RIM Extends Free Playbook Offer by Two Weeks


Listen up, Android developers. Remember that promotion RIM was holding in order to get Android developers to port their applications to Blackberry? The one where you’d get a free Playbook tablet for repacking an application (a process that takes no more than 10 minutes)?

Well, you have a little more time to get all of that done. They’ve extended the deadline – which was originally set to today – by two weeks. Repackaging and uploading an Android app to RIM for submission is pain-free and will get you a free tablet so be sure to take a look at how to do that here. Let us know if you’ll be taking advantage of this. [RIM]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Damn that sucks I’m not an Android developer but I’ve been wanting a Blackberry Playbook for some time now? I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 32GB Wifi model which is great but when I saw the Blackberry Playbook I liked everything about it, the form factor the Blackberry OS 7. It just looks like a more polished better looking Web OS which I’ve always liked? Well to bad for me? Maybe I could create some bullshit app real quick & pack it to Blackberry to get a free Playbook but probably not. Oh’ Well?

  2. Submitted my app last week. The whole developer sign up and app submission process was definitely not as nice as Amazon or as simple as Android Market. That being said, I did get an e-mail about receiving a free PlayBook as soon as my app is approved (though apparently that can take a while). 

  3. I’m currently learning Android development and as much as I’d love a free tablet, they’d have to allow for pretty crappy apps on there for me to be able to cook something up in time for this contest. LOL!

  4. I wouldn’t call the Android repackaging for BlackBerry “pain-free”, and it definitely takes much longer than 10 minutes, so if your time is worth more than a ~$200 PlayBook tablet, you might skip it, unless you think RIM isn’t dying and your app in their market is worth more than $200 over time.

    Here’s how the process went for me:
    1) Sign up for a BB App World vendor account.
    2) A few days later the account is approved, and you then must prove your identity with a photo ID or corporate docs before final approval. Wait a few more days for that.
    3) Get your signing keys, and save passwords for: registration PIN#, keystore pw, and securestorage pw.
    4) Assuming most devs already have Eclipse + Android sdk + ADT, installing the BB plugin is as simple as adding a new install source in eclipse. This then adds a “BlackBerry Nature” menu.
    5) Duplicate your android project for conversion to BB and:
    5a) replace your 72×72 drawable-hdpi icon with one that’s 86×86
    5b) change the min and target API to 2.3 and remove ICS stuff like ActionBar that breaks the build
    5c) remove any mention of Android or links to Android market
    5d) create a new feature graphic that’s much larger than Google Market’s, at 1920×1048 iirc.
    5e) create a new 480×480 hi-res icon for appworld that BB market downsizes
    5f) test build it, verify, then export final with your signing keys
    6) “optionally” test on the simulator in VMWare, which for some reason only works in Windows/Mac, and not Linux.
    7) Log in to your App World vnedora account and submit the app, making SURE to specify OS 2.0 as the min, else older BB users will be able to install it and leave 0-star reviews about it not being able to run.
    8) Wait a few days for the app approval email, then log back into your vendor account and “Post App For Sale” (even if it’s free) to publish it live in their market.
    9) Wait for another email about wether or not your app qualified for the free BB Playbook, and fill in your shipping details. Oh, you’ll never get this email if you don’t also email the name of your app to a “secret” developer relations email that was advertised on twitter but not their blog.
    10) “Within the next 72 hours” (per the email) they’ll email you your tracking #.

    And now you know. :)
    (btw – that “secret” email addy is: [email protected])

    1. Yea, the process kind of sucks. 
      F.Y.I. as soon as I saw that I had to verify my identity with a notarized photo id I decided it wasn’t worth my time. A few days later I got the e-mail saying I was approved as a vendor anyway. 

      1. Same here.
        Do they have to approve apps too, like Apple?

        Mine are useless and probably wouldn’t get accepted anyway.

    2.  Yep got my within the next 72 hours email too. It has been (since Saturday), 120+ hours now. No tracking confirmation yet. Probably ask @asaunders about it…

      1. Fwiw, some in #playbook-dev on freenode said that in the past, the devices were just delivered in advance of the tracking #

        1. i hope that is the case :D

  5. wow, why all the whine people?  you don’t HAVE TO do this, but you all read FREE and you jumped on it ;)

    so it doesn’t take 10 minutes of your valuable time, but maybe 20 minutes,  so BlackBerry isn’t having the biggest market share, it’s still a free gadget you get for very little time you put in with possibly earning some extra cash on a different market

    You can’t make money with your apps if you don’t put any time into it, this is one of the easiest porting processes there is; try porting your Android code to Object-C for iPhone, there is no magic button for that and you will definitely not get a free gadget from Apple for it.

  6. I signed up for Blackberry App World last year. I just have received  an email saying that my app has been approved for sale in App World.

    I look forward to the PlayBook, and being among the first to sell Blackberry OS 2.0 apps. It’s very cool that I can repackage Android and QT apps for the Playbook :-)

    I like their developer outreach program, of giving away Playbooks. They are giving away 25000 devices this year to developers.

    Hopefully they will give away their next generation phone as well when available, so that I can optimize the app for  “Blackberry London”.

  7. I signed up to become a developer on the 2nd, and had my app uploaded, approved for app world, and got my Playbook approved on the 11th. Not a painless process, but I was actually pretty happy with the pacing myself, especially considering how many apps they’re having to sort through now. Should get my tracking number today or tomorrow. 

    1. My process was exactly the same as yours! We were probably in the same batch. lol. What is your app you submitted?

  8. I submitted a game on the 7th. Definitely took longer than 20 minutes since native libraries aren’t supported (the game uses libmodplug to play the soundtrack – 1.5MB on Android using libmodplug + XM songs, 18MB for the Playbook using mp3s…) Still waiting to hear about approval.

    I also submitted a simpler non-game app just in case. There’s a chance apps on the Blackberry App World could be more successful since it’s much less crowded compared to the Android Market. 

  9. I made my .BAR file and its totally configured. NOW IF THEY WOULD APPROVE MY VENDOR STATUS ALREADY! WTF RIM. BE QUICKER! Seriously< I was able to sign and build the .BAR file pretty quick, but the FREE VENDOR approval is taking forever!

  10. i’m one of those people inbetween a user and a developer; i know just enough about software development to know how much i don’t know ;)

    The $99 registration fee kept me from ever bothering to try developing apps for iOs, but the playbook offer was enough to get me motivated to try developing apps for Blackberry.

    After a week of working with the SDK, the amount i know has increased exponentially and it has been an extremely worthwhile experience; I already have ideas for a few more apps that i’m planning and continuing to work on!

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