Free advice for Widality

A recent Wall Street Journal Article talked about some of the limitations of BlackBerry development. However instead of looking at real issues, such as the fact that only CDMA devices support OpenGL, the article instead focused on a company called Widality who quite simply is just doing things wrong. Widality obviously is clueless and needs some help, so simply here is how to fix (some) of their self inflicted problems.

First of all Sell the application through BlackBerry AppWorld. In the article you claim to sell “exclusively through BlackBerry’s App World store” but a quick search of AppWorld doesn’t show a single product for sale. If customers got the free version from AppWorld, they are going to look to AppWorld to but it.

This is related to the last point but, make it easy to buy. Getting people to upgrade from the free version of an application, to a paid version is tough. Only a small percent of Pixelated users upgrade to Pixelated Plus, but it is much better if users can figure out how to upgrade. Even under the “Try & Buy” tab on your website there is no clear way to actually buy the application.

Third you should not require users to delete the free version in order to upgrade to the paid version. You are just making things difficult on your customers. Instead let the apps play nice with each other by simply giving them different names. It really is that easy. Also related to smoothing out the upgrade process don’t make users reload their data. There is about 10 different ways to migrate the data automatically, please use one of them.

There is no excuse for your application to be so ugly. This is honestly one of the worst looking applications that I have ever seen. RIM includes native API’s for things like text and buttons, and if you used them your app might actually look decent and get some more sales.

Finally, you need to set a fair price. The article states that you moved form charging $3 to charging $96 per year. You do not need to charge the minimum, but your price does have to be reasonable.

Hopefully this can help Widality out, so that in the future they can just make decent applications instead of looking for somebody else to blame.