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S4BB submits an additional 138,792 apps to BlackBerry World

S4BB
By Simon Sage on 18 Oct 2013 10:29 am EDT
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So you thought S4BB was crazy for having over 46,000 city guides for BlackBerry 10? Well, they're about to quadruple their app count by submitting three additional apps for each of their city guides. Two of them will essentially be free "lite" versions of their premium $2.99 city guides, offering separate nightlife and dining reference tools. There will also be a paid business search app coming for each city. The idea here is that people can get a taste for what the city guides have to offer before taking the plunge. 

Assuming these get approved, it's probably safe to say that out of all mobile platforms, BlackBerry 10 has the widest selection of local guide apps out there. The biggest mistake that I think a lot of press is making about S4BB is that quantity and quality are mutually exclusive when it comes to apps. I've used S4BB's Hong Kong City guide - it's polished, useful, and offers a ton of information. I've talked to these guys, and they're a legitimate outfit trying a new business model that hinges on automated app generation. Sure, lots of their apps don't get downloaded, but they're covering such a broad scope that single, individual downloads can add up very quickly. It's also worth noting that S4BB does more than just city guides - in fact, they just launched a new memo app called Action Pad.

The trickier issue is how manufacturers talk about the health of their app ecosystem. Across the board, everybody likes to brag about how many apps they have, but rarely does that take into account how many apps never get downloaded or the churn rate for those that do download. Another problem is that BlackBerry World's "new apps" feed can get choked up and rendered useless when massive collections like this get approved, but that's more of a design and app approval challenge for BlackBerry more than anything.

What do you guys think of S4BB? Would this kind of thing fly on any other platform? Can you pump out this many apps and ensure quality? 

Reader comments

S4BB submits an additional 138,792 apps to BlackBerry World

394 Comments

Stop Do I get this right : additional means on top of the 49k apps they already had?

This means now they have over 200k?

Posted via CB10

They already owned half bb world. With this they probably now has 2/3 of app world..
I rather have 1000 apps that most people need than millions of apps not many people use such as s4bb apps..
Hey maybe it's just me..

Posted via CB10

"What do you guys think of S4BB?"
- I think they are being spammers

"Would this kind of thing fly on any other platform?"
- This would definitely fly on the Google Play store, just search "BBM" and look for the developer that has the name BBM and you'll see all the retarded, duplicate apps he has. This would not fly on the Apple App store, not to say there isn't junk there but it's not as prevalent from one person.

"Can you pump out this many apps and ensure quality?"
- There's no way man. If they are TRULY doing QA with all these apps, that would be an insane amount of hours which isn't even possible if you didn't sleep for an entire year.

Why don't they just make a SINGLE MEGA-APP (didn't want to say SuperApp... *shudders*) and then have in-app purchases for the different city guides? This way, you have a app that isn't large in size and then when the user makes a purchase inside the app, it downloads that specific guide?? I don't think this helps the platform...

"Why don't they just make a SINGLE MEGA-APP (didn't want to say SuperApp... *shudders*) and then have in-app purchases for the different city guides? This way, you have a app that isn't large in size and then when the user makes a purchase inside the app, it downloads that specific guide?? I don't think this helps the platform..."

Agreed..... but I guess that would just make too much sense :S

That would work far better.

An empty shell of an app, and you get to pick ONE city for free and then buy all other cities you want with in app purchases.

But hey, what do I know? Let's spam BlackBerry World...

No need for QA when the next app is a clone of the last... just different "guide data"... ... Like the RSS's feed apps.. change the URL and puff a new $1 app!

I dislike the cheesy, shaddy, and pure scam devs but more so that I'm not banking from the 200k $1 apps clones..

Plazmic Flame, I totally agree with your single mega app idea. At least for all these crappy city guides apps that mess up the 'new arrivals' tab in BB World.

S4BB has a couple of decent apps -entirely different from their city guides- so I don't think they should be banned. But it would be nice if BB could enforce developers who spam BB World this way to create a free umbrella app where people can choose which city guide they want to purchase.

I wonder how long this strategy will keep S4BB alive. People are getting fed up and it's just a matter of time before someone on the forums calls for a boycot or an email campaign or something.

The same goes for the dev who keeps submitting all those separate foreign books and audiobooks btw. Libro Movil. They're starting to get on my nerve too.

Posted this further down, but want to make sure it's here too. 

The thing about city guides is that they actually make more sense as stand-alone apps than as a collection. When you're visiting a city, it's going to be a dedicated experience, and you want focused information. Downloading an all-in-one app and combing meticulously through its in-app purchases to see if your city's there isn't as good as doing a BBWorld search and having it pop up right there. If you're on an extended vacation, maybe there's room for country guides that fold in every city guide available in that country. 

maybe, maybe not, but the fact their press release says they have at least 3 guide apps for Toronto shows how padded out these apps are.

Sure two are free and one is paid, which is where having all 3 in one would work, with the paid segment being a in app purchase. this would cut their apps by 3 but still offer the exact same thing with a city by city approach.

there is no need at all for totally separate apps for the same city.

It could have been a simple map you can pan and zoom into to find the city you want a guide for. I think that would probably be more professional than plugging up BB World with a hundred thousand "The Best ____ City Guide" apps.

Personal preference I suppose.

I would rather have an app that recognizes my gps location. Need the map? Download it.

Posted via CB10 w/ the Z10

That's simply not true. I have a City guide app on iOS and they have in-app purchases for the cities you actually want.
It's flawless.

Stop supporting S4BB, Simon and start supporting legitimate BB10 Devs.

I disagree. It's easy and trouble free to categorise subjects in an app. I don't see how this would ruin any user experience

Posted via CB10

In app purchase + dynamic city downloading can solve this issue. Spam is not a solution to the problem, they're just doing it to increase there search results on BB World and destroying the name of BlackBerry in common media.

