Is your Android app on BlackBerry App World without you knowing?

In our review of PlayBook 2.0, we were eager to check out how well Android apps worked on the platform, and one of the first we reached for was the Dolphin HD browser. Curiously enough, it turns out Dolphin's makers MoboTap had no idea their app was available via BlackBerry's App World. The discovery came after we were notified by developer Steve Troughton-Smith that Dolphin HD had been submitted to App World by white label store Handster (owned by Opera). We reached out to MoboTap who confirmed they didn't authorize any submission by Handster, with a spokesperson telling us "We do not condone Handster submitting our Dolphin Browser app to BlackBerry's App World for us and are currently working to take it down and assure Handster will not submit our app for us again. We will assess developing for BlackBerry when the time is right." Dolphin HD may be a free app, but the question remains: why is Handster submitting it without permission? Has your app been submitted to App World without your knowing?

Update: We received the following statement from Handster regarding their policy:

Handster aggregates over 8500 developers with 55.000 apps and serves them for distribution to Handster/Opera appstores, as well partner distribution network consisting of LG, Ericsson, Alcatel Lucent, MTS and number of other partners. Recently we also signed a deal on providing aggregated content for RIM.

By the Handster standard distribution agreement, we can distribute apps via our main store and our partner network. Most of the developers use this agreement. Handster serves as hub, where you can publish app and cover multiple channels. As a result, developers generate higher revenue and more downloads for their products.

Before publishing any app to new partner channel, we sent notification email to all developers, with information about the partnership. Except notification email, there is usually prior press release and about the coming partnership. We also asked if there are any objections to distribution of apps in the channels, but so far getting only positive feedbacks from the developers.

But of course you should consider that in some cases notification email is not read, or responsible person changes and doesn't notify new people at the developer company of all channels. We contacted Dolphin team to clarify the issue, and expecting soon resolution.

Our partnership with RIM opens new distribution channel to Android developers, by allowing to receive revenue stream from Blackberry devices, without additional efforts. The team established complex process on verification of apps, conversion of APK to BAR files, retesting on Playbook devices and submission integration. These processes are quite complicated for each individual developer to implement.