Earlier this week we told you that the RIM signing servers went down for developers. Needless to say, many developers were upset that RIM did not formally notify them of the downtime. You can imagine a lot of the developers were cranky. RIM is the only company that requires app developers to have their apps “phone home”, to call to RIM and verify the app so as to allow it to run on the BlackBerry platform. Now RIM seems to be upsetting app developers on another front: apparently no help at all.

SHAPE, the company behind popular apps like IM+, have been trying to get their apps on the BlackBerry PlayBook. However, according to their marketing director, Maria Dyatlova, RIM doesn’t appear to want to accept IM+ into App World. She went public with her story on Google+, which details her issues at hand. Hit the break for the rest.

It’s Maria from SHAPE, the company behind IM+.

First of all I have to say that we love BlackBerry, many of us in SHAPE have BB Bolds and Curves as main devices, we support BlackBerry by developing apps since the BlackBerry platform appeared and we wish RIM to succeed.

But how are they going to compete with Apple and Google if they don’t work with developer community? The situation with developing for Playbook scares me.
We have hired a flash developer who developed IM+ before Playbook went on sale in Europe. It was a very big and challenging work (I won’t tell anything about the quality of the developer tools for Playbook as I’m not a developer) and finally we have submitted IM+ for App World testing on May 19th. We expected the app to be approved in a week or ten days at latest.

Two weeks went, and nothing happened. We started to contact our main contact at App World but it appeared she’s no longer with that team and she recommended to contact other App World representatives. App World support didn’t answer any of the multiple emails we’ve sent.

Three weeks went and we’ve sent emails to Developer Relations team we had talks with on different events like MWC and WES. Multiple times we were trying to contact them via Twitter (@BlackBerryDev). But they didn’t help.

A month went, we tried all possible ways to contact RIM team. Sent emails from our CEO and COO, contacted App World management people via LinkedIn, nothing helped. RIM didn’t provide an official answer and it seems they just do not want IM+ to be published.

Maybe we could live with it if we could distribute the app from our site, but the real problem is, there’s no possibility to install a Playbook app without the developers SDK. So the only option to install Playbook app is through BlackBerry App World.


I didn’t want to write this post , as there are already too much claims for BlackBerry from both employees and developers. Again, I wish RIM a success. All I want is just to find the right person at RIM who will take care of the developers questions. And finally have our app published.

We’re not sure what could be the hang-up with RIM approving the IM+ app for the PlayBook. If you’d like to see this app make its way onto the PlayBook, perhaps you can send RIM a friendly message. The PlayBook is still lacking apps and we’d hate to see something like this cause even more developers to leave the BlackBerry platform.