A few days ago, RIM announced a promotion where if you publish an app to their App World, you could receive a free PlayBook. They had run this promotion before, and while I love free stuff (especially expensive tech stuff), I declined to participate. I just couldn’t get excited about making an app for BlackBerry and having to install/learn a new platform.

Things have changed now, because the PlayBook has an Android runtime where you can run Android Apps on. I have several Android apps so it’s not too difficult for me to convert one of my apps to run on the PlayBook – and if I do, I could get a free PlayBook out of it! Sounds like a good deal, as long as I can do it all by February 13th – which should be straightforward because RIM has tools to convert your Android apps through an online interface.

I heard about this last Friday (I think) and I am finally at a stage where I can submit my app (except I can’t). I first ran into trouble because their online tool didn’t work! Even after I spent time generating 2 different keys (and waiting for them to be “delivered” via email), generating a certificate, choosing and verifying a PIN, and setting two different passwords. Everything had 3 letter acronyms and I didn’t understand what I was doing – when all I needed to do was to sign my application. So I gave up for a few days.

When I finally came back to it, I finally got through the process by requesting two new keys, entering new passwords and PIN again, and generating certificates. Yay it only took me 3 days to get through a 5 minute wizard – and I didn’t learn anything from it, except that you need to know a heck of a lot of terminology just to sign your app.

Next step was to get a vendor account (so I can publish my app) – and currently where I am stuck. I had to enter my phone number a couple of times and some more email addresses before I could create an account. I guess someone has to physically review my contact information, because my account isn’t activated yet after almost 24 hours. I wonder how long it’ll take? I guess you need to plan well in advance if you want to submit any app at all. It’s almost a stupid enough process that I might give up on getting a free PlayBook, let alone publish more apps onto App World.