10-23-2011 08:44 AM - edited 10-23-2011 08:47 AM
@QuiteSimple I'm sure you're right about the mix of reasons.
And I don't think RIM lied to us. They intended to create a BlackBerry Player, but would obviously have to first remove any legal constraints prior to launching a product. Perhaps they even have the tool available already internally.
Also, after having worked hard to try and provide tools for us - despite the BBOS platform complexities - I'm sure upsetting thousands of developers and effectively writing off 35000 applications (and themes) isn't a decision taken lightly. There must have been a truly significant and insurmountable reason.
@superdirt I think you underestimate current BlackBerry apps - surely they're not all that bad. Plus WebWorks allows the creation of apps that will look very similar on both BBOS and BBX. So the whole "diminished experience" point is not really plausible in a theoretical sense. Though in practise of course some of the Java apps don't look great.
And RIM themselves have millions of lines of BlackBerry OS application code - not to mention a huge number of Java developers. They would have the weigh the loss of millions of dollars in balance sheet assets against the few dollars per device it would cost to support Java (which would be part of the selling price of the device). They've already laid off some Java developers since they're not going to be making further enhancements to BB OS or apps like BB Traffic and even BBM which I'm sure are mostly Java.
Personally I'm going to give WebWorks a go for simpler apps. I think its possible to churn out apps very quickly using web libraries like jQuery. And there's probably going to be a real bonus for those of us who get apps ready for BBX launch because we'll be first at the table.
And I'll either use plugins to do more complex apps or write the app entirely in C. I'm hoping there's the potential, now we have the NDK, to use whatever tools we want if we have the C code to run it. BBX is a POSIX compliant OS so much of the open source catalogue should be available. I look forward to hearing what is being ported to BBX. I may even look at porting some stuff myself.
So I'm actually pretty upbeat about BBX.
Android is being murdered by litigation (not just about Java) and I actually wonder if it will survive - at least with a JVM. Bear in mind the carriers control the cell phone market and Android manufacturers have been undercutting everyone because of the low software costs to manufacture their phones. When Android licensing mean devices cost between $50 and $100 more the carriers won't be so keen to sell Androids. Just my two cents but unless you're already in Android I'd caution against writing Android specific apps - using Phonegap or at least web based apps is the best approach to protect your investment. Adobe clearly think that way at any rate.
Apple doesn't expose as much API so apps are not as powerful as Android or BlackBerry at least in a device sense (obviously user experience is great). I think that will actually become a real advantage for RIM when costs balance out and Android devices become more expensive. RIM is still the only manufacturer that also owns a network and software infrastructure - though with iCloud I guess Apple are matching up the capabilities.
And BBX is a pretty neat operating system and user experience. My 79 year old father just bought himself a Playbook (not at my advice) and is happily learning the touch interface. He said he prefers the smaller form factor for a tablet - it's less obtrusive.
10-23-2011 11:18 AM
@QuiteSimple - BBX sounds like a winner. Technically, I think the PlayBook is pretty much the best tablet on the market and it should do well. I imagine it will be quite easy to duplicate programs between the smartphones and PlayBook, so I'm all in. I just downloaded the PlayBook native SDK. I think RIM hit a grandslam home run with BBX.
I am going to continue to stick to developing primarily with RIM while slowly diversifying to other platforms. People say this to me all the time: "you develop for BlackBerry? Why don't you move over to Android or iPhone? " The answer is simple. Consider just the iPhone. There are 500,000 apps available for the iPhone. There are 50,000 or so on App World, if I am not mistaken. 13.2 million BlackBerry smartphones were sold last quarter, and approximately 19 million iPhones were sold. I really don't want to enter into a market where there's 500,000 apps. I see great opportunity in developing for the smaller stores.
At least half of my Java applications should be easy to port into C++. Luckily I design most of my applications so the business end is fully separate from the UI, specifically for situations like I am in now where I need to do an upgrade. I am going to work on getting a few of my bigger titles moved over to BBX.
I agree with you 100% about sticking with RIM. Everyone I talk to why don't you develop for the Android or iPhone.
How can you compete with 500K appstore and half are free?
It is hard to believe RIM is wasting all the resources and money on making the Android player. If you make good tools you dont need Android. If I want andriod i buy the phone. Just take a look at some of the native games.
I just see a slap in the face by RIM.
10-23-2011 11:25 AM
While I agree that QNX BB Java (aka J2ME) player would be nice to support old (smartphone) apps on Playbook, saying “Java is dead on BBX” is misstatement. Probably, this is RIM’s fault - not explaining its actions. But on another hand, RIM just allows its developers to use modern JDK1.6 based VM (from Android), not old crappy J2ME-based from BB OSes 4 to 7. And here is example of J2me “badness” - RIM released OpenGL ES support in BBOS 7 devices, but there is no 3d engine, which can work under j2me. No physics engine (3d or 2d) either. But you can have it, as long as you targeting jdk1.4+
On outdated android UI – have you re-skinned any component in BB JDE? It can be re-skinned in Android as well.
Also, look where game development going - good portion of iphone and android games are done via multiplatform engines like Unity3d, Shiva3d, CoronaSDK and so on. RIM can concentrate on making them available on Playbook (actually, Unity3d and Shiva3d is already working on PB). This is the future of game dev, not Java
I develop for BB (and for Android and iPhone too) and my experience tells me that RIM made tough decision. It definitively cannot satisfy 100% of involved people. But in long term this increases BBX's chances to survive and keep at least 3rd position in mobile space (and hopefully climb back to 1st)
10-23-2011 01:23 PM
10-23-2011 02:39 PM
@superdirt I think you underestimate current BlackBerry apps - surely they're not all that bad.
Correct, they are not all that bad and that's not what I was trying to say. My feeling is, the demand for the BB OS won't be high enough to drive app sales so much so that they will offset the cost of maintaining Java. For example, Gameloft has entered the PlayBook market and they have released seven or so titles in the past month. All seven titles are best sellers. Gameloft is one of hundreds of developers who can make astounding titles for the PlayBook and BBX. It's hard to imagine BB OS apps having a significant presence in the store when these types of applications will be made available.
The thing that scares me the most about dropping BB OS, is they lose so much in the BES market. I don't understand the BES market intricately, but aren't these third party BES applications a large part of what is keeping many customers coming back to BB? And besides that, what about the customers who have spent a lot of money on the BB OS apps and/or expect the apps they need to ready for use them on their next phone?
10-23-2011 02:42 PM
there is no guarantees - any platform may fail anytime. You just have to be faster than 80% of all these **bleep** producers who write junk for Android (and will write it for BBX soon). And if you've managed to write something more or less popular for BB smartphone - you have solid chances in Android and iPhone too. Android SDK is a WAY easier than J2ME.
“Two men were walking in a forest, when they suddenly saw a savage, hungry-looking bear. One of the men quickly put on a pair of running shoes. The other guy exclaimed, “You **bleep**! You can’t run faster than a bear …”
To which the first guy replied, “But I don’t have to run faster than the bear, I only have to run faster than you!”
11-09-2011 05:55 AM
for those who think that Adobe AIR is a good choice:
Flash is dead, AIR will die soon.
11-09-2011 09:45 AM
11-09-2011 11:29 AM
I think the point is that over the next few years Flash will become redundant. I'm already steering my clients away from developing in Flash for basic commercial apps not least because one of the primary tablets (iPad) can't support Flash out of the box.
For the time being Flash still has a niche, but I wouldn't recommend Flash development if you're not already experienced in the technology.
There's a reason Adobe just bought Phonegap.