I recently uploaded an application to the Blackberry Appworld through the Blackberry ISV portal and the feeling has been mixed with the experience I had.
The first thought that came to my mind is that the process is a bit expensive and takes quite a while. First you need to make a 200$ investment for getting the relevant credential for the ISV portal which by default gives you “only” 10 credits to upload application to the app world. So basically for every application submission attempt you do you are charged 20$ / 1 credit. I also found out that if I try to update the application which I just uploaded into the Blackberry ISV portal I am again charged 1 credit / 20$. If you run out of credit you got to spend 200$ more for additional 10 credits.
So you see after uploading my application for the first time I found out that I had to make a textual change (just rework a String displayed in the application) and I had to upload the application couple of hours after I uploaded the original app into the Blackberry ISV portal. Well I must say that I wasted 20$ because Blackberry ISV portal doesn’t give a damn if you made one line change or 1000 line code change; an update is an update and you got to pay!
I am not surprised that Blackberry Appworld right now has under 10,000 applications only. A hobby programmer won’t spend 20$ to maintain an application frequently (20$ to upload, then 20$ for 1st update and so on and on and on). However one thing is for sure that if anybody intends to write an application for app world then they got to be very careful that they get it right the very first time in terms of quality and stability. In a way this can prevent people from uploading junk applications into the app world but I have my reservations about this.
The good thing is the application got finally approved after nearly 10 days of review time by RIM and it is up and available for download in the app world.
If anybody from RIM is reading this; please make the application upload process less expensive and less time consuming. Allow a healthy developer ecosystem to flourish which is inexpensive and encourages developers to develop and update applications. There are loads of money to be made if you have 200,000 applications targeting your handset and that itself becomes a big selling point. Milking developers ‘too much’ for developing and updating applications doesn’t make sense as these are the people who give you this kind of edge!