Jumat, 11 November 2011

BerryReview.com Giving Back to the BlackBerry Community

BerryReview.com Giving Back to the BlackBerry Community

Bell Getting White BlackBerry Bold 9900 on November 24th

Posted: 11 Nov 2011 01:03 AM PST

White Bell Bold 9900

The white BlackBerry Bold 9900 continues its rounds with its next destination rumored to be Bell Canada. MobileSyrup scored a screenshot of a spec sheet for the white Bold 9900 and it shows the launch date of November 24th, 2011. The price is set the same at $169.95 with a 3 year contract and $599.95 without.

Are you going to pick one up?

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Posted by Ronen Halevy for ©BerryReview, November 11, 2011, 4:03 am. | Bell Getting White BlackBerry Bold 9900 on November 24th | Leave a comment |

Free BlackBerry Podcasts App Updated to v1.5.0.53

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 06:03 PM PST


RIM has rolled out an update to their useful and free Podcasts app bringing it to v1.5.0.53. I had hopes that RIM would keep on pushing the Podcasts app but so far things haven't moved since the PlayBook so its nice to see updates coming. There is no word or change log on what this update brings but let us know if you see anything.

You can pick up the updated Podcasts app in App World

Kudos to @Mark_Cathey for the tip

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Posted by Ronen Halevy for ©BerryReview, November 10, 2011, 9:03 pm. | Free BlackBerry Podcasts App Updated to v1.5.0.53 | One comment |

BlackBerry Bold 9900 OS Found Online

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 05:42 PM PST

Bold 9900 and 9930

There has not been as much OS leakage as usual when it comes to the latest BlackBerry 7 devices during a worldwide rollout. Hopefully that is changing with a new OS for the flagship Bold 9900 scored by N4BB. We don't know what is new in this OS yet but report back in the comments with what you find!

Download BlackBerry Bold 9900 OS @ FileServe

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Warning: This OS will not install on any other BlackBerry besides the one mentioned above and is not an official release.If you do not know how to upgrade your BlackBerry OS please start by reading this step by step guide.Don't forget to delete the vendor.xml file located in c:program files>common files>research in motion>apploader to install it on a different carriers device. Don't forget our usual warnings: do not download and install these updates if you don't know what you're doing. Incorrect procedure or just bad luck could render your BlackBerry inoperative or unstable.

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Posted by Ronen Halevy for ©BerryReview, November 10, 2011, 8:42 pm. | BlackBerry Bold 9900 OS Found Online | One comment |

Interview With RIM’s Alec Saunders on the BlackBerry Developer Ecosystem

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 03:00 PM PST

Back in August I got a chance to sit down with Mike Kirkup who was then the Senior Director of Global Developer Relations at RIM. Since then Mike has left and Alec Saunders has made a big splash as the new Vice President of Developer Relations and Ecosystem Development at RIM even posting his email address publicly. This week we got a chance to sit down with him and pick his brain on a few of the issues developers want to know about the current BlackBerry Platforms, initiatives, and future goals. Read on for the details!

What is the main message that you are trying to convey to current and potential BlackBerry developers?

Alec clarified his message to developers as a three pronged approach that he sort of hit upon at DevCon.

  • There are over 70 million BlackBerry users which is a large community which RIM has been growing every quarter.
  • There is money to be made on the BlackBerry Platform which was highlighted in this recent independent survey.
  • There is a bright future in BBX and the future BlackBerry ecosystem that you can develop for now.

What is your main goal or measure for success? Or simply what is your departments mission statement for developer relations?

Alec summed it all up into two words: "More Apps." Though he did say the whole mission statement was to "Educate, support, and inspire developers to create new, better, and more apps for BlackBerry."

So what are some of your goals to improve the experience of current and new BlackBerry developers?

There are three main areas that we are focusing on to improve the development experience for developers both new and experienced:

  • Improving the process of getting up and running
  • Improving documentation (I pushed him to make the documentation more social and community driven)
  • Improving the actual tools themselves

We also measure success based on many metrics but you can boil it down to the number of apps available and the satisfaction of developers. We then base our strategy on beta feedback, developer surveys, and other information points like the support forums. If they see an issue escalated in the forums by multiple devs they will escalate it further as a priority.