+ a million. This should be made in apps for sections of countries and then allow upgrades to the app to add more locations. If anyone thinks this is OK then lets have game makers sell games 1 level at a time each have a different app in the app store.

"Another problem is that BlackBerry World's "new apps" feed can get choked up and rendered useless when massive collections like this get approved, but that's more of a design and app approval challenge for BlackBerry more than anything."

BlackBerry should limit the number of apps that a developer can submit per day. Something like 5 a day max or something like that.

Posted via my Z10

+1000 on the mega app suggestion. They are indeed nothing but a bunch of app spammers. The quality may be okay, but it's a nagging pain in the arse.

Posted via CB10

I don't think you get this. If a main shell app is built to high quality and then filled with location specific data that is of high quality and utility, it is possible to create a large number of quality apps and at a reasonable price. That doesn't mean it's a bad thing, it is simply a different way to deliver the content.

If someone thinks they have a better way to deliver that product in fewer apps, then have at it. There's no one stopping anyone from stepping up to the bar and delivering.

I would rather see this process than an app that makes fart noises, for example, no matter how polished it is.

Bottom line we need to stop worrying about app count. After a certain point how many apps do you REALLY need? Seriously.

+1 but then BlackBerry would have like 60,000 apps and no one would touch it. I don't call it spam because they are actually working apps. S4BB has been amazing and for the community constantly saying apps apps apps now because 1 company is making them they are still complaining?

Cadillac is a Car company that pumps out tens of thousands of cars and they are all in great reliable condition why should this be anything else? I understand what you are saying but it would be stupid for BlackBerry to stop it. After all Android is doing fine with its App Store. BlackBerry is pulling are the strings in the hat as a last chance to survive and if S4BB Wasn't here there is a good chance BlackBerry would have been gone by now.

The Average Person likes numbers not quality I personally like Quality but it's not what we want anymore the BlackBerry community is small and we have to adapt. If we have to have "junk" in our BlackBerry App Store to attract customers so BlackBerry can survive SO BE IT. Long Live Love BlackBerry .

Sent from the Amazing Z10

They are like a disease!
It's obvious they use generated apps that are able to consume content (of any type) directly from their servers or other data feeds.
I consider S4BB a bunch of spam spreading dev monkeys. The majority of their apps let BlackBerry World look to be filled with malfunction junk. Just my opinion but I bet many of us share the same or something along this lines.

Can't beat a Q10 keyboard!

I don't even think most people need 1000 apps to get what's useful but we all know this app thing now is a numbers game so good for them and BlackBerry.

Posted via BlackBerry Love on CB10

why not build one city app and have it all in one.

oh well i'm not a developer but i'm sure they build one template and just modify the points of interest, easy enough to bang off a ton of apps this way

Some strategy this org has... and fanbois have an issue with Google Play and it's spammy apps?. This latest announcement means that all I will see in the New Releases is page after page of S4BB GPS apps. Fuck.

This is just one more example of how little credibility RIM has with 3rd party developers ... maybe RIM could build relationships with other developers besides S4BB? Or maybe put them to good use working on the BBM4ALL? Since a 'couple days' have come and gone.... again.

Hellz I would be happy with a little more intelligence on the RIM appstore so I could at least filter put S4BB and all the regional / language search results I don't need. Like fuck ... does ANYONE at RIM actually use the product? Do you really enjoy swiping through screen after screen of New Releases to pass through the Spanish fan apps / GPS apps before you find something relevant?

Posted via CB10

Do you honestly scroll page by page to look for new apps? Use the "search" function. Just curious, how do people search for apps in Apple Store or Google Store because those platforms have over 900,000 apps/games in their respective libraries.

They are two different use cases.

Browsing - looking at what is trending, new, top grossing, etc. for something of interest.
Searching - works for as long as you know what you are looking for.

On other platforms, just like BB world you view what is trending or new, but also have the option to search. The difference is that you dont have a single spammy / shady developer taking 30% of the pie.

Doesn't BB World also have what's trending or new? Why would allegedly call the developer shady? Is it because of the volume of apps they turning out or are you speaking from directly knowledge about the quality of their apps? Have you painstakingly gone through all their apps catalogue? In a nutshell, what are you basing your conclusions on?
Personally I don't judge things unless I have "hard actual" facts.

wincyUt, search is perfect when you know what you're looking for. Regular browsing categories works well if you're not entirely sure what app you want but you know it's likely to be in category X. I will use both of these methods to search if I have an idea of what I'm looking for.
But, I do like to scroll through the New Arrivals from time to time just to see what's being released and if there's anything interesting there. And I've found a couple of gems that I probably never would have found otherwise. It's no fun scrolling through the New Arrivals tab though whenever S4BB has decided to mass submit apps once again.

I scroll through "new arrivals" on my iPad too and a lot of times I don't find things that interest me. Unless your assumption is that the total 138K apps will be dumped at same time in the BB World then I can understand your reasoning. If on the other hand BB slowly releases them then the net effect may be negligible.

What's been happening the last time S4BB and Libro Movil submitted many apps they were dumped in large quantities. So for example there would appear a list of dozens and dozens of apps, then a few apps from other devs, then another list of maybe 50 or more of the same. It's really annoying.

my thoughts exactly! Lol people complain soo much someone said earlier that they shouldve just combined the free apps with the pay apps and just make it an in app purchase. If people decide we want the full thing. I don't see anything really wrong with making a different app for each city in my opinion it kind of makes sense.

Posted via CB10 (My amazing Q10)

Completely agree! I actually still cannot get over how stupid this is...somebody seriously needs to do something about the app spamming. 190,000 apps, from approximately 260,000 will be from or developer. That is about 75% of apps. 3 out of every 4 apps will be S4BB city guides and other junk whenever you look at anything on BlackBerry World. Horribe!

Posted via CB10

One developer or two hundred thousand developers..whats the real difference here. If there were no developers for BlackBerry would be one complain, now it's another. Wining wining on CB as usual

Posted via BlackBerry Love on CB10

Yeah. It's the same ol RIM telling me what the use case is rather than listening to what I actually need or want.

You feel a name change was a win? It was a distraction... they still wrote down almost 1$B of unsold inventory cos it's the same ol RIM.

Posted via CB10

Agreed. Why can they have all these maps sourced out as an in-app purchase instead of drowning the marketplace? Sucks!

Posted via CB10 w/ the Z10

I agree this would be a much better model. Think of how many happy diverse customers would rate the app 5 stars for having exactly what they need? It could be one of the top downloaded free apps (with in-app purchases available). As it stands now, people may pass it by as clutter.

Exactly. This is ridiculous. So if something happens to the company...BlackBerry World is going to be left with 50,000 apps?

These additions shouldn't count as new apps, just iterations or variations. It's ludicrous and BlackBerry shouldn't allow this. Nor should they be using this garbage to inflate numbers and mislead people.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10 Oreo

Interestingly enough, this will roughly double (a bit less) the number of apps on the platform. That is a huge jump, and BlackBerry can start talking about 300,000 apps or more since the public is so focused on the number of apps. On a side note, if they average just a single download per app, that is quite a chunk of change!

How is having two thirds of all your apps by one spam developer anything to brag about??
It's getting embarrassing

Thorsten Out!!!

Nope. It's embarrassing. Should be to the Developer Relations group that's for sure... this the best you can do? Most of the CB Nation could have built this relationship with S4BB ... you should resign.

But... that's the sentiment with many leaders at RIM. Operate on a 'I hope they don't find out' basis.

I guess it would be more embarrassing if RIM was actually relevant and that the leaders intended to work in the tech / smartphone industry after their little adventure destroying this company. Which it isn't. And which they won't.

Posted via CB10

If S4BB has a different business model and they make money then great. They are smart and aggressive developers. Let the market place decide. I have actually used one of their maps and I found it extremely useful.

Posted via CB10

I guess someone pointed a reason why it was not possible, don't remember, something about licences for the content of the app, still didn't convinced me entirely, I still think they can build one app and you purchase the content of it, like some map apps.

This is exactly how ios got its apps, 1 instagram app for every 100000 flashlight battery and fart apps.

Posted via CB10

So I'm picking up a Q10 in about a month. I'm concerned that my fart apps won't be there. Can anyone suggest a decent fart app or is this another part of the app gap that BBRY still hasn't addressed?!
#sarcasmrules

Yea I don't see how this is worse than Play having 18 fake BBM apps with dev name listed as "BBM inc". Having a bazillion apps from the same dev is no different than having a bazillion useless apps on iOS or android

Posted via CB10

If there is a bug, they have to re-submit all the apps...
If BB even charged $1 processing to submit an app, that would kill their model.

I'm wondering whoever reviews the apps for BB, if they feel if their time is being spent wisely reviewing these apps.

It also means legitimate apps have to sit in cue waiting for this junk to clear through in order to be reviewed.

But bbry built the process.

Posted via CB from my LE

Agreed. This is utterly horrible. The worst thing is that BlackBerry most likely won't do anything about it.

Posted via CB10

According to a tweet from Alec Saunders, they will look through a "sample" then approve the rest based on that sample.

I'm pretty sure there is no one who reviews apps for BlackBerry World. Obviously they just push them through.

Posted via CB10

Too many apps that should be designed as single app with in-app purchases to add cities as needed. It takes away from other developers and frankly it's annoying. I refuse to even look at their apps because the sheer number creates a perception of spam and/or inferiority.

Posted via CB10

They should rather have one app that can have Micro purchases for each guide you want for each city.

This would make people complain less and also have a consolidated app for all these guides.

Mmm...CB10! Just the tip, though!

Yeah whatever buddy. Spam is spam. Fuking app generator apps make up 75% of BlackBerry World. Garbage.

Posted via CB10

It's been proven many times that customers want quality over quantity. Instagram over "Singapore Guide", for example. This is nothing but app spam and like you said, just clogs up the "new apps" list.

Who says IG is quality over Singapore Guide? What is really the intrinsic value in Instagram? Your choice may not be every other peoples choice. If I was visiting Singapore I would definitely appreciate Singapore Guide over useless Instagram.

Well said. It's this exact sentiment that has led BlackBerry to total ruin and it's why they're about to be sold and possibly scrapped for parts. But I'm glad you appreciate the Singapore Guide.

BlackBerry's woes did NOT originate from lack of apps. Lack of apps is part of the problem but probably not the main culprit. Your inference is weak. :)

My interface is weak? Your entire argument is weak, wincyUt. Even "CrackBerry" Kevin (who has basically abandoned this site) has said repeatedly that the app problem is the the number one issue plaguing BB. There have been MANY disastrous failures with BB, from horrible marketing to chronically late releases to flat-out lies, but the lack of major apps (and poor quality of many that they have) are killing the brand. This is generally accepted by everyone in the know, including Kevin and many analysts in CrackBerry podcasts. Sorry that you can't accept it.

I agree, he's moved on to his Mobile Nations role. It shows how bad things are with BB if he's already left. I'm sure he has a better perspective than we do...

Last time I checked, IG had millions, and millions of users on iOS and Android. I couldn't even find a statistic for how many people needed a guide to Singapore. Oh wait, they probably just used Google and related apps to find out what they needed to know about a city. Apps, which of course, are not on BB10...

