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New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-06-2011
My Device: Not Specified

Quick question on which OS to target

Hello,

 

I'm building a very simple application for a conference which shows the speakers, schedule and location of the event. Very simple, just text and images and a few menus. The key to the application is to make it available to as many BlackBerry devices as reasonable. 

 

I wanted advice as to which OS to target? I'm thinking if I develop for OS 4.5 it should work for the majority of BlackBerry devices? Or should I develop for OS 5.0 instead?

 

Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!

Developer
Posts: 889
Registered: ‎08-31-2009
My Device: 9530, 9630, 9800, 8530, 9900, 9810, 9930, PlayBook, Dev Alpha
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: Quick question on which OS to target

Here is a link showing OS usage from April-December 2010.

 

http://news.ebscer.com/2011/01/blackberry-os-usage-over-time/

 

At this point I would feel pretty safe having OS 5.0 as a minimum.


Read my thoughts on BlackBerry Development at news.ebscer.com
Developer
Posts: 19,636
Registered: ‎07-14-2008
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Quick question on which OS to target

Some figures from RIM available here:

 

http://us.blackberry.com/developers/choosingtargetos.jsp

 

The 'worrying' percentage from your perspective is the subscriber percentage of OS's before OS 5.0.  I believe this reflects corporate users who have not yet been 'upgraded' by their IT organizations.  If the conference is being attended by these people, then OS 5.0 support only is going to prove restrictive.  However if you are looking at consumers, then I agree with Ebscer, OS 5.0 is a reasonable minimum. 

Developer
Posts: 466
Registered: ‎03-04-2009
My Device: 8520
My Carrier: some

Re: Quick question on which OS to target

it also depends on the 'complexity' of your app. If it doesn't require much of new features available from 5.0 then why not supporting the lowest OS onward.

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Developer
Posts: 19,636
Registered: ‎07-14-2008
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Quick question on which OS to target

"why not supporting the lowest OS onward."

Because to do this might require different Builds, for example, to avoid the compatibility mode in OS 4/7 if you compile with OS 4.6 or before. 

 

If you are developing a new consumer application go high - because by the time the app comes out, there will be fewer older device anyway. 

New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-06-2011
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Quick question on which OS to target

"Because to do this might require different Builds, for example, to avoid the compatibility mode in OS 4/7 if you compile with OS 4.6 or before." 

 

Could you explain the above? My app doesn't need many of the new features offered in OS 5.0 so I was going to develop for OS 4.5. Would that be an issue for certain devices? What does compatibility mode have to do with it?

 

Thanks for all the help everyone!

Developer
Posts: 19,636
Registered: ‎07-14-2008
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Quick question on which OS to target

Talking about compatibility mode first....

 

If you run code compiled on 4.6 or earlier, on a Storm, then the Storm ran the code in compatibility mode - which basically meant it was in portrait mode with a fixed keyboard on display all the time.  The idea of compatibility mode was to get older apps to work on the Storm, the Storm would 'simulate' an older BB with a fixed keyboard.  There are I believe a number of ways round this if you have an application that you only wanted to compile once and that you knew would actually work on the Storm, including getting your users to set the compatibility option off in the Application properties.  But I suspect most people just did two builds, one for older devices and one for 4.7 and above, then the users didn't have to do anything.

 

"My app doesn't need many of the new features..."

 

It doesn't matter how many, if you require 1 feature then you are going to have to be careful about how you develop.  My recommendation I think I suggested earlier, develop your app for OS 5.0, get it working there, and then, if you think there is a big 4.5 to 5.0 market, replace any OS 5.0 features with workarounds that work in older OSes.  This will give you a good feeling for what is useful in OS 5.0 and what is not.