Welcome to the second part of our interview with the RIM beta team! Today, Stephanie Joiner, Director of User Engagement at RIM answers your questions about the BlackBerry® Beta Zone. Click the link below to see Stephanie’s answers; if you have any more questions, post them in the comments and we’ll try to get them answered as well. If you haven’t yet, don’t forget to also read part one of our Inside the BlackBerry Beta Team interview!
When we Tweeted out to our followers asking for BlackBerry® Beta Zone questions, we got a lot of variations on the “when will we see an updated version of app X?” Is there a roadmap you can share with us?
We work really closely with the RIM® product teams to identify beta candidates and bring them to BlackBerry Beta Zone members. As the site continues to grow and be well-received by users and by the RIM teams benefiting from the user feedback, we anticipate adding more and more programs. I can’t really speak to future or rumored products, of course, but I can definitely say that our members will continue to get access to some great programs and we are always looking to add more products to our site and to build out the ones we have there.
We also received the question as to whether or not increased BlackBerry Beta Zone participation would lead to a better chance at unique beta invitations. Can you explain to us how the invitation process works?
There are a number of different ways a program could be introduced on BlackBerry Beta Zone. It could be an open program, which means everyone can join. Or it may be a limited preview, which would have a cap on program size. The limited previews are filled on a first come, first serve basis. In addition, some programs are designated for specific regions (handheld software is regionally based), while others are specific to business or organization use.
Lastly, there are a few products which will be offered by invitation only. In these cases, invitations are based on matches to current user profiles. All members are encouraged to keep their profiles up to date in order to increase opportunities for selection in these types of programs!
Our readers are also very interested in knowing when BlackBerry Beta Zone is coming to their country? Can you fill us in on which countries now have access to BlackBerry Beta Zone?
One of our top priorities in growing the site is to keep up the global expansion. Ensuring we receive feedback from all the places where BlackBerry smartphones are sold is very important to us. So as of last week, we’ll be adding new countries each week until we have covered the globe. Here is a list of the most recently added countries:
* Antigua and Barbuda
* Cayman Islands
* Netherlands Antilles
* Saint Kitts and Nevis
* Saint Lucia
* Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
* Trinidad and Tobago
* Turks and Caicos Islands
- Hong Kong
- Puerto Rico
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
What does the future hold for the beta program at RIM?
Can I say more, more and more? More programs, more people, more countries, more feedback, more changes. Our goal is to steadily increase the number and size of our programs to give members increased opportunities to participate and provide feedback on a variety of BlackBerry software.