RIM is pleased to announce that the BlackBerry App World Vetting Criteria is now live. This document gives you the inside scoop behind the reasoning for most app denials.

In it, you’ll find no nonsense talk about content and features that RIM simply cannot accept on App World. Read through it before you build your app to minimize the chances of getting it denied. A plain text copy is available below:


BlackBerry App World™ Vetting Criteria
RIM recognizes that the contributions of application developers are fundamental to the success of the BlackBerry App World™. You are a key partner in delivering the best application discovery experience of high quality offerings for BlackBerry users while simultaneously gaining significant exposure and placement.
Applications submitted to BlackBerry App World™ must comply with the BlackBerry App World Vendor Guidelines available at https://appworld.blackberry.com/isvportal/guidelines.do. The following is an additional resource which may assist you in developing applications (and/or content) which are appropriate for submission to BlackBerry App World™. A new app may push certain boundaries and trigger new rules and guidelines so keep in mind that RIM reserves the right to accept, deny or remove any application from BlackBerry App World™ at any time.

Submitting an app that does not work will be rejected. Specifically, but not limited to, apps with the following issues will be rejected:

  • Broken Links/Buttons
  • Keyboard issues – the keyboard must use correct mapping and become visible when needed
  • Accelerometer issues
  • Navigation issues – A user must be able to navigate through the app and go back to home screen
  • Crash or force close during use
  • App functionality does not equate to app description
  • Copycat apps which are identical to an existing app in either look, feel, or functionality
  • Primary function is to act as a marketing, advertising or spam tool
  • Provide inaccurate diagnostic or device data
  • Damages the device or causes excessive battery drainage

Metadata & Images

  • The app description cannot be solely available in a foreign language even if its functionalities are in a language other than English
  • The app name and description cannot contain profanity or any verbiage not suitable for all ages
  • The app name cannot begin with a special character (e.g. – ~,_,!,*,%) unless it has been registered as such
  • The app name must be in a BlackBerry App World supported language
  • The app name or description cinnot refer to any unannounced BlackBerry OS’s or Devices
  • The app must be posted in an appropriate/relevant category
  • The app content ratings and keywords cannot be altered to manipulate the app’s position and/or exposure in BlackBerry App World
  • Developers cannot attempt to get high/positive ratings from users by offering them incentives for good reviews or demanding it for access to complete functionality of the app
  • Screenshots and icons must be suitable for all ages – cannot contain any nudity, profanity, sexual verbiage or imagery
  • Icons and screenshots cannot contain any BlackBerry device, logo or trademark
  • Icons and screenshots cannot be taken or displayed on a competing device
  • Keywords chosen for the app must be directly related to the app’s content and cannot contain irrelevant words included for the intent of increasing hits and downloads

Illegal Content
Any form of illegal content will be denied from App World. Please note that laws change from region to region and it is your responsibility to ensure your application adheres to all applicable laws. Examples of illegal content that we will not allow globally are:


  • Depiction of children or minors (18 years or younger) in a sexual manner
  • Hate speech to offend a person or group of people or promote targeting a victim based on their race, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or lack thereof, sexual orientation, disability, language ability, ideology, social class, occupation, appearance (height, weight, skin color, etc.), mental capacity or political affiliation
  • Enabling the user to acquire or create illicit drugs
  • Illegal access to copyrighted material including but not limited to, music, movies, applications, and etc.
  • Crude content or functionality

Sexual Content

  • Apps with any pornographic material, graphic sexual content and/or nudity will be denied
  • All dating apps must have an ‘Adult’ rating, appropriate UGC safeguards and a TOS stating that users must be over the age of majority in their region
  • Any app that contains, promotes, or otherwise facilitates escort services or prostitution will be denied


  • Any app that promotes sales or excessive usage of tobacco, cigars, cigarettes, and/or smokeless tobacco will be denied
  • Apps that depict or promote underage drinking will be denied
  • Apps that inform users about DUI checkpoint locations will be denied


  • Any app that depicts obscene and gratuitous violence will be denied
  • Any app that depicts or encourages realistic use of weapons, firearms or other harmful or illegal materials will be denied

Illicit Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia

  • Apps that connect the user with other people for the purpose of using illicit drugs are not allowed
  • Apps that provide information on growing or manufacturing illicit drugs are not allowed
  • Apps that include any equipment, product or material intended for making, using or concealing illicit drugs are not allowed

Branding Infringements
All apps must follow the branding guidelines set out in BlackBerry App World™ Branding Guidelines. In addition to these guidelines, please note the following:

  • The app name or description cannot refer to any unannounced OS’s or Devices
  • Abbreviated forms of the trademarks (i.e. – Berry, BB, BBerry, Berries) are not allowed in the app name unless they are relevant to the context of the app
  • The app cannot mention any other smartphones, tablets, products, brands or store fronts
  • Popular Non-RIM Brands cannot be used in the app name in a way that implies direct association with the brand unless the vendor is the trademark owner or has the rights
  • Apps that bash RIM products/brand or promote negative publicity are not allowed


  • Apps that allow a user to download torrents, binaries from Usenet, or files from a source that is high risk for piracy will be denied
  • Apps that infringe on any legal or trademark laws will be denied
  • ROMs or game system emulators are not allowed
  • Apps that act as a web launcher but do not have digital rights for the target site, are not allowed
  • Apps that enable the user to send spoof emails/message or make prank calls are not allowed
  • Apps that enable, through programmatic or knowledge sharing means, the ability for users to jailbreak devices (including RIM and competitor products) are not allowed


  • Apps that bundle a physical good with the purchase price of the app or use BlackBerry Payment Services to sell physical goods, will be denied
  • Any app that permits sales of firearms or products that could be used for firearm development, production, detection, etc. will be denied
  • Apps that promote the sale of controlled drugs that require a prescription from a licensed practitioner will be denied
  • Apps that cost a ridiculously high amount and provide no functionality will be denied


  • If you collect any personal information on users, ensure you post a URL to your privacy policy during submission
  • You may not collect user information without offering the user an option to provide such details and/or without complete transparency as to what the information will be used for
  • Apps that are location-based must provide an opt-out option for the user and cannot disclose their location without consent; otherwise, the app will be denied
  • Apps that spy or track users without them being notified/aware will be denied  Apps that send any form of communication on behalf of the user without the user’s consent in regards to content and recipient, are not allowed

Other App Storefronts
We do not allow other app storefronts, including:

  • Apps that link to, function as or refer to competing app or theme stores (including those that sell free apps)
  • Apps that sell other apps that run on competitors’ products or on non-mobile operating systems
  • Apps that promote other ways to get apps (i.e. – competing store fronts, via email, external website etc.)
  • Theme stores

Ensure your app complies with the BlackBerry Ad Service Publisher Agreement. In addition, we do not allow:

  • Apps that force the user to click on an ad to receive complete functionality of the app (e.g.- to get to next screen)
  • Apps that have ads intended for mature or adult audiences and the app is not rated mature or adult
  • Apps that are designed with the sole purpose of displaying ads

Multimedia Content (Audio, Video, etc)
We do not allow:

  • Apps that enable a user to record radio stations
  • Apps that enable a user to rip audio and/or video from online websites

If your game app integrates with Scoreloop, please refer to the following document (https://developer.blackberry.com/native/documentation/scoreloop/index.html)