SimpleLeap says goodbye to BlackBerry

By Ryan Blundell on 30 Nov 2009 09:42 am EST
SimpleLeap says goodbye

It’s a sad day when someone says goodbye. Last week, I was informed by SimpleLeap Software that they were leaving the BlackBerry community. On November 29th was made official. We have reviewed all of their BlackBerry applications in the past; Cram, Appetite, TalkLater and Call Client. I have always been a huge fan of their work and this did come as a shock to me. I can honestly say that I will miss them and the applications they have brought us. Want to know the reason? What will be the fate of their BlackBerry applications? Read the press release after the jump for more information.

SimpleLeap Software announces today that they will no longer sell their popular BlackBerry apps to the public. SimpleLeap Software will discontinue the sell and development of their BlackBerry applications to focus on further developing their Mac and iPhone app Cram - originally developed for BlackBerry devices. SimpleLeap Software has developed the apps Cram, Appetite, TalkLater, and Call Client for the BlackBerry platform and will end their distribution and updates of the applications on December 1, 2009. SimpleLeap Software will provide support to their customers for all of their paid apps for six months ending on May 01, 2010 and will also give some Cram users with iPhones and iPod Touches a free version while supplies last.

"We are a small two person shop with one developer and one designer/marketer and it has become quite a task to keep our offerings current on multiple platforms. Our BlackBerry users would never understand how much we really appreciate them and how much they have made us a better company and me a better developer and I thank everyone who has supported us through this time greatly. This move simply gives us the opportunity to better focus on executing our goals on the Mac and iPhone platform." says developer Patrick Chukwura.

SimpleLeap Software will announce the news to their customers via email, their company blog (, and their company social network pages. Each app's latest download files and support documentation will remain available for up to a six months on SimpleLeap's website until May 01, 2010. SimpleLeap intends on selling two of their apps, Appetite and TalkLater, to a company that will commit to updating and expanding the capabilities of these apps. The details of the sale of these apps will be released at a later date.

Goodbye SimpleLeap and good luck!

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

SimpleLeap says goodbye to BlackBerry


Oh my goodness, this is why it was so hard to make this decision!

We will miss users like you as well. Please email us and keep in contact!

At least you won't have to put up with typical a**hole BB users like the one below. I will see you on the iphone when I get one. It was definitely a smart move to concentrate your resources on a strong platform that will surely be growing in the future.

if they were smart(er), they would have announced that they're moving to the Android platform. lol.

> Our BlackBerry users would never understand how much we really appreciate them and how much they have made us a better company and me a better developer and I thank everyone who has supported us through this time greatly.

Translation: BlackBerry users helped finance us, so now we'll abandon them. They'll never understand why we've done this, but we hope to strike it rich in the AppStore lottery, while at the same time making more money off of selling the IP to apps we can't monetize in that world. So long, suckers.

Doesn't pinch my feet. I guess I'll save money on their apps as they go to the iphoney since I'll never have one.

What I hope happens:

1. After abandoning those users that made them successful, they go to the iPhone and fail horribly.
2. Blackberry apps with similar or better functionality made by different developers take over the market for these type of apps.
3. SimpleLeap tries to crawl back to Blackberry only to find that no one wants their apps anymore.

I HATE it when someone makes their money on one platform, then when they get a little bit of cash they turn their back on them and go for the big fish. Just like Epic did with PC gaming.

eh.. i won appetite and bought cram.. cram wasnt worth the money and appetite was useless for me and i like to bake and cook.. i find using my notes a better way of storing what i need for a recipe and studying on a blackberry is just not being a good student...
Good luck on the iPhone tho!

The iPhone is superior for apps. Must be a real pain to keep up to date when you have new screen sizes and a different OS released on a BB every week. Fix it RIM!!! 5.0 is not enough.

BOY did you hit the nail on the head! This is really the only reason why we left. We wouldn't mind making apps for both platforms as we have for over a year now, but the constant minor updates that RIM made that constantly made our apps obsolete on a device was just too cumbersome to keep up with.

I'm glad someone understands!

Well, this reason makes a hell of a lot more coherent and logical sense than the explanation above. Crackberry should edit this post and put your comment into it. :) Anyway, wish you luck!

As a BlackBerry user and a developer myself (non-mobile platform) I'm surprised by all the negative feedback towards developers who change strategies. This is business and these guys have to pay the bills and feed their families.

Good luck guys, hope you find what you're looking for !

Good luck to you guys in the future !! I am still new to the BB world, but loving it so far. : )

ps. Too bad there isn't an app that would delete all the hateful comments people feel they have to leave. :o

The problem is simple. So many devices, too little time to keep going back to recode one app for 10 different devices! It's time consuming! Almost like developing a web page. If it doesn't work on Firefox, it will work on Internet Explorer and vice versa! If only CSS3 would be available sooner, and all broswers supported it, no one would be on IE6 still. IE6, much like the old BlackBerry's, is still supported. WHY! DIE IE6! DIE!

In any way, this move is best done now than later when you have exhausted all your time to create an app, and have to recoding it again to fit another line of BlackBerry's 2 months later. Its crazy! There has to be a standard with RIM that will allow all apps/themes to be universal. Down the line, Devs will just keep leaving RIM phones because of this. It's not about the money people, it's more about universal functionality.

For the most part (not including the Storm), you can write one BB app that works on all devices. The key is not using fixed-size graphics or making specific assumptions about device features.

One problem I think is that there are too many developers who probably start by targeting a "specific device" instead of the whole platform, and never break out of that mindset.

You must be in our heads. We totally agree. People don't understand, we would make more money on two platforms rather than only being on one.

It's not a day that goes by that we don't get an email about which device our app doesn't work on. After trying to keep up, it's just time consuming to change four apps constantly to work on more than 10-20 different devices (this including all of the old devices we get request for).

I hope RIM is listening.

Keeping up with all these blackberry devices/OS must be maddening.

As a purchaser of Appetite, I can say the experience has taught me plenty about buying mobile phone apps.

The folks at SimpleLeap did provide a decent app but they stopped development on the software after many of us provided AWESOME feedback on their apps. Instead of owning up to the fact that they were moving on, they just went silent.

They absolutely have the right to pack up their shop and move it to a different platform. We consumers also have the right to refuse to buy software from smaller shops. Charging a full price for software then abandoning the application/platform will have some people think twice about from which companies they purchase apps and the price they pay for them.

If the decision is related to the BlackBerry platform, I really hope SimpleLeap relayed the decision to RIM in an effort to improve things for the people who made them "better" yet will remain on BlackBerry.

Hey theSwami,

We've spoken back and forth many times in the forums and yes you guys totally gave us AWESOME feedback. Unfortunately, RIM is totally aware of these issues and we aren't the first developers to make suggestions to improve development on the platform.

One day, I do believe RIM will get this right, but unfortunately we can not continue to update or provide our apps with the OS in this state.

Don't stop purchasing from small software shops, every company is not the same. There are large shops that could possibly leave the platform as well. Please remember we are providing support for six months and we are looking for another company to take over the app, so we can make sure the improvements that you suggested for Appetite can maybe be included in the app.

When most developers decide to leave the market, the applications simply become abandonware. Impossible to get, impossible to update, and eventually everyone forgets about the software.

Releasing the code to these applications under an open-source license (take your pick) would help the community as a whole, and allow developers to learn from the project. It would also let others pick up and continue to maintain the software if sufficient interest exists.

We've actually REALLY considered this. We were most likely going to try this first with Call Client and see what happens, but we would need a little help doing this as we don't have that much time to dedicate to this nor do we know where to start. If you could provide some insights please contact us on our website.

Its very refreshing to hear that, and I'll definitely be getting in touch with you later today when I have time. This is an approach that isn't considered anywhere near often enough in the mobile space, but really needs to be.

I was going to add the same comment. This is a great opportunity to leave a lasting mark on the BlackBerry community by open sourcing your projects.

Well you will be missed in the BB world hope you guys grow your team so you can come back soon.
Much love from the crackberry nation

Wow more than one developer , wouldn't that be the day, lol!

Thanks so much for the love. If you ever sneak over to the Mac or "iPhoney" as someone referred to it, email us!

Well I have not heard of these apps until the news. And am not to surprised. As a developer I've always recognized how hard it must be to support the RIM platform. All the different OS, phones,

I can understand why the developer has chosen to leave BB and it makes sence. RIM is going through a transition as it moves from a legacy phone concept to a new paradigm. As a small development house it is hard to keep up with one's own features and bugs, having to support many different phones, OS and a constantly moving platform is extremely difficult. But I give RIM much credit and eventually they will stabilize and find a nice medium where a developer can support multiple platform with minimal effort.

Apple came in late, but entered wisely. While they only have a single solution and API. From a developers stand point it is extremely easy to support. One product one API. Now they can focus on their app features and not spend time on the myriad of devices. This benefit cannot last and Apple is going to have to change their single platform UI to accommodate users who cannot user the iPhone. Not everybody likes or can use capacitive touch screens


I 100% agree with you. If Palm can overhaul their OS, BlackBerry DEFINITELY can and WILL.

As for Apple, I was totally hesitant to even try the iPhone because of it's touch screen but I got over it, enjoyed the apps, and now it's my primary phone. Some people just aren't willing to even try it and that's fine, but I bet Apple being the smart company that they are notices this and will do something (as you stated) to handle this.

I think becoming the mobile leader will be a tough task for ANY company over the next five years. They are all clawing at each other for bits of the market share.

Shucks, many developers are leaving the iPhone platform because of the closed and what some people consider "unfair" submission process. All the devices/platforms have their issues, it's just at this time, we can't handle this issue with one developer.

What is real hard for most people and most companies to see is that developer support is essential for any product/platform.

This is why Microsoft killed Apple back in PC wars. MS just had awesome developer support over apple.

Now lets compare RIM vs Apple. While RIM is cheaper to start with the support solution that Apple provide once you buy in to their product is better.

Enter google with their Android platform.

Now let's contrast RIM and Apple vs Google Android. Google gets it not only are they 100% free and open source, they are doing a lot to promote the community. They also give lots to the community. What is happening is Google is starting slow and building up a community. Of course I say slow but look how much they've grown in one year. Only after one year, they have all of the must have apps.

Personally I think the Android phone will be the OS of choice.

I also think Apple is better than most companies in actually getting their users to upgrade. This is really a big problem in the BB world.

Most devices that shipped with 4.2 or 4.3 are upgradable to 4.5. Most devices that shipped with 4.6 or 4.7 are (or soon will be) upgradable to 5.0. But how many users (outside of us) actually do upgrade? And even if they did, there's a not-insignificant time period when these device-specific OS versions are the latest ones.

Just to put things in perspective, a few weeks ago I was wandering around the expo area at the BB DevCon. I overheard some guy complaining about an annoying bug he was having on the Bold 9000 he got at the previous year's DevCon. Turns out he was still running, the same OS version that was on the devices when we got them. That bug annoyed me too, but only for a few days until I upgraded my Bold to a newer OS build.

Not to mention, that it's a bit simpler for users to actually perform the upgrade OR be aware of an update. Most of our customers didn't even know when they contacted us that there were updates available for their device.

I think the service providers have a little too much control over the BlackBerry OS updates.

There is a reason for this: To update an iphone or ipod touch required you to simply plug it into your computer and click "Download and install" on the dialogue box that pops up.

