Earlier this week we posted on the release of Vlingo for BlackBerry. For those who have been able to set up the application successfully, the feedback has been very postive (many are absolutely LOVING IT).
On the other hand, many BlackBerry users have been frustrated to date with the Vlingo experience, or lack of experience as it were... as there have been issues for some in setting up the Vlingo service (see comments; read rant).
Earlier today I contacted Vlingo and asked for a status update. Here's the word back:
Most people who have downloaded the software have been able to install and use it successfully. Unfortunately, we do realize that a group, many of whom are on the T-Mobile network, remain unable to use vlingo due to connection and “request timed out” errors. Fixing this issue is our engineering team’s top priority. As we investigate, we are finding that the problem is more complex than originally hoped. It may take some time for us to find and verify the solution, but we are actively working on this and pursuing all avenues to get T-Mobile users up and running.
It does appear that T-Mobile users whose BlackBerrys are WiFi enabled are able to use vlingo over the WiFi connection; the problem appears to be limited to the mobile network. Some users on the Rogers network are also having similar connection problems.
If anyone is experiencing connection issues with vlingo and they have not yet contacted us, we ask that they submit a support request here: http://www.vlingo.com/vlingo/contact_support.jsp
I know it's tough, but if you're one of those experiencing issues, try and have patience! The good folks at Vlingo are tackling the issues and hopefully will have them resolved soon.
Looking back over the past few months of BB software releases, I think there's a lesson to be learned here for all developers... when releasing a new app, go the safe route (also known as the Google route) and throw a "Beta" tag on your 1.0 release. It'll make the launch a little less stressful and the public will be a little more forgiving if things go less smooth than planned.
Or better yet, do what MiuTunes did and Viigo is doing and actually use the BlackBerry Community to help perfect your apps. It builds loyalty, works out the kinks, and when you make your "full release" you'll hit the ground not only running, but sprinting. And if you need beta testers, just shoot me an email (kevin at crackberry.com). We'll be happy to run a blog post making the call for beta testers, or better yet, we're now offering dedicated Software Developer forums within the CrackBerry.com forums. Free of charge, we'll set your company up with a dedicated forum where you can post your products and communicate directly with the CrackBerry.com community (we've been piloting this for a couple of weeks, will announce this more formally next week here on the blogs).