Latest News: Technology |  Celebrity |  Movies |  Apple |  Cars |  Business |  Sports |  TV Shows |  Geek


Filed under: News | Mobile Phones


App Developers Meet BlackBerry 10

A serious look at BlackBerry 10 for developers.

Jul 11 2012, 8:57am CDT | by

10 Updates
App Developers Meet BlackBerry 10


Full Story

App Developers Meet BlackBerry 10

If the BlackBerry operating system’s declining U.S. market share suggests it’s become irrelevant, a lot of developers apparently disagree. Over the past year, the number of BlackBerry apps grew by 220 percent -- up to 80,000 . Research In Motion’s (RIM) developer events such as BlackBerry Jam frequently sell out, including a recent one in Santa Clara, Calif., the center of the Android and iOS universes.

One optimistic developer is Gameloft, which is developing 11 BlackBerry 10 games. And Truphone , a mobile VoIP provider, has spent the past few months developing a BlackBerry 10 version of its app.

“Overall, we’re optimistic about BlackBerry 10 because it’s a solid, high-quality technology choice at all levels of the stack,” says Adam Linford, head of Labs and Mobile Applications Development at Truphone. “As engineers, we appreciate
that. As a business, we recognize what will make it more attractive to
content and service providers. RIM is also bolting together
an ecosystem platform that enables developers to make money.”

For those developers who are still on the fence -- including ones that have never developed for BlackBerry -- RIM is trying to make it easy to give the new OS a test drive. “If you’re a Java developer, you can explore BlackBerry 10 through Android,” says Larry McDonough, RIM’s BlackBerry developer evangelism manager. “If you’re a native C and C++ developer, you can explore it through our native SDK. If you’re an AIR or Flash developer, you have the best AIR Flash platform in the industry in mobile. Whatever your skill set, we have the tools and the platform for you to easily come explore BlackBerry 10.”

BlackBerry10: What’s Under the Hood?
Some developers say that BlackBerry 10 addresses problems that have dogged other BlackBerry editions.

“Previous versions of the BlackBerry OS have been based on the J2ME
,” says Linford. “Whenever you have a runtime environment like that, you have two options when developing for the platform: Use
the APIs that the manufacturer provides, or write native code and write
your own APIs to ‘glue’ it into the runtime environment from the native
OS -- if they let you. RIM did not, and so you were reliant on the APIs that
they gave you within the runtime.”

In Truphone’s case, the tradeoffs included less control and performance. “This was a massive problem,” says Linford. “Real-time
communications require a high-performance system, and the APIs that RIM provided
in this area were not comprehensive.”

Developing for BlackBerry 10

Changing those kinds of fundamental elements is one example of why BlackBerry 10 is a brand-new OS rather than a point upgrade. But for any OS vendor, a challenge in creating a new platform is finding the right balance: It has to be innovative enough to stand out from the pack, but it can’t be too revolutionary, lest the learning curve turn off many developers.

“The biggest difference is in two parts,” says Linford. “First, the ability to write native
code for the OS on BlackBerry 10. Second, that the native OS supports
many of the standards and patterns that are common to existing operating

“Being based on QNX , the system is very UNIX-like, which means it’s
friendly to software that runs on existing Linux systems and BSDs, including OSX, iOS and Android. As a result, for those folk that have
already got native code on those platforms, the process of porting is
massively simplified.”

BlackBerry 10 is a microkernel architecture that loads its device drivers at runtime. By comparison, Android has monolithic kernel architecture. “Developers will be able to write more native code they can ship as an app that will change how the BlackBerry 10
system works,” says Linford. “On Android, to change fundamental parts of
the system, you need to release your own version of Android itself. That
could lead to some interesting applications that will have a greater
adoption on BlackBerry 10 compared to Android, given the easier means of
distribution and better user experience for deployment.”

Other aspects of BlackBerry 10 might be tougher for some developers. “The big switch will be memory
management and garbage collection, which you have to do with C++ in BlackBerry 10,” says Linford.
“Previous versions of the OS were all accessed via J2ME, and Java handles
all that for you. You get more control with BlackBerry 10, but along with that
comes added complexity that previously a developer wouldn’t have to worry

The Principles Behind BlackBerry 10

RIM used five principles to create BlackBerry 10. Some of them should look familiar to PlayBook developers because they’re adapted from the 2.0 version of that platform.

One example is “Content is king.” RIM gives developers access to the entire screen instead of making elements such as status bars fixed and off limits.

“Every pixel on the screen is presentable and usable by the developer,” says McDonough. “Then, content plays the primary role.”

RIM combined this principle with another -- “multitasking as second nature” -- in the “peeking” feature, which aims to balance full-screen usage with the fact that other tasks occasionally will require the user’s attention. For example, when users hear an alert chime while composing a message, they can peel back a corner of that screen to see if it’s something that they need to deal with right away.

If so, they can click on it and not lose the message they were composing. When they do, another principle takes effect: “fluid workflow,” in which clicking on something in one app causes something else to launch. “We enable developers to implement those kinds of automatic invocations of other applications very easily and cleanly,” says McDonough.

