back to article A single company is responsible for 1 out of 4 BlackBerry apps

It's no secret that sales of the latest BlackBerry handsets haven't been as strong as the Canadian mobile maker had hoped. But if the real strength of an OS platform is in its developer ecosystem, BlackBerry could be on even shakier ground than previously thought. At the BlackBerry Live event in Orlando, Florida in May, CEO …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Silver badge

Emulation Engine

BlackBerry's emulation engine, rather than a platform-native app.

Dalvik in anything is theoretically the same as Dalvik on Android. Dalvik on BB10 is no more an emulation than Dalvik on Android. BB's implementation is getting better all the time, and reportedly will be Jelly Bean compatible in a short while.

Having said that, those Android apps on BlackBerry do show up how unsatisfactory a UI Android is. Use BB10 for a short period of time and you soon realize how stupid it is to have a home button in a fixed position on the mobile, and how crazy it is to have buttons at all. Native BB apps that use BB's bezel gestures are far nicer to use. It's a shame that app developers are taking advantage of BB' Dalvik to port apps in a lazy way rather than doing the job properly. However, BB would probably have very few apps indeed without their Dalvik implementation; beggars can't be choosers.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

So

So they will go down with the ship as well.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

I'm sure someone

Wishes the company were called S4WP8

0
0

New phone time

Currently using a 3 year old BB Bold 9700. I was planning to change to WIndows Phone. Went to look at the Nokia range last weekend. Surprised at just how cheap and nasty they seem. Couldn't imagine any of them lasting more than 6 months, and I'm a light user.

Then picked up the Q10 - surprised at just how well made it is. Sticking with my 9700 for now, but certainly considering the Q10 when the price comes down a bit. Even the Q5 was better made than any of the Nokia range.

0
0
Bronze badge
Stop

Re: New phone time

I think you're confusing "well made" with "heavy".

Some Lumia testing info here.

3
0
Thumb Up

Re: New phone time

Looks like I may change my mind. Thanks

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Could be much worse

Has anyone inspected the Windows Phone store recently?

Similar story there...

0
0
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Could be much worse

When I was in my early teens, I remember all the kids being tribal over the Atari ST/Amiga divide, never missing an opportunity to have a dig at the other side, no matter how small the opportunity.

Ah, the more things change, the more they stay the same...

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Could be much worse

The WP app store has far better quality apps, but suffers from a different problem - discoverability.

When you search for any particular type of app, the matches returned are not usually the quality apps. For some reason, the algorithm seems to bring up any old dross thus giving the impression of low quality apps when in reality some of the best apps for the search terms just don't show.

Microsoft really need to blow a few hundred thousand dollars on employing people whose sole job is to wade through all the apps available and give them some kind of multiplier for quality, so rankings are still based on the usual criteria but empirically better apps are prioritised somewhat.

0
0
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Could be much worse

Don't go there.

The system that handles download stats is falls over more regularly than a premier league striker in the penalty box. This then knocks onto discoverability, as download stats are used in the calculation. So if you launch your app, then the stats system goes down, your app is recorded as having an average of zero downloads for the length of the outage, and winds up going straight to the bottom of the list.

Similarly any download increases from, say, promotional work you do that coincides with one of these outages counts for nothing.

There have been a lot of pissed off developers on the forums about this - myself included - and the last thing Microsoft need to do at the moment is upset the people willing to develop for the WInPhone - especially considering that cross-platform tools like Monogame and Unity mean that alternative platforms are only a few hours work away...

0
0
Holmes

Acronym

Is "S4BB" a "Subcontractor For BlackBerry" itself?

0
0

I think I'm alone...

In that I actually like and prefer my Z10 to android and the old iphone.

LED torch is useful :)

0
0
Silver badge

Does it matter?

120,000 applications is still 120,000. I guess there's a risk if this one developer decides to stop making applications, but it doesn't make the applications worthless. And how does this compare to other platforms - are there single companies cranking out huge numbers of applications there too?

That some applications are low quality or pointless is a problem with all platforms, and the whole idea of "number of applications" is pretty useless as a measure of software quality, and is really just used by people trying to claim their platform is better (just look at how Apple fans for years insisted fewer numbers of applications on Mac OS didn't matter, yet then claimed the raw number of apps was the single most important statistic ever when it came to iphones - yet have now gone quiet again, now that Android has won the race to a million apps...)

2
0
Bronze badge

"don't care about app numbers"

I remember hearing the same horseshit come out of HP/Palm's mouth back in the day..

Of course they want the high quality apps, but really the value of the platform is added by the niche apps, and theres so many niche's. One example are those cheap little IP cameras that you can buy that have pan/tilt, video and audio recording etc. I bought one for my sister+her bf for xmas as a baby camera. As a webOS user of course I had no apps that could access the thing (using a PC required java or special IE plugin as well - in fact this new model didn't even show video in Linux in the browser anymore, no plugin available). My sis had an android phone, her bf had an iphone. Apps available for both.. HOWEVER, the Android version(at the time) was crippled relative to iPhone, my sister was unable to remotely control the camera basically the only function she had was see live video and take screen shots. The IOS app had pan/tilt, audio, and a few other things. (I think since the Android app has since been brought up to spec). I wrote my own little set of scripts/html to access my cameras remotely(and do some basic controls), it works pretty well, good enough certainly for my needs, and was a fun little project. Fortunately not too complicated.

Obviously there's other niches, Tivo(IOS only), and Slingbox(supports several platforms) were two I was looking at last night.. I think Samsung has apps to control their TVs etc, there's apps for home security, and obviously many more...

So 150,000 apps may include 1% good niche apps. They certainly won't be top 10 or top 100 apps as a whole but they are likely what is to drive a significant level of satisfaction for using the platform.

0
0
FAIL

The meeting for select SDK for BB10 must have went like this

Manager: OK, we have shinny new OS in the works so we need a shinny new SDK.

Developer: Well, our current SDK is based on J2me/J2SE, so maybe we just extend the APIs to leverage the new OS. Our current devs will be happy, and we will attract a good amount of Java devs who know about writing apps. You know, proper debugging, unit testing, and year really good IDE ecosystem. We would just have to do a few plugins for the top IDEs. As a matter of fact we don't even have to pay Oracle for a license, we can just role our own VM.

Manager: Hogwash, everyone knows Java is DEAD! I think Adobe has some shinny new SDK. Adobe Air, Yes, it all html5 and stuff.

Developer: But others have tried that route for mobile and haven't been head from since (i.e. palm webos)

Manager: Nonsense, there are 1000s more web developers than Java developers, so success will surely be ours.

Developer: Just because someone can write a webpage using html/css/JQuery doesn't mean they understand the concept of writing something that doesn't look like a web-page.

Manager: Shut-up with these nonsense facts, but for good measure we will also provide a C++ SDK since unlike JAVA, that's not DEAD.

Developer: OK. (in his/her head: I think I saw add for mobile Java dev at Google ... Hmmm to to send that resume out)

Few Years Go Buy then ...

Manager: So it seems the whole html5 SDK thing didn't work out as we thought and we have no apps. Any ideas?

New Developer: Well, since Google has done some good work with their JVM, lets just port it and run Androids app.

Manager: Your are a genius, now why hasn't any of the other devs thought of this before!!!! I am sure we will have thousands of apps and devs now. I see us going strait to the top.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums