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Did RIM Yank Virtual Vault Out of App World Due to SDK License?

zombie handshakeWe mentioned Virtual Vault last last week as an app that copies all of your emails to your SD card and acts as a sort of offline email client from there. It is a cool idea of an app yet I did point out that it probably violated RIM’s draconian BlackBerry SDK license. I have hinted a few times that there is specific wording in the BlackBerry SDK that prohibits creating an email client that replaces the native one but I never actually showed it to you guys. This is the reason we don’t have any really good IMAP or regular email clients for BlackBerry.

Here is the exact verbiage from the PDF SDK license:


Unless You obtain written authorization from RIM executed by an officer of RIM, You acknowledge that the License does not include and You are not licensed to develop, market, rent, distribute, transfer, license, sublicense, or furnish any applications which modify, delete, duplicate or replace all or any material part of: (i) the email functionality or features of all or any portion of the BlackBerry Solution except where such applications are developed for and distributed solely in connection with RIM Handheld Products in accordance with the License; (ii) the functionality or features of all or any portion of a Synchronization Server or Synchronization Agent which has been incorporated by RIM into any portion of the BlackBerry Solution; or (iii) the functionality or features of all or any portion of any Distillers which have been incorporated by RIM into the Attachment Service. You further agree not to engage in any of the aforementioned activities or to attempt to do so using any part of the SDK.

The way I read it the license almost sounds like you would be allowed to create an email client if it were only developed for BlackBerrys but that is not how RIM interprets it. I always wonder how the Gmail client got away with creating a BlackBerry app that uses the protected API’s to run in the background and access your BlackBerry profiles but that whole RIM/Google relationship confuses me.

Tom pointed out that Virtual Vault is no longer available on App World. You can see from the Google cache that it was there before but no longer… Wonder if they got the axe from RIM.

3 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Sounds weird. I guess that the Gmail app does all its email stuff using the data plan, but it doesn’t seem unlikely that Google received written permission from RIM. I guess they could re-release it if they are ever able to get written permission from RIM

  2. Zonasnap replaces the BlackBerry email composition with one of its own for emailing screen grabs, and its a pain because it doesn’t do address book lookups.

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