I have a couple of paid apps and then realized what a pain it is to not only re-register, but to go through and set all the preferences again. The only paid app I found that I use every day is QuickLaunch. Once my Tour dies I will be hard pressed to get another BB. Android is a kick ass platform that has so much potential. RIM needs to ditch the java OS and maybe developers would spend more effort on BB development.

Upgrade your OS, press the right convenience key, and QL asks me to register my app with the key right there already loaded. Could it be any easier? Oh yeah, then you press QL Options and then restore your saved settings from the SD Card. Could it be any easier?

F*** RIM! Developers should take it upon themselves to raise the bar in the absence of any leadership from RIM. How well does QL sell? How well respected and highly rated is QL? Now there's a role model for all developers.

Could it be any easier?

How about device replacement? That's a pain, too. I am on my sixth Bold. One seized up, one had bad firmware, two got roasty-hot and one's trackball failed. I send them back, if anything at all stops working - I don't mess around, or try to fix them.

So I am also on my 6th PIN. I have registered apps to the PIN, and then got a new PIN. I like the PIN saying that I am me, and all that, but gosh, who knew I would have 6 PINs?

Why not keep the codes stored in a cloud, in the same way you can backup your BBM contacts online and restore them after an upgrade.

I have to believe that this is a known issue on a RIM development list somewhere that has never been prioritized high enough to be addressed. There may be significant architectural things that would have to be re-done in the OS to allow this fix, and features are always going to be prioritized higher than fixing this kind of pain point because features sell units. All that said, I was pretty surprised when I came to the BB platform and found this issue. It really should be fixed and I wouldn't be surprised if fixing it would allow the implementation of some cool things that might become sellable features.

I was hoping for a long time that this issue would be addressed. So frustrating, it's part of the reason why I am reluctant to buy more apps. Thanks for bringing this up man.

Hate to say this - RIM should take a page from Apple's play book - "Always be easy to do business with" - in this one specific instance - they fail.

I couldn't agree with you more. what a total PITA to have to do that. doesn't RIM even follow these forums a little, and read some of the issues regarding their products? this is such a great place to get real time product input , they should be glad to have this info and fix problems that matter.

It is a MAJOR hassle to re-register your apps. That's why I haven't done the latest leak, even though I downloaded it. I have everything on my device just how I like it. It'll take a week to get everything back to normal. What a P.I.T.A.

I'm guessing RIM didn't think that users would be updating their devices 6-10 times a year, or more in some cases. So they didn't bother to make it easy for users to reinstall/re-register apps after update.

Ever tried contacting a 3rd party apps customer support section in an effort to re-capture a registration code/license code? Some are great and willing to assist you immediately while others go MIA and fail to respond to your email(s) or send you through so many hoops you just say "screw it".

Hell man, I hear ya. I would be nice to have the apps re-register themselves, sure, but what about resetting ALL OF MY SETTINGS in EVERYTHING everytime I do an OS upgrade. I don't jump at every leaked OS, but I have installed a new version 3 times in the past 8 months. Yeah, I gotta re-do my apps, but all the settings drives me INSANE, like all my ring tones for EVERY SINGLE profile? Come on! Then BerryWeather has to be completely re-done, all my radars disappear, so I have to go and re-install the radars from the browser again... pretty much everything. Entering the registration codes has become the EASY part. It's a big bummer. It takes a good two days to get my phone back to the way I had it set up everytime. Let's work on that too?

Especially when the code includes special characters/symbols - a HUGE pain to put in using my Storm 2's keyboard. There has GOT to be a way around this.

I've only done one official OS upgrade and App World forgot 75% of my former purchases. They just disappeared from the list (although are still on the phone). So, don't even say that App World is a panacea for this issue even for those that do use it.

Bplay Games are like this, as the codes are a pain every single time an OS upgrade takes place. Not to mention the EmergencyInfo application that I purchased, that promptly deletes all of your saved (?) information when you upgrade the OS, as well. *SIGH*

I just did my first upgrade on a BB and can't believe the hassle with apps. Even lost one completely because I didn't know about this. I don't want to go back to my iPhone because of it, but; it is kind of silly.

Great post! I recently replaced my Tour due to hardware issues, I have all my paid apps listed and who has sent new activation codes and who has not. (I am still waiting on some.) I try and buy from the same place so I have fewer requests to make. Kinda sux when you pay for an app and then have to beg to get a new activation code.

I am guilty of buying apps & doing Os upgrades almost as soon as I can possibly do one...I guess today marks 7 days since I loaded 9700/ & had to enter all those keys just now..well not all since QL uses a backup feature & Fancy Characters app does the same by going online using your pin (which the app finds for you)...Pandora does a decent job of this(its free I know) by somehow recognizing my devices pin#...IM+ needs to backup the services I use as well in my opinion..Where to begin? Probs easiest thing would be for other devs to join the QL & Fancy Char types...