For all their talk, BlackBerry has fallen back on double-speak addressing key developer partners of the changes to come with the addition of the Amazon Appstore on BlackBerry 10. A maintenance release to BlackBerry 10.2.1 will bring the catalog to BlackBerry devices toward the end of July. Chen has established this deal to ease the monetary obligation to getting big name developers onto the platform.
Overall, BlackBerry World will drive forward and focus on native Enterprise applications with games and other native utilities will be given lower priority in the storefront. Unless you go searching for them you will not find them. It seems like BlackBerry does not want native consumer applications any longer.
We have received information that there is a total strategy change when it comes to applications. BlackBerry confirmed a few things off the cuff:
- No Google Play Services – Amazon’s store builds around the need for them with their own services
- The Amazon Appstore will be the base Android app, not a native experience
- A unified App Store was NOT even considered
- Native games and ‘Fun Apps’ will not be featured in the BlackBerry World Carousel
- Developers can still submit native apps to BlackBerry World – but BlackBerry wants consumer apps in Amazon
We can also confirm that today is Marty Mallick’s last day with BlackBerry.
Overall the tone of the conversations being had between BlackBerry and their developers is quite disheartening. Initiatives like Built for BlackBerry once a prestigious badge of quality, is now very easy to achieve, and furthermore rather meaningless in the big picture.
BlackBerry World will be refocused towards productivity apps, utility apps, and applications useful for enterprise-centric users.
— Jeremy Duke, OSBB (@BerryInformed) June 20, 2014
Short term this will open BlackBerry up to many more consumers who may be interested in trying out new devices but BlackBerry was unclear as to what the long term ramifications will be. While BlackBerry is allowing developers to continue updating and submitting to BlackBerry World will this remain the case? It’s a tough time for BlackBerry devs, and I feel for them as they are the champions of this platform. THEY are the ones who made it relevant in the first place… Without them BlackBerry 10 wouldn’t have even made it this far.
For instance the developer of MAKE when integrating his application Candid into the Hub actual had to help the BlackBerry teams fix numerous bugs in the Hub experience… These developers supported the platform far beyond their apps and it’s hard to see them shafted in such a way. I seriously hope Chen can find an amicable solution down the road. These developers deserve a lot better.
These third party developers are proof that BlackBerry’s pulse is stronger than ever.
But it seems instead of fostering that relationship, Chen finds more value in a blood transfusion. My good friend (and developer) Brandon put up a great article worth reading regarding the Amazon deal and it speaks to situation from a developers perspective.
What say you BlackBerry Devs what are your thoughts concerning these changes?