What does IG having millions of users got to do with my question "What is really the intrinsic value in Instagram"? Please if you don't mind, humour me, and answer that question.
I have IG because I had to make sure it was ok for my teenage daughter to download it. And guess what, am I not included in the millions of users even though it's really of no significant use to me? I know you may find it hard to understand how someone like me might find "Singapore Guide" of more value, if I had to choose based on my needs.
Finally, there is nothing wrong with you liking/loving Instagram (just like my kid does) but to each their own. BB World has to try and please all of us and that's a tough act to accomplish.

You're obsessed with IG. It was just an example because it's a proven, massively popular app that BB doesn't have. The most popular apps are driving the market, which is why iOS and Android are on top, and Windows Phone and BB are languishing. This isn't a hard concept to grasp, with all due respect.

This is actually bad for S4BB and BB. BB will be criticized by fellow crackberrians and S4BB won't be able to show off their actual 'useful' and good quality apps. Because it'll be buried among other 150.000 apps.

I actually don't care but these days I'm finding out good apps only from crackberry, I rarely go to BBWorld. Maybe I have already everything I need.

I hope blackberry get these apps out of the app store with the new arrivels because it annoying. Please BB get them straight to the map right maps.

S4BB makes some quality apps and some bad apps I had used in the past.

I think there should be a QC for all BlackBerry apps and poor ones should be removed.

Posted from CB10 via Zed10.

I'm not doubting their legitimacy as I use their Search for Amazon app and it is well done, but I don't see the point of having all of these apps. Why can't they just build in a trial period into their current apps?

Posted via CB10

I'm using their silent cam app. It's ok but will delete it when I get the OS update where shutter is silent when mobile is on silent.

Posted via CB10 on BlackBerry Z10

I think they need to pull all their apps and rebuild them from the ground up:

1 app per city / location free to download with in app payments:
Within the app you can unlock additional features:
- business support - nightlife -aditional foodstuff -navigation -AR VIEW... whatever.

And not release everything separated, this just makes a gigantic mess of everything and complicates updating your apps even more. Also I do believe people will unlock features faster from within an app that they already have installed than buy and install the paid version and uninstall the free version.

They don't need hundreds of thousands of apps, they need the most popular/downloaded on the other platforms in games, productivity, etc. You can have a million apps, but if you don't have the Instagram's, the NetFlix's, major business apps, etc that people have and use on the other platforms then having a million means d1ck!

Posted via CB10

This is just spam whichever way you want to look at it. It's just beyond embarrassing now! No matter how polished their guides are

Thorsten Out!!!

I'm not sure how I feel about the sheer volume of apps. I appreciate the efforts and all that. I just feel like we need more day-to-day apps, i.e. banking apps (Capital One 360) and some of the other major apps... 

Yea his efforts would be more greatly appreciated if he took the initiative to get productive apps onto bb10 rather than making thousands of city guides. I know that's not his job but somebody needs to step up since BlackBerry only cares about Netflix and instagram.

Posted via CB10

Use the Check app it has access to all the major banks and credit unions. And if yours isn't on there you can send an email to the developers and they will add it.

Posted via CB10

It does tarnish it doesn't it, it's much like on Google play and now BlackBerry World there are individual apps for recipes, combine them into, oh I don't know a cookbook. I understand from a business perspective why they are doing individual apps for each city, it the Walmart, direct marketing principal you flood the market and hope 1% of the people show any interest, but let me ask you, does BlackBerry want to be known as a Walmart or direct to you type company?

The developer might well be a great developer but they re putting the perception out there that they are just spam

It would be smarter if they out out country guides and put the individual cities inside

Posted by the Zed 30 of rockivy

I think I puked a little when I read this article. I feel like the only thing I can do right about now is pray that this is wrong news or that somehow every one of these will get blocked. Otherwise, seriously it's good night BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

An app is an app. Quality is not counted in the game today. It's about how many apps we have on our ecosystem. Hah bragging rights just went up. If s4bb keeps this up it means we will have a billion apps available before Apple. Hah that's bragging eights. Oh yeah just cause apple has so many doesn't make them good so BlackBerry is doing eight in permitting this crazy. Match for match. Burning down the house.

Only a fool thinks they know me.

As a developer this is kind of concerning for me right now. I'm not sure if it is because of layoffs or something else but the time it takes for apps to get approved for sale and built for blackberry have increased recently, and I would hate for the process to slow down even more with an enormous influx of apps. Also, the point about the new app feed is very true. Makes developers who would like a little time on the top of that list to wait to release their product until all these apps go through. At least I have no plans to release an app in the next couple weeks.

Same here. I was going to update my app with support for Z30 bit now I'm not sure I want to touch anything. My request is bound to take weeks to complete. I'm actually quite upset over this...

Posted via CB10

You bitch there is not enough you bitch there is too many bla bla bla.
App this app that bla bla bla.
Where is the total cross platform application solution, bitch about that and maybe consumers will get out of being forced to use one platform over another.

Posted via CB10

As a fellow developer I can help not thinking how other apps will sit weeks in the approval queue. For those who don't know, yes, BlackBerry still reviews & approves the apps manually.

That warms my heart. I don't think now is the time to start allowing holes in the "gold standard of security" mantra.... If I was BB, and more importantly, Alec Saunders I would retract that statement, and institute a policy change effective immediately.

Maybe Alec should consider banning their apps, then also removing all of their other apps from BlackBerry World that don't have any sales yet and tell them to implement a single app with in-app purchases. This is fucked up beyond belief.

Posted via CB10

I can't see this going over very well in the media. Already complaints about S4BB having provided 40% of the apps, now it is going to a lot larger. I'm sure I must have a few of their apps, but I think the majority will have very little traction. I don't think it is an issue of spamming. It is just that it does not meet the needs of a majority of users

I would like Gameloft to spam BB World. I think that would be great. :)

I think it's ridiculous and unnecessary.

