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An Exploration of BlackBerry 10's Programming API 100

Nerval's Lobster writes "BlackBerry 10 is completely different from previous BlackBerry operating systems — with good reason. Its core assets come from a company named QNX, which Research In Motion acquired in 2010. Blackberry 10 features include 'live tiles' that dynamically refresh with new information, as well as a revamped keyboard and security upgrades. But what really makes or breaks a phone is the quality (and quantity) of its third-party apps. Jeff Cogswell pokes through the BlackBerry 10 programming API in a quest to see what app developers can do with the platform, and how it compares on that front to Apple iOS and Google Android. His conclusion? Although some of the underlying components are showing their age, BlackBerry has 'spent a lot of time building up a foundation for a good development community.' He also goes over BlackBerry 10's viability for porting apps and building games. But will developers actually work with a platform with such low market-share?"
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An Exploration of BlackBerry 10's Programming API

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  • Garbage. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @02:14PM (#43602547)
    I'm not interested in learning yet another API. Keep it.
  • Re:Garbage. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @02:19PM (#43602593)

    Being consistent with the API is more or less meaningless if you've only got a few dozen users.

  • Re:Garbage. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @02:27PM (#43602681) Homepage Journal

    My opinion is like this, but less antagonistic. Developers go to three places as far as APIs are concerned:
    #1. Where the money is. Sorry blackberry you missed that train. iOS or android is going to be far better in that regard.
    #2. Where it's fun. Something about business oriented phone software doesn't call me in that regard.
    #3. Where it's really, really, really easy to whip out applications. Maybe, but I doubt it.

  • Re:Crack (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Unknown1337 ( 2697703 ) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @02:32PM (#43602763)
    Saying it, doesn't make it true. The numbers were well over a million z10 sold in North America alone. The q10 is expected to do even better.
  • by inglorion_on_the_net ( 1965514 ) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @02:33PM (#43602765) Homepage

    I really want this to succeed. First of all, QNX is awesome. I had the pleasure of working with it back in the day when they had the 1.44M demo disk [] ( has a video). At a time when GNU/Linux was working on getting POSIX-compliant and X was clunky and required some expertise to set up, QNX offered an OS with POSIX-compliance, real-time capabilities, a package manager, a GUI that worked out of the box, and managed to produce a 1.44M bootable diskette that showed off the OS with GUI and web browser.

    Secondly, I want my software to be efficient. I'm sure you can do great things with J2ME, Dalvik, or even HTHL and JavaScript. But if you want the best performance or resources are at a premium (hello, battery-powered mobile devices!), you can do better by being closer to the metal. And we have APIs and programming languages that allow us to program closer to the metal. BlackBerry allows us to use those APIs and languages. The author of TFA makes fun of the BlackBerry APIs being in C. I see that as an advantage. You can easily build abstractions on top of low-level APIs. Getting efficiency back once it's been lost in someone's abstraction layer isn't as easy.

    So, while it seems popular to make fun of BlackBerry these days, I really want them to succeed. I think they've made a great product that deserves our consideration. Of course, they have low market share and strong competitors - but then again, so did Apple when they launched the iPhone, and Google when they launched Android.

  • Re:Garbage. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by narcc ( 412956 ) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @02:52PM (#43602993) Journal

    It's funny, a study last year from Evans Data Corp (surprisingly?) showed that BB developers earned significantly more than their iOS and Android counterparts -- with a full 13% netting over 100k.

    To your comment, a consistent complaint from Android developers is how difficult it is to make money on the platform. You can see this reflected in the results of the earlier mentioned study.

    For the big-name players, BB might not be as attractive. For small and medium sized shops, however, targeting BB10 is clearly a smart move.

  • Re:Garbage. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rasmusbr ( 2186518 ) on Wednesday May 01, 2013 @04:24PM (#43603777)

    It's pretty hard to make money selling $0.99 games on Android too when you're up against hundreds of other games being released per day.

    Most of those games are crap, or fun but unpolished hobby projects, but some of them are serious and polished with hundreds if not thousands of man-hours of development gone into them. I suspect few of them come close to recouping their team's time investments even when you consider that many of the teams are working out of India and other countries with similar income levels. There are plenty of fun, quality games with fewer than 100,000 downloads of the free version and fewer than 1000 purchases of the paid version, which means the devs can't have made much more than $2000 on the market, less when you subtract Google's cut and even less when you subtract taxes. A team of, say, three Indians can't live six months on that.

    Developing a game is a long shot on any platform unless you're a studio with a proven team of good developers and designers and marketers.

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe