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ONE App Developer Responsible for 47,000+ Apps in BlackBerry World?


Some of you may have noticed that a few developers have been exploiting the free submission of apps to BlackBerry World and using it as a promotional tool. @gpheheise pointed out to me that the worst offender by far is S4BB. As of this article BlackBerry World is reporting that S4BB has over 47,000+ Apps in BlackBerry World. The first 20-30 actually seem like good to decent quality legitimate apps and then it rapidly goes downhill. There are tons of city guides (Gdynia, Poland anyone?), audio books (is an audiobook an app?), phrasebooks, and more available for BB10 and many times also BBOS.

 BlackBerry World S4BB Search

What really struck me is that these apps are actually borderline legitimate apps though they are really stretching the definition of an “app.” They offer different content in a similar wrapper so they show up in BlackBerry World’s search. Since they are actually legitimate apps I do not think that BlackBerry can keep them out of BlackBerry World but you would expect BlackBerry to discourage BlackBerry World flooding. I actually wonder how many of these 47,000 apps have ever been purchased or downloaded…

BlackBerry World - S4BB Limited-000522

Either way having 47,000 apps definitely skews any BlackBerry World statistics. I am sure other App Stores have tons of spam and fart apps but I was not aware that BlackBerry World was similarly afflicted by a single developer. This just goes to show that BlackBerry should be focusing on the quality apps instead of the quantity of apps.

What do you think? How should BlackBerry handle this sort of BlackBerry World app flooding? Are they doing the right thing by letting them in and letting users decide if they should buy or ignore them?

PS: Is anyone else curious how long it took BlackBerry World’s crack squad of reviewers to review these 47,000 apps from one vendor? Could that be why it takes so long for an app to be approved?

37 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Damn. Crazy!

    • My initial reaction was incredulous

      • YOU ARE A TRAITOR! Android has effin PORN on their stores!!..

        Perfect.. I din’t see a problem in the first place.. If they App developer can submit 50,000 unique apps to the App store.. He/She should be awarded..

        The App store should be awarded because it shows the ease of development..

        The users should celebrate because they have 50,000 more apps..

        It’s like going to the SuperMarket and complaining that a brand has 500 items.. and because you don’t use any of those items, the SuperMarket needs better quality control.

        First of all, BlackBerry has excellent Quality Control because they promote ‘Made for BlackBerry’ apps.. They promote editor choice apps on top.. They promote Best free and Paid apps..

        I’m not bothered ever by S4BB because I use 2 of their Apps which are extremely useful..

        1. Barcode Scanner – Actually Made for BlackBerry with certification
        2. Camera Scanner for PDF – Well built app again..

        Android has effin PORN on their stores..

        • Wow that escalated quickly. Seems like porn is a very decisive factor for you? How about Amazon, eBay, and many other stores that sell “effin porn”?

          Back to your example of a supermarket. Imagine if that one brand had the 500 similar items in your supermarket out of 1200 available items. In other words 40% of the items were the same exact junk with a slightly different package.

          • Where is +1 when you need it? (for Ronen)
            I was making the exact same comparison, 99c store vs a quality supermarket. 99c with same junk in different wrappers vs a place you walk in and buy what you exactly want and it is all you need, works the first time you get it.

            The problem with most app stores, you can rarely discover something great, because all those crappy apps will take up space and by the time you scroll 50 pages, the good ones will be lost among them. This is also why other developers don’t waste time. Unless an app is highlighted, or recommended by websites, etc, it rarely gets discovered.

          • Well what did you expected? Did you expected BlackBerry to reject all their apps? I use S4BB apps, not all but a lot of them. Those are quality apps.

          • Why do you keep implying that all apps are similar? I’ve seen the app list by S4BB and they are not similar.. each one has it’s own function.

            Shouldn’t there just be one calculator app on any platform? One Chess app? One Solitaire app?

            Get real.. This article has helped you with the Page hits on an otherwise non-existent website.. Good going.. You are now no different than any other Troll Tech site..

            I had considered BerryReview to be better than the other tech sites.. But this article should be taken down..

            Editor of this article is so uneducated on the scenario but has managed to punch in 600 words.. I hope you’re not getting paid for this.. Because that would seriously make you a troll for Page hits.. That’s the lowest point in an editor’s integrity.

  2. As a BB10 Dev, I’ve known about this since the launch of BB10. This guys not the only one, there are several developers who use this method of bare minimum single functionality apps. I think that the ones which are very similar (city maps) should have to be consolidated into 1 app to reduce spam count because depending on what you’re searching for its easily possible to encounter tons of these

    • +1000000 this definitely needs to happen. I’m not impressed at all with the number of audio book and especially map apps. This is shameful, and BlackBerry should have long since dealt with this. 120000+ apps my a$$. I’m a longtime hard core BlackBerry fan, and am eternally optimistic about the company’s prospect, but this makes me very upset.

  3. Sad news. BlackBerry should focus on QUALITY not on QUANTITY. They created a quality smartphone now they have to do the same with the apps, the quantity is not important we want quality. I have a few apps on my z10 the ones that i found quality on it. From all android apps available i download 2 (one of them: instagram) is hard to find an android app with quality specially on app world.

  4. I think we must stop this madness and for this we need to get everyone who loves and believes in Blackberry involved and let Blackberry know that we don’t like what we see – they need to do something about this problem asap

  5. Good to see BB appworld team still doesn’t have a handle on this years later…

  6. I’ve noticed this since launch. Always just laugh. Use to enjoy the new app areas, but its always their apps. Complete abuse of the system. As said above, BlackBerry needs to focus on Quality.

  7. The same crap has been happening on Android and iOS. We are talking about 10’s of thousand of fart apps.

    BBRY needs to focus on high profile apps, though BBRY is not totally to blame. Its companies that are stalling app releases such as Netflix, Starbucks & Instagram for example. Why are they stalling?

    Here’s a great read.

    • They’ll stalling for the same reason WP doesn’t have Instagram after 2 years. Instagram makes more sense on WP than any other platform given Nokia’s camera centric few. In some ways I think the big app houses are trying to steer the direction smartphones take and choosing winners/losers. In WP case I think MS is large enough to spoon feed WP down their throats with Nokia’s help. I’m not sure BB has the same capability to push their agenda.

      • You hit the nail on the head. Instagram did not even want to develop an Android app. It is all corporate manipulation and the Microsoft has deep enough pockets to deal with it. It would be nice to see more platforms gain traction, app developers would have no choice than to abandon app stores in favour of Web Apps.

  8. Playbook has been suffering from same problem, eventually people give up because out of 50 apps/games they try, only one of them is worth keeping and running, if they are lucky.

    BB has no groundrules when it comes to app submission and they seem to take anything and everything without any kind of review or detailed approval. It reminds me of Windows 8 app store.

    I look at blackberry, and I think to myself, if people can come up with great games like Run in Crowd or Jetpack Joyride, Asphalt, and the like, I just can’t wrap my head around why BB does not offer %100 profits to grab more app developers. There surely is an audience for it. But then people want their daily apps and games on their device, think about it, even Google Maps is missing. Skype is half baked. So, BB is actually spending their time trying to develop apps for android (BBM for Android) but they can’t develop new stuff for BB? Remember BB Travel? BB Traffic? If they can come up with awesome apps like these, why not others?

  9. BlackBerry needed the numbers and did everything it could for this to happen.
    Some devs have submitted as many simple apps as they could in order to grab cash or devices.

    And although all these crap apps come from one dev, I’m sure the ratio is the same on other platforms. Remember the number of apps which are never downloaded on Apple’s store?

  10. I live in Gdynia (however now I’m in Poznan), Poland, so GTFO.

  11. Microsoft has a system where they charge developers $10 per app after the first 100. I think that BlackBerry should consider this, as most of us wouldn’t go past 100 apps without a really good reason…

  12. I agree Eric. I doubt the developer would do this if it cost him $470,000

  13. If we look at it from another angle, it just means number of apps doesn’t mean anything, whether it’s from same or different developers. A lot of them are indeed just shells or an entry point to a website or a content.

    We do need better filtering on BlackBerry World nevertheless.

  14. What’s the point of your article? You talk about it as though this scenario is unique to the BlackBerry World App store.. This is common across all platforms and the Devs are free to Submit all the apps they want..

    You mention in your article that this is somehow due to the App Submission process being ‘Free’.. Instead of appreciating the fact that App developers have the leverage to submit free apps, you are trying to spin it..

    How does paying for submission add any credibility to the app? Do you download an App based on how much a Dev is required to pay for submission?

    I’m surprised this article is on BerryReview.. It’s garbage and all about QUANTITY complaining about QUALITY. Try to post Quality articles if you expect to see Quality everywhere.

    • Hi Varunsain,

      I think you missed my point in terms of relativity even to other app stores. Say an iPhone user discovered that of the 900,000 available iOS apps 360,000 were made by the same developer and 359,960 of them were the same junk regurgitated thousands of times. Better yet say walmart advertised that they sell a 120,000 different products and then you find out that 47,000 of those products are the same paper bag from the same vendor with a slightly different picture on them and nobody has ever purchased them.

      In short it’s trying to dupe your own users. I personally believe it is all about quality over quantity. Sadly BlackBerry has allowed one developer to exploit their system to the benefit of nobody other than that developer while BlackBerrys customers and other developers suffer from the spam.

      You also may have missed the fact that the people who suggested a fee for apps over 100 above are actually BlackBerry developers. 🙂

      • Your comment above just shows how random your thinking is..

        Nice try though.. just don’t try making a future in the mobile industry.

  15. For sake of comparison, the apps in the Apple store are rated, and generally I search for apps that have dozens to hundreds of ratings first, as this limits the self- and friend-rated apps, but there is no search by rating, at least not on the mobile app store. More advanced search criteria are needed there, and yes, I see advertising apps that are of limited value often. Scrolling through them can get annoying, especially for very popular phrases. Regardless of the platform or cost of submission, implementing beefier search techniques would make a better browsing experience in any app repository, or “store”.

  16. I agree with Charles. I use the Apple app store and do not try an app unless it has a lot of positive reviews on it. Some of the newer ones I may watch for a while and see what the reviews are like before I actually buy or download.

  17. I tend to stick to a very modest amount of apps, using friend-recommended ones mostly.

  18. I think the best to way keep this sort of “spam” from happening is by charging a small fee to upload these apps to Blackberry world. This is a good technique to keep quality in your listings. 47,000 is just a little ridiculous.

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