Imagine other developers taking this route. For example, bebuzz releasing a single app to represent a single color for your led! Why not!? Bebuzz blue if you want a blue led. Then you can download bebuzz green etc....you get the point.

Nobody is going to look at this particular developer and say, "wow this is impressive stuff".

Posted from my ZED10

I think the volume of apps they're able to make is pretty impressive. 

The thing about city guides is that they actually make more sense as stand-alone apps than as a collection. When you're visiting a city, it's going to be a dedicated experience, and you want focused information. Downloading an all-in-one app and combing meticulously through its in-app purchases to see if your city's there isn't as good as doing a BBWorld search and having it pop up right there. If you're on an extended vacation, maybe there's room for country guides that fold in every city guide available in that country. 

Thanks. Well said.
It seems like most people have forgotten how to use "search" function to find apps. I wonder how they look for apps in Apple Store and Google Play. SMH

Bullshit. This is an excuse for cluttering a store, nothing more. If they are not competent enough to write an app where it is easy to get the right city guides then they should fund a different profession. There is ZERO reason to proliferate so many apps in BlackBerry World.

Posted via CB10

The only thing S4BB clutters is the new apps feed, and that washes out in a week. It's not like people have to hack and slash their way through BlackBerry World to find what they want - they punch in a search term and up comes the results. The app descriptions fully represent what's inside the box, and aren't trying to game SEO with phoney search terms. 

There's a perfectly good reason to have this many apps: to offer a dedicated local guide for every freakin' city on the planet. As far as I'm concerned, that's an ambitious goal. Even the big players in local guide apps tend to play it safe and only offer apps for the popular, obvious cities. 

Your wrong about the fact that somehow having each of these as a separate app is better than one mega app with in app purchases. Not only is having one app better logical organization, but you could even implement some location specific features. That would not clutter BlackBerry World. It would still be just as viable of a model for S4BB.

Besides, if you did not think that this was seriously controversial you would not have posted the news.

Posted via CB10

There's certainly nothing with the all-in-one model, but it's not the only way to do things successfully. In fact, Lonely Planet on iOS uses both stand-alone and all-in-one apps. Best of both worlds. 

Let's put it this way: if someone else comes along and makes a stellar all-in-one travel guide app with in-app purchases, we'll feature them on CrackBerry, they'll get a ton of five-star reviews, and will stand on top of S4BB's stuff in the rankings. That hasn't happened yet, and it very well could, but looking at how travel guides are handled on other platforms, I don't think it will. 

Right, because every time I go to look something up in Wikipedia I go to wikipedia-new-york.com or wikipedia-rome.com. Last time I went to book a flight I surfed to fly-to-mexico.com or book-a-flight-to-hawaii.com. I love using Excel-for-School and Excel-for-Business, although neither are quite as useful as Excel-for-My-Fantasy-League.

You certainly can defend it if you like, but I see this as nothing more than a deliberate and cheap attempt to flood the market and hopefully scoop enough purchases in volume. It's the old "ask 1,000 girls to go out with you and one will finally say yes" strategy my old buddy Joe used to practice. All it does is dilute the concept of an "app", it's bad PR, and the fact that it is so polarizing clearly shows it's a bad strategy.

I have a BB10 app in BB World and this kind of garbage is appalling.

Your post is full of sh*t, I'm sorry. The same old apologist crap we have come to expect now from crackberry. Positive spinning every crap to do with BlackBerry. This is just shameful what s4bb are doing.
I would feel so embarrassed to show an app store like this to someone with iOS and even Android.
They need to stop. No one needs these dumb city guides

Thorsten Out!!!

Yup. CB has become just a bunch of apologists for RIM failures.

Would explain why Kevin is not so active anymore. How could his heart be into this level of spin?

Posted via CB10

I totally agree with you Simon. I can't say as though it would be better to have on big app containing all of these guides or all of these individual ones. I suppose the individual ones gives the users a custom experience without having to weed through a large app for what they want. In any case, as you stated, it won't take long for these new apps to wash out of the new app feed. At the end of the day its up to BlackBerry World to parent the system and regulate these apps as they submitted and reviewed anyway. I don't see why people have to hate on S4BB for it.

Not sure there's much impressive about auto-generating app bars from a template and various inputs.

In-app sales would let them do the same thing - a single code base, data based on selection and save them a TON of work messing around with app world*. There's no meticulous combining needed - just search for the city, the same as you would do in bb world.

* Except it seems they get special bb world treatment so presumably this is not a huge pain point. Security be damned.

So you think it is impressive to have 46,000 City maps, covering 45,500 useless cities like Uzghur in Russia, Apps that are not apps but basically cut up Google maps, Vs ONE GOOGLE MAPS app?

Do you really think that Simon?

I'd love to have an official Google Maps app on BB10. Until then, BeMaps Pro is great. I use it all the time. Nobody said S4BB's strategy excludes any other. 

And yeah, if I'm visiting an obscure city, I'm going to be impressed that there's a dedicated city guide for it on BlackBerry 10. I won't care that it's mass-produced. If the information is good - and it is, since it includes currency conversion, news, Wikipedia info, and statistics in addition to maps - then I'll drop that $2.99 to get it. 

You see Simon making bogus apps was the pivotal part of a deception regarding the success pf the BB10 platform as measured by developer adoption. It is also pivotal because the public was told the platform was successful etc and they would find tons of apps there.

This was all one big lie. These lies are the reason the company is being sued to by every law firm across the US and Canada.

It was moment of great deception and corporate malfeasance.

You, Simon Sage, by writing this article extolling these idiots, you show either you don't understand what is going here, or you are part of the problem who thinks he can help cover them up.

