In a letter sent to developers, BlackBerry has announced the end of its Built for BlackBerry software program.
Launched in 2012 — back when the Waterloo-based was still known as Research in Motion — the program was an initiative BlackBerry undertook to try and foster a healthy app ecosystem for its Black Berry 10 operating system.
Apps submitted and accepted into the program were collected into their own section of BlackBerry World, and could even show off the company’s logo next to their star rating. Like BlackBerry’s still existing Built for BlackBerry accessories program, the idea behind the designation was to signal to the consumer that the app they were about to download was worth their time and money.
Moving forward, BlackBerry will not accept any new submissions to the program. Moreover, apps that currently carry the designation will only be allowed to continue to do so until February 29, 2016.
While the program managed to highlight a number of compelling app throughout its lifetime, the fact it’s shutting down is not surprising. Over the past few years, BlackBerry has encouraged developers to submit their enterprise level apps to BlackBerry World, while more consumer facing apps have been encouraged to go through the Amazon App Store. For better or worse, with BlackBerry’s future ambitions for the consumer mobile market seemingly tied to Android, BlackBerry World is taking a step back.
The full letter can be seen below.
With our focus on enterprise customers, we are evolving our app strategy to focus on secure enterprise apps leveraging BlackBerry Enterprise Server and Good Powered by BlackBerry. As a result, we’re ending the Built for BlackBerry program. Here’s what this means to you:
- Starting today, January 19, 2016, new Built for BlackBerry submissions will no longer be accepted
- Pending Built for BlackBerry submissions will not receive any further review
- Existing applications will keep their Built for BlackBerry designations until February 29, 2016
- You can still reach out to BFBTestingTeam to nominate your applications for featuring on BlackBerry World.
Your apps aren’t going anywhere
Please note that the existing applications you’ve created will not disappear. All that will happen is that the Built for BlackBerry designation will go away. We are continually assessing new opportunities for you to market and feature your previously successful Built for BlackBerry applications. In the meantime, you can continue to submit regular applications the same way you always have. You can also extend your reach by placing your applications on the Amazon App Store.
At this time, we’d like to thank you for participating in the Built for BlackBerry program. Your commitment has helped boost the quality and range of applications available to BlackBerry users. We encourage you to register for the BlackBerry Enterprise Partner Newsletter to get the latest news on building secure enterprise apps.
The BlackBerry Developer Program Team