On a blackberry you have to:
1) Found out about the new update (usually by actively reading a site such as this)
2) Work out what latest version for your device, often having to differentiate between x.0.0.129 and x.0.0.134 and then find your carrier-specific version of that OS.
3) Download the files for the OS.
4) Add them to your BlackBerry Desktop Manager.
5) Run the update and pray that it works correctly.
If it doesn't work correctly then you also have to:
6) Restore your Bricked Blackberry and start the process again.
or, if it does:
6) Check through all your apps and find updates for the one which have been broken by the update.

While I certainly no fan of Apple's process (I hate the fact that it will automatically dump a 200mb update file somewhere in the depths of my hard drive and then not delete if if I cancel the download) but it should be obvious which system is more appealing and intuitive to the average consumer.

I love my Blackberries. Actually own three. Me two, wife one. Just because of hype was Droid owner for 15 hours and hated it. Have Ipod Touch love it but don't use it to talk on. Iphone sucks in my area because of AT&T network. After all do we not have these things to converse on and if you can't get service what use are they. I don't know who these guys are and more carriers have Blackberries than they do Iphones since you can only get one through AT&T who by the way couldn't even keep my home phone working so I cancelled that service. I never bought any of SimpleLeaps products so I guess I can say I won't be missing them. I suppose they are going to simply leap over to Iphone. Might be good move on their part if Verizon ever carries the Iphone.

LOL, loved the simply leaped thing!

The thing I don't think a few people get is that SimpleLeap has been on the iPhone/iPod Touch platform for a year now, so we totally get the pros and cons of each device.

I can't wait until Verizon or whomever gets their hands on the iPhone, the iPhone AT&T exclusivity is simply horrendous. One thing you have to keep in mind though, it's much easier to download apps on the iPhone, so easy my mom could do it, lol. The atmosphere behind the iPhone is almost totally based on the ability to download apps. I know long time BlackBerry users who are just now realizing you can get apps for your BlackBerry. I am sure majority of the iPod/iPhone users go in with the intentions of purchasing the iPhone or iPod Touch to get apps.

If you think the Mac & iPhone platforms are easier to maintain & write upgrades to your softwares than BlackBerry does, then I cannot argue with that, since I'm not a developer...

But as businessman myself, I totally agree. A seller can't go on providing updates & revisions forever, even if there's an upgrade fee involved. Given the fact that you are just a small company - "We are a small two person shop with one developer and one designer/marketer" - It's really difficult to try to reach-out all levels of consumers for all sectors of the market. That's why there's the so-called "Feasibility Study".

For sure, you have done at least a bit of that, if not all, that's why you arrived at this decision. And nobody could question that... Good Luck, then, to all your future endeavors...

Thank you so much! We always need all the luck we can get. Good luck to you and your business endeavors as well, and hope business is well for you in this fickle economic climate.

.... even when leaving the Blackberry platform(s), they were able to find a company that would keep a couple of their apps alive and updated. Not something many app makers do I'm sure.

Looks like for any company, especially the mom and pop type developers, they have to decide who they can code for, based on their abilities, and factoring in the ongoing costs of the tools to develop apps for the platforms, as they evolve.

To me, the choice becomes clear as to what they have to do.
It's either a hobby or a business.

Really keeping the apps out there is the most important thing for us. We feel the apps are great or at least have the potential to be great and we have a lot of users enjoying them.

There is no reason why hours of blood, sweat, and tears (especially on Appetite, oh boy) should go to waste like that.

Sucks to have any developer leave. Business is business, if i ever leave or vacation over to the darkside i will check out your apps ;) Best of luck.

I am a die hard CrackBerry whore, but not blind. This, unfortunately, is a trend that will continue, unless RIM can get their shit together and create a compelling market for developers.

They will get it together and the all of the BlackBerry apps, the app store, and the platform will be better for it.

Makes no sense. To capitalize on both iphones, and blackberries they need to expand. Maybe go from 2 to 3, and have 2 developers, one for blackberry the other for apple.

Then they'd need to find a dev willing to put up with the BlackBerry OS still. In its current state, you have to admit the lure is stronger for Android and iPhone. They've got much more put-together development platforms and provide much better tools for software companies to use. They have better standards, freer access to platform APIs, and they're platforms don't limit finished app size to a few hundred kilobytes like BB does. To develop for iPhone and Android you have nothing but powerful devices to write for, because they're all newer gen devices. On BB there's pressure to support every device since the 8100, and every OS since 4.2. What a pain. My Bold fits my lifestyle far better than iPhone, but I don't blame these guys at all for their decision and I think we'll see a lot more companies make the same choice they did while RIM gets their ducks in a row.

I hate to see any developer leave the market, but I can't disagree. With the iPhone, you really just have the hassle of getting your product thru the App Store once.

With a BlackBerry, it's easier to get the product to market -- but you have to do it five, six or seven times because of all the different models and OS builds out there. With BB, you have several different screen sizes, input methods and varying current builds for different devices.

So for a small company, I think the development time is just not worth the Return On Investment.

Best of luck, take care.

actually, you can develop apps for both platforms. not just 'shazem', for instance, has done it. iphone apps survive a few weeks(if not days)!

This is a shame... I've been toying with the trial version of Appetite (which is a good app) and getting ready to actually purchase it... Now, the uncertainty of support and the future of the app forces me to continue my search for a good grocery list app. Ugh...

I Quote This Below From the Article......

"Our BlackBerry users would never understand how much we really appreciate them and how much they have made us a better company and me a better developer and I thank everyone who has supported us through this time greatly."

Now They Can Quote Me........ Three Letters Below

GFY = Go xxxx Yourselves

Goodbye and Good Riddens.

does anyone care?

An iMac and iPod touch owner here that actually knows exactly what he wants for a mobile device and that's a BB.

If these guys want to put all their eggs in one basket then let them. Its simply bad business.

SimpleLeap I wish you well, but think you're making a mistake.

It's easy to get sucked into the hype over the iPhone/Android etc, but last time I checked RIM's subscriber base was still significantly larger than Apples. The hype is very North American focussed, but Europe alone is almost three times the size of the US market.

I could see moving to Nokia development being of advantage (they have 40% of the market) but in my opinion moving to Apple is a negative step if you already have products available in the BlackBerry market.

The advantage of developing for BlackBerry is that the market to developer ratio is massively better than with iPhone.

As well BlackBerry users are generally more affluent and willing to pay more for their apps (assuming the app delivers value).

The result is a more attractive market place than for iPhone or Android.

Developing for BlackBerry does take more effort due to the various OS releases, but the new eclipse IDE has simplified that considerably, and with some thought the process can be made less onerous.

Next year RIM apparently will be adding features such as opening up the push API, advertising provision and carrier payment.

It all sounds good for BlackBerry development.

My initial thoughts were traitor. But after some more thinking here is what i have come up with. While it is unfotunate that they started development with Blackberry and they chose to eliminate it here are the simple facts.

Although I have fell in love with my BB over the short year I have owned it, I realize that its flaws are tremendous. RIM shouldn't have to come up with updates as often as they do. What, you have to do an update, ok. BB update complete. Hey, where did my apps go, or why aren't they functioning properly, oh, the damn update. Go figure. They are just as sick of this crap as we are, so don't try and lie to yourself about it!

If I were one of the Software developers who had to constantly update and tweak my software development every time RIM decided to come out with a new version, my thoughts would be the same as theirs. Drop BB and go with MAC. Let me sit back and reap from the benefit of my genius invention on the iPhone while maybe never having to update my app for at least a year or two vs. every 4-5 months on a BB. Show me the money...

Good luck to their company and I hope they prosper in their endeavors. As for Blackberry and RIM, this is just a preemptive strike by a software developer. Who do you think will WIN in this war in the end? History shows usually the person who is more technology advanced.

P.S. Why don't we have as many app as the iPhone users? Why are we always having to do saftware updates and re-download our missing applications after your faulty updates? Maybe I will see Leap on the Dark side in the near future.