Whichever it goes, you don't look good writing an article like this on such a serious matter and you don't really help the Crackberry community that I'm sure finds this whole episode appalling.

So, what, BlackBerry paid S4BB to create a bunch of apps solely to inflate their store numbers? If you've got any actual information about such a conspiracy, I'm all ears. The lawsuits just sound like shareholders annoyed that they got stung. 

I'm not sure why people are bitching about this. App development is a new industry. S4BB is attempting a new process for app development. I'm pretty sure other app developers would love to have this ability.

For me it's very simple. If they want to provide an app or a guide....great. They are at least giving us a choice. If they don't provide them, we have no choice. As far as apps getting buried....that's why BB has a search function.

While I agree that it is not necessarily anyone's fault for their app development procedures, it does make other developers want to wait to release other apps during this period. It is a very important task of maximizing an apps time on the new arrivals list. Search functions rely partially upon the number of downloads and number of ratings the app has received. If you get no time on the new arrivals list, you may well be on the bottom of the search list. I have seen placement on a new arrivals list make or break apps.

Thank you. As far as I can tell, the only problem is the New Releases list getting flooded, but I'm not sure very many people actually use that to discover apps anyway. I think most use the other lists based on popularity/featured or search for a specific thing. They're quality apps, better than a lot of other stuff in there.

BlackBerry should just make a separate BlackBerry World category for 'city guides' and throw all their stuff in there. Then they can safely claim they have the largest number of local city guides.

On a more serious note, why can't S4BB make one free 'City Guide' app and just have users 'in-app purchase' whatever guide they need?? Imagine if you had to download an entire real racing 3 game for each track or each car? Sounds ridiculous... because it is.

Posted via CB10

My first reaction was to love that suggestion, but then I thought of something else. I wonder if search functionality plays into that decision. Say I wanted an app with offline maps before my recent trip to Boston (I'm in Canada and don't have a roaming data plan). I searched for Boston ahead of time. Among the results was their city guide. If it was one app that included Boston among many cities so that Boston was not anywhere in the description or name, I wouldn't have found it. Of course, on the other hand, such an app would probably spend a lot of time in the Top Apps list, and if BFB approved then on those lists as well, which would make up for loss in search.

Actually, I like that suggestion for an umbrella category when the number of apps in that category gets large. Yes, the devs might not like it as their app would be lumped in with the rest, but it's an advantage since if I'm looking for a city guide or fart app, I'll just search "city guide" and then type in the city name. That keeps them away from all the other apps.

If this gets approved, Alex Saunders should be fired. He should have been written off before the Z10's were.

Posted via CB10

Definitely not a bad guy. They're trying to make a buck, like everybody else on BlackBerry World - they're just going about it a different way.

They're clogging the review process, screwing other devs around and getting passed BlackBerry's review process, so if they want to put malicious code in one of their apps it may just be approved because the sample BlackBerry took was ok. How is this not turning BlackBerry World into Google Play?

They're just taking one app as sample? So it's just 132,000 slightly different apps? You know how we used to say that the App Store was full of fart apps, well can't say that anymore.

Anyway, please let us know about the security stuff is what I care the most, I'm not submitting another app for BlackBerry World in at least a month though.

BlackBerry tells me that the sample size is way bigger than just one app. They've also confirmed that the framework is identical throughout all of the apps they check in the sample, it's just the content that goes in that changes. 

Thanks Simon, I'm still not happy with this but at least it doesn't compromise BlackBerry's security I guess.

BlackBerry has explicitly said on their developer site that they want developers to use paid upgrades instead of offering multiple versions of the same app.

Posted via CB10

Let's be honest... the number doesn't matter.

It's the quality and useful apps that matter, BlackBerry has been getting better at this as well. I like that I'm satisfied with the apps now I have my banking ect. But more could come. If anything get more of the top 100 to come over from other platforms and I will be happy.

Now if one dev wants to make 200k apps good for them and I'm happy they choose BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

The number doesn't matter, the redundancy does. A new app for every street rather than one app with in-app purchases is bad form. Same with making 10 (thousand?) apps for different phone functions when one app could have them all.

Well to be really honest there are not so many app now for me which I am missing...
I sold my IPHONE tested a Galaxy Note had allways my Bold 9700 with me but with the OS 10.1 really the most things somebody needs are there integrated or to download.
Thank you BlackBerry!:)

Posted via CB10

I don't understand why they can't have just one app where you pay maybe...$2.99 and get your first 10 cities and then buy packs of 3-5 new cities (user picks which cities to spend their purchased choices on) for $0.99 per pack. Why does each city have to be its own separate app?

S4BB are legitimate and i dont see any issues with them helping out the BlackBerry appstore.

I am using several of their apps from which the PDF scanner and IMDB Pro and they work great

Posted via CB10

All those apps and not a Waterloo, ON city guide? They make a Kitchener guide though, but not one for the home of BlackBerry!

Posted via CB10

It's an interesting application of the 'long tail' sales concept. Read the book by the same name...

There are viable business models that are built on the premise that a few sales of many items vs. the traditional model of many sales of a few items can actually be more profitable over time.

Will be interesting to see how it works for SB44.

Posted via CB10

I haven't used their city guides, do you think it could be one app and in-app purchase for the content? or the way they do it is justified to have one app for each city?

I have to say I have no position in favor or against S4BB, just curious about if this has some real reason to be or is a business strategy.

Anyway, is amazing that the have managed to automate the app development, but how do they submit this much? Is it also automated?

I think S4BB are making quality apps we will use I have no problem with them churning out the number of apps.

Posted via CB10

They should not need nor justifiably be able to submit mass numbers of apps like this. Make one for free or cheap with access to the lite versions, with in app purchases for each city for instance. This type of stuff has been done before and thousands of auto generated apps just bury other good ones.