Will these developer and user features be enough for BlackBerry to recapture market share? The answer won’t come until after the first quarter of 2013, which is when the first BlackBerry 10 devices will hit the market. But it’s worth consideration by developers who are looking to stay ahead of the curve.

Photo: Getty Images

By Tim Kridel

Tim Kridel has been covering all things tech and telecom since 1998 for a variety of publications and analyst firms. Based in Columbia, Mo., he still enjoys the childhood hobby that led to a career writing about technology: ham radio. He is a frequent contributor to Digital Innovation Gazette .


iPad Air Giveaway. Win a free iPad Air.

You Might Also Like


Sponsored Update

Update: 10

Selangor’s Watergate about to explode

Source: Malaysia Today

Anwar brought Wan Azmi to meet Khalid to try to resolve this matter. Anwar supports the RM2.5 billion claim but Khalid is stubbornly sticking to the figure of RM250 million ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today 22 hours ago, 4:12am CDT


Update: 9

GLCs told to provide RM7 billion to develop Bumiputera firms

Source: Malaysia Today

(The Malaysian Insider) – Putrajaya has directed government-linked companies (GLC) to generate RM7 billion in business opportunities for Bumiputera firms this year, Prime Minister Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak... READ MORE ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today 1 week ago, 2:05am CDT

More From the Web

Update: 8

Rafizi shows proof of Putrajaya’s hand in contentious carpet-trader loan

Source: Malaysia Today

Eileen Ng, The Malaysian Insider PKR lawmaker Rafizi Ramli today revealed documents to prove Putrajaya interfered in the RM32 million Bank Rakyat loan to ‎controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan. Rafizi (p ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jul 16 2014, 2:16am CDT

Update: 7

PAS MP claims Bank Rakyat loaned carpet-trader RM215m, interest free

Source: Malaysia Today

(Malay Mail Online) – Controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan (pic) was given a whopping RM215 million interest-free loan from state-owned Bank Rakyat, a PAS lawmaker alleged today, despite Putr ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jul 14 2014, 5:52am CDT

Update: 6

MRCB, Nusa Gapurna and PKNS settle suit over RM3 billion PJ Sentral project

Source: Malaysia Today

(The Malaysian Insider) – Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB), Nusa Gapurna Development Sdn Bhd (NGD) and PKNS Holdings Sdn Bhd have reached an out-of-court settlement over the ownership of the... ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 21 2014, 2:53am CDT

Update: 5

Story behind Syed Mokhtar’s ‘RM2.25 billion tax-exempt’ Bernas deal revealed, says PKR MP

Source: Malaysia Today

(The Malaysian Insider) – An innocuous written reply in Parliament has provided a peek into the cosy relationship between the Najib administration and Malaysia’s best-known businessman, Tan Sri Sye ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 15 2014, 12:56pm CDT

Update: 4

Constitutional monarchy still murky concept

Source: Malaysia Today

After the RM4.5 billion land sale, the Sultan of Johor secured a 15% stake in MOL Access Portal (MOL) for RM396 million and took a 20% stake in ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 14 2014, 12:37am CDT

Update: 3

Sultan of Johor’s RM4.5 bil backlash?

Source: Malaysia Today

Has Sultan Ibrahim of Johor’s succession of big money deals over the last six months caused the tide of public opinion to turn against Johor’s royal palace? KiniBiz examines the... READ ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 11 2014, 8:49am CDT

Update: 2

Putrajaya denies carpet dealer given interest-free loan

Source: Malaysia Today

Eileen Ng, The Malaysian Insider Putrajaya today refuted allegations that Bank Rakyat had allowed carpet dealer Deepak Jaikishan to repay a RM32 million loan without interest f ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 11 2014, 5:44am CDT

Update: 1

Malaysia Spends Over $9 million on MH370 Hunt: Report

Source: NDTV

Malaysia has so far spent about RM27.6 million (over $9 million) on search operations for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an official said on Monda ...
Source: NDTV   Full article at: NDTV Jun 9 2014, 3:12am CDT

Shopping Deals


<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi Lugmayr (Google) is the founding chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at




blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Tommaso Chiabra Partied with Selena Gomez and Cara Delevingne
Tommaso Chiabra Partied with Selena Gomez and Cara Delevingne
The lucky mystery guy joining bikini babes Selena Gomez and Cara Delevingne on a yacht in St. Tropez has been identified. It is Tommaso Chiabra.
Dallas Mavericks News: Team Nears Deal with Jameer Nelson
Dallas Mavericks News: Team Nears Deal with Jameer Nelson
The Dallas Mavericks are nearing a deal with free-agent point guard Jameer Nelson.
Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer Release is on Today Show
Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer Release is on Today Show
It is going to be a steamy morning for Fifty Shades of Grey fans today. The Fifty Shades of Grey trailer will debut on the NBC Today show.
iPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Underway
iPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Underway
I4U News is celebrating summer with an iPad Air Giveaway. Claim your chances now to win a free iPad Air - a $499 value! Enter the I4U News iPad Air Giveaway now. There are 22 days left to win.

About the Geek Mind

Read more about The Geek Mind.