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03-20-2010 01:49 PM
As discussed on the Developer Blog we are creating a forum post to cover all of the questions from the BlackBerry Super Apps webinar hosted on February 25th. I will be following this thread answering questions from the webinar and answering new general questions that come in.
If you haven't had a chance to view the webinar please check out the archived version here.
03-21-2010 06:00 PM - edited 03-21-2010 06:02 PM
Thanks for the post Mike.
I made a post earlier on the forum asking if the APIs for Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Flickr, etc. were going to be exposed so we don't end up having to ask our users to re-key their login information more than once.
It would be nice to be able to post a tweet to twitter or post something to the wall of a Facebook user within our apps (with appropriate permission from the user of course).
Is this something that we can expect in the near future?
In the webinar, there was talk was about integration. The more APIs that are exposed with that in mind, the more we will see more Super Apps.
03-21-2010 07:25 PM - edited 03-21-2010 07:26 PM
I need exactly what JCarty is asking for also! Android and iPhone both let you do this, and even give you a list of installed app's, 3rd party or not.
03-21-2010 09:25 PM
Here is my first attempt at answering some of the many questions we couldn't cover in the limited time for the webinar.
[Q] The problem I found with a super app that was tightly integrated with the address book is that people were looking to see an icon and not something that was just part of the existing BlackBerry UI.
[A] A good point. Many users will still expect a simple icon for the application whether only to provide information on how to leverage the application or how to manipulate settings. Fixmo is a really good example of this point.
[Q] Is there a way for my app to get notified when new notifications are shown on the device?
[A] Unfortunately, no. But this sounds like a great feature request you should log via the BlackBerry Issue Tracker.
[Q] Is there a way to include full camera control in the application?
[A] Yes. Check out JSR 135 (MMAPI) for more information on how to include the camera field within your application including the ability to modify zoom and flash settings.
[Q] With the definition of a "Super App" being one that you cannot live without, can a game be a super app?
[A] Great question! Yes, a game definitely can be a "Super App" or take on many of the characteristics of a Super App including being notification driven, contextual (even location based), integrated with other applications and so on. It isn't hard to imagine having a game that you love so much that you can't live without it.
[Q] Can I make a Super App by developing a BlackBerry Widget?
[Q] Do you plan on setting up a program to certify applications as Super Apps?
[A] No, we do not currently have any plans for certifying applications as a Super App today. The concept here is to help people really understand not only the capabilities of the BlackBerry platform but also the possibilities on better engaging your users.
[Q] We have developed a collaboration application which works on a "pull" basis. How can we leverage push?
[A] Check out our newly launched Push Services page for more information on how you can start leveraging push in your application whether for the enterprise or consumers.
[Q] Is it possible to add a custom menu item in any third party application?
[A] Yes, although not in a granular fashion today. As part of the ApplicationMenuItem API you can specify that you want your menu item included in all applications on the device but you do not get to pick which applications if you don't want all apps. Can you submit a feature request in the Developer Issue Tracker if you think this is a good use case.
[Q] Suppose the application flow is such that screen 1 pushes screen 2, screen 2 pushes screen 3 and from screen 3 the user needs to go to screen 1. Should the application push screen 1 again or pop screens to get to screen1?
[A] You should definitely maintain the proper ordering of the screens on the stack for the user such that your application will automatically pop off the top screen on the stack when the user presses the escape key. So, in this case, it depends on your ultimate goal of the screens.
[Q] This is a great presentation but it gives very little to seasoned developers. Will you have additional presentations with more details and more code samples?
[A] Yes, definitely. This is the introduction to the concept of Super Apps and you will see additional webinar presentations that go into substantially more detail on all of the key aspects of bringing Super Apps characteristics to your application. The Big Ideas, Little Screens UI Webinar from Brian this month is a perfect example of more involved webinars.
[A] These are part of the new BlackBerry Widget technology and require v5.0 handheld software.
[Q] You mentioned the Super Apps website. Where is that?
More to come!
|he problem that I found with a super app that was tightly integrated with the address book - is that people were looking to see an icon for the app and not something that is just part of the existing blackberry UI|
03-21-2010 09:28 PM
We are actively looking at APIs like Facebook Connect and what they would mean on our platform. If you could capture your feature request on the Issue Tracker that would help us ensure that we are tracking it for inclusion in the platform.
To ensure I understand the rationale (for inclusion in the Issue Tracker since it will be me over there too), can you indicate whether you want to integrate directly into the Facebook app itself on the device or if broad integration APIs across a variety of social networking applications is more what you are looking for. Or both.
03-22-2010 01:30 AM
Both would be awesome but more looking for a broad range of APIs. If it were a "Social API set" similar to how you guys are doing the advertising APIs, that would really be nice.
03-22-2010 04:59 AM
Well, i was in all kind of trouble because my customers saw the PDF and got his head full of funny ideas what would be possible.
"It seems that BB provides super APIs that allows to do lots of funny things and then things that we requested (integration in the phone app, contact app…)"
can we integrate into native apps? well, we can show a menu item, but it is buggy (phone application still delivers null context often), not context sensitive (call menu even for address book entries without a number) and shows for everything. We cannot show menu items depending on the status of the contact.
can we integrate into the incoming phone screen? well, we can show some labels, but we cannot use buttons, menus or any other interaction.
Overall i had the feeling that the provided document was, to put it kid-safe, very marketing-centric.
While there may be many developers happy about discovering that you can use applicationmenuitems others, like me, would rather see RIM opening up on things like internal addressbook, incoming phone screen, menu integration. Oh, and an up-to-date UI library would be great, things like the deco classes were a good start but way too low level for the majority of developers. Native UI should look classy.
03-22-2010 07:08 AM
Simon summed it all up pretty well.
03-29-2010 07:13 PM
I watched the webcast and summarized some of the contents but more importantly the questions asked here:
Since I am mainly interested in native apps development, I did not record web dev related stuff, sorry.
03-29-2010 10:43 PM
Appreciate the feedback. Have you reported these issues via the Issue Tracker so that we can work towards resolving them?
Yes, the webcast was certainly and intentionally high level setting the stage for future webcast sessions where we will go into substantially more detail. The previous webcast also in February was actually quite indepth on writing effective UI with some really solid sample code to get people started. Did you attend that webcast as well?