Posted via CB10

I wish they would stop producing apps, this kind of garbage fills up the 'latest' apps, and is ultimately hurting BlackBerry. I can't even begin to fathom how much time they have to spend approving 140k apps. Blows my mind that BlackBerry allows them to do this.

It makes the app world an even bigger joke.

How about one app where you can download whichever city guide you want as an in app purchase. This is just the wrong way to go about doing it. BlackBerry fails for allowing this.

Via CB10

Except that there's no easy discoverability in an all-in-one app. Are you going to put the names of 46k cities in your app description? If you do, will that show up in BlackBerry World results as readily as apps with the city name in the headline? 

Does Google Maps put the names of all the cities it can display roads for in its description??
Does consumer reports need a description for all the products it reviews?
Does foursquare list all of the cities it has venues for?
This is a very weak argument, and it stinks of favoritism.

The difference is Google Maps, Consumer Reports, and Foursquare don't need help with discoverability - S4BB does. S4BB could do it the hard way and try to build brand awareness from scratch, or they could do it the easy (and I would say smarter) way and just have good search engine optimization for individual queries.

Take a look at Lonely Planet, for example. On iOS, they sure do have a single, free app where you can buy individual city guides, but it's basically just a launching point for their dozens of individual apps. Even then, they split it up by travel guide, city guide, phrasebook, and translation apps. Lonely Planet isn't the only one with this strategy, either. The only difference with S4BB is that nobody's taken the model to this extreme to date. 

Building brand awareness from scratch is no negative thing. They could become a B4BB developer, get reviewed, and get recognition that way, with a handful of apps. Now they are just clouding the water.

Not to mention damaging the BB brand. How many articles were written about the % of apps from a single developer? This will happen again. The next time BB announces 200,000 apps.... Someone will point out 80% are from one developer, and most are a single type of app. Terrible for BB.

It's certainly not a negative course to go that way, but I think it's too easy to think that it's the only way to be successful. 

Allisos, as for BlackBerry's brand, I agree, but what can BB legitimately call S4BB on doing wrong? The developer agreement is a two-way street. If BlackBerry starts banning apps because it makes life hard for their PR department, then they'd be just as arbitrary as Apple. 

Any business can, and should, build in protective language to protect its business interest. A simple maximum on the number of apps submitted could suffice. Even if it only escalates a "elevated level of review" by BB. The point, is that it doesn't look good from a PR perspective for the # of apps from a single developer, as well as a security hole by not reviewing the code for each application. We can agree to disagree on the rights of the developer, but I wouldn't expose my business to such potential negative press.

Yeah, that's fair. I wouldn't be surprised if this situation prompts BlackBerry to change their developer agreement, assuming they aren't already in a position to ban S4BB if they really needed to.

I guess that's the other question - do they really need to? Media complains about lack of apps on BB10. Developer makes tons of apps. Media complains about too many apps on BB10. BB bans developer. That story seems a little weird, doesn't it?

Fair enough counter.... but a ban would be extreme. it may be worth a meeting between Alec and the developer since it's becoming high profile. I'm sure there's middle ground, especially if the apps actually function well.
I'd love to see download stats compared for vendors to get a downloads per app number, or a revenue per app #.
If this model doesn't or does work, shouldn't be BlackBerry's burden to prove.

Posted via CB10

if they don't want their BB world (app store) user experience destroy , they need to at least limit S4BB number apps. it's bad for users and BB reputation on general :
* users hard to find newest app list because majority S4BB city guides...because i dont think S4BB will launch their apps simultaneously.
* for developers it's hard for them releasing same kind of apps/same keywords/title because it is all apps from S4BB
* Make potential new buyers / new users upset because all they can only find on BB world spam apps

yes i'm calling them spam apps. why do you need 4 separate cityguides apps for each city ?

Why don't you and/or blackberry report on the actual sales from this 'developer' with this supposed business model? How many of their apps have the Built for BlackBerry designation?

Posted via CB10

Funny you bring up B4BB - both Alec Saunders and the S4BB guys brought it up in Hong Kong. Patrick said that their apps are good enough for Built for BlackBerry designation, and I would agree. The impression I got from Alec was that they aren't going to give that many apps blanket B4BB designation - I imagine partly because it would cheapen the value of the designation, and partly because apps with Built for BlackBerry should probably be hand-picked and approved.

Don't apologize for weak engineering by RIM.

They had plenty of time to see how ecosystems get traction and how to provide a great user experience. Just because they can't provide adequate indexing / searching for users of their 'make it or break it' OS shouldn't mean we accept it. Their app strategy is shit and it shows in this and other forums.

Look forward to you defending this strategy on The National.

Posted via CB10

How exactly is BlackBerry World's search engine weak? Google Play and the iOS App Store don't have any more search options than BlackBerry. Individual categories are busted up by all, new, top free, top paid, and top grossing, which is also standard across the board. All platforms feature and highlight the high quality stuff. It's not like an S4BB travel guide is popping up when I search for "pizza" or anything. Discoverability is a challenge inherent to being a part of the app industry, and S4BB's tackling it in their own way. 

But hey, let's play armchair CEO. Given the app situation still isn't where it needs to be, what would you have changed about BlackBerry's strategy in the past, and what would you do from here on in?  

They've taken a shotgun approach to their city guide apps. I'd rather they had developed *one* free city guide app and within the app you would pay for downloading additional city specific guides.

Z10 STL100-3 | 10.2.0.1767 | Bell via CB10

it's a numbers game so keep them coming. At least they are still supporting BlackBerry unlike some...

Long live bb!

Posted via the best phone ever. The white Z10.

I think Simon Sage is volunteering to conduct a Crackberry video review for each guide.. good luck with that ;)

I personally believe it is overkill having that many apps, and doesn't do anything for the credibility of BlackBerry or the developer.

A tip for the developer release apps under separate names for city guides and other apps.. at least us consumers can look at what else they offer easily.

Posted via CB10

Guys!!! we are not talking about 16 apps...we're talking hundreds of thousands of mediocre apps. No app store is free of crappy apps, but if an app store is comprised of 90% crappy apps then what's the point? And please don't say bragging rights. Consumers ARE smart enough to not only look at the number of apps in a given app store but also to ask "Are the apps I want and everyone else using on BB10? Blackberry makes all of us look like superstar CEO's. I mean i don't need an MBA to know this is not good for business ESPECIALLY seeing the position the company is in at the moment. Is anyone home up there in Waterloo???????? Or maybe just maybe that's been the point all along. Drive the stock down to take the company private. I don't see any other reason.

I have 6 apps by s4bb and they are very useful and do what they say. If all there apps are like the ones I've been using good on them.

Posted via CB10

Simon, you say (quote) "they're a legitimate outfit trying a new business model that hinges on automated app generation".
I don't know if you're aware of the fact they actually "use" interns from Germany for doing their work through a special cooperation with a applied sciences university in Harz. Also the information that S4BB use in their apps is collected by volunteers under wiki-terms and conditions. It could be considered bordering legality. The source for my statement is one of the most reliable IT-publishers of Germany, heise.de:
http://www.heise.de/ix/meldung/Zehntausende-BlackBerry-Apps-bauen-auf-fr...
I don't mean to provoke but considering this fact, I wouldn't call their business model "legitimate".
-pac

Okay, I didn't know about them paying royalties. How interns are treated is, unfortunately, often a simple question of subjectivity. But if they pay for using the appropriate rights, I won't complain. Thanks for coming back to clarify!
You're actually doing a very good job here at crackberry, you and James Richardson are my favorite writers on this website. Keep up the good work!

isn't Alec Saunders in cohoots with S4BB? I mean, the way things are looking, he may need the extra side cash for his premium lifestyle...

Your unfounded accusation is a lot on the slanderous side. Let's keep it civil. I would say a few more things, but I am keeping it civil. ;)

You've got to be kidding me... can we get a BlackBerry World search feature that excludes S4BB apps?

CB10 - Z10 -10.2.0.1725

Does S4BB have an app that automatically submit apps? There are so many things to fill in for an app. Even if one only submits app 24/7, it will take a long time to submit that many apps.

I don't have any problem with it and I don't see why other people do. To me, spam is something unsolicited that's sent to you, or is blocking something good. These do neither. I have never opened up App World and had S4BB apps being sent to me, and they've never filled up one of my app searches. It's not like you search "flashlight" and 8000 city guides show up.

As far as "clogging the system", like was posted earlier, they will take a sampling and approve the lot based on that. I haven't heard of anyone having big troubles getting their app into app world.

Also, people keep posting things about quality over quantity in App World. You can say that S4BB should do that, but some seem to think that them releasing 140k apps keeps other people from release higher quality apps. It doesn't. S4BB's app releases have no impact on whether App World gets big name apps or high quality apps.

In short, it's their business model to follow as they please, and I don't see how it's hurting anyone.

You're not serious? You must work for S4BB. You cannot pump out that many apps and have any type of QA. Developers have a tough time releasing ONE app on multiple platforms because it's too much over head. Can you imagine what it would take to manage/update that many apps?

I don't think the process of making and updating those apps is as crazy as you think if you take into consideration that the developers are probably spending most of their time making sure the automated development process is polished, rather than building out one app at a time. So long as the data they're pumping into the apps is all in the same format, all S4BB has to worry about is making a consistent framework to shove it into.

I don't think I made any statements about the quality or lack of quality of the S4BB apps. I stated that their apps have no bearing on the quality or availability of other people's apps, which some people seemed to think was the case.

However, since you mention it, I do think they can release that many apps with some QA. After all, it isn't actually a "different app" so much as it is thousands of renditions of the same app with different information. Like Simon said, they're pushing information into an automated framework.

This is going to clog the "Recently Added" list. I feel bad for any other developer who has just submitted an app. BlackBerry should just add a whole new category for S4BB and not discourage independent app developer

Wow, just back on a Z10 and this sounds exactly like the Playbook App World problem. Thousands of Books that were "Apps". After numerous emails and no action I just stopped using App World. Looks like I came back to a great phone with spineless apologists running their App Store. This is crap. I am so sick of the "App centric " discussions. In truth, I doubt there are really more than 100 Apps that actually add any value to a Mobile Device. That's my rant. I know, to each their own.

Posted via CB10

I wish I could sometimes just Ignore S4BB to be able to find something else than only map-apps of cities I've never heard of.

I guess they want their own cascades tab for content: games apps content for drivers video s4bb

CB10 - Z10 -10.2.0.1725

SMH. I really love the fact that someone has stepped up to help boost BlackBerries ecosystem. The downside is the developer- even if all the apps were awesome, is not a good look to have that many apps from a single source.

Don't have a problem have used a few of their apps and they work well, if you don't like the apps don't use them but if you have not tried them don't get on there case, they know what they want and they go out and get it.

This sucks. It's bad imagery, and absolute pollution of app world. Make those maps ONE app with download content. This is 200K of everything wrong with BlackBerry World. Dear S4BB: please combine apps

They are spamming and flooding the app situation with their name so as to drown out any potential competition. If anything BlackBerry World should have a way to ensure other apps nott get drowned out or moved to the bottom of a search list.

So how does another dev with a quality app featurinf similar things not get buried amongst 200k Apps by these guys. What a joke.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10 Oreo

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