Tell us a little bit about some of the new initiatives for the developer relations team?

I am a firm believer of having "boots on the ground" and reaching directly to developer communities. For example, a few companies came to us saying that they were confused about what RIM's future BBX plans were for peripherals (think stuff like card swipers, printers, etc). We ended up organizing a whole Meetup in Waterloo where these companies interfaced directly with the teams developing the peripherals, BBX strategy and groundwork.

On top of that the Developer Relations team is a growing team around the world. We have people in many growing markets which is an area of large growth for RIM. They are also reaching out to developers in the support forums and Twitter @BlackBerryDev where developers can reach out directly to RIM's team. You can even simply email Alec directly and he will try to delegate it.

What is your team doing in terms of recruiting new developers for BBX (HTML5, WebWorks, Flash, Native, Android) and the current BlackBerry ecosystem (Java, WebWorks)?

With BBX and even WebWorks we are reaching out to communities of developers to help them bring their expertise and catalog of apps to the BBX platform or WebWorks on both platforms. For example, we did this with game engines on the PlayBook along with web developer communities like Sencha and jQuery. We are also working on different opensource tools for the BBX platform which we have posted on our GitHub repositories to help native BBX developers. This goal is to help attract communities to the platform by making it enticing.

What about differentiating factors of the BBX and PlayBook platform? For example, currently it is not possible to create what RIM calls a "Super App" for the BlackBerry PlayBook. When is that functionality coming?

This is something that is definitely in the works. We have these "Super App" APIs in the works now for everything from notifications to deep system integration. Definitely more on this in the future as we keep on improving the PlayBook 2.0 OS with some of the features possibly being exposed to developers to test in beta.

What about more powerful integration into the core OS such as developers building their own Bluetooth, Bridge, NFC, USB, or other integrations into the hardware?

This is also coming. As long as it does not compromise the security and reliability of the OS then we are working on it. It might include some sort of extra certifications for Bluetooth stacks or drivers.

Does BBX allow RIM to be more agile in dealing with the development environment and updates? Until now RIM has worked in a 2 year cycle where they release a product and then they get feedback during the lifecycle throughout the release and then a year later provide the improvement. Is BBX going to finally change this?

BBX definitely allows us to be more agile. For example, with BBX the carrier only certifies the radio stack allowing RIM to update the rest of the OS without needing carrier certification every time. I (Alec) personally love working with developers and I plan on making it a much more effective feedback loop. Talking directly to developers and then taking that feedback back to the appropriate teams at RIM to take action. This will allow us to do continuous improvements to developer API's and functionality instead of simply trying to ship the whole kitchen sink.

What about App World? How does that fit into the developer relations sphere?

App World is an integral story of the BlackBerry experience. Downloads are growing like crazy with 90 million in August to 140 million in October. They also noticed that 200 BBM connected apps account for 10% of downloads which just shows how much of a differentiator the BBM Social Platform SDK is.

What about for BBX? Will App World remain the only place to find apps for BBX just like the PlayBook? Is there a reason RIM is deviating from the current BlackBerry model to a more Apple-like walled garden of app markets?

The PlayBook and BBX app store experience is an "unapologetically curated experience. " RIM is maintaining this control for a few reasons including the fact that we have found customers prefer to go to one place for apps. This also gives RIM the ability to exclude malicious apps and have editorial control so we don’t have an abundance of irrelevant or unnecessary apps.

This is important for devs too because it increases discoverability. I used to work at a startup and the hardest part was dealing with payments and transactions especially with carriers wanting a large portion of deals. App World handles all of that and offers 16 countries with carrier billing. This is critical in developing markets and places where users do not have credit cards, a key growth market for RIM.

What about the current limitations of App World such as a lack of discount codes, coupons, beta testing ability, slow approval times and release times, small pictures, no video trailers, and gift cards?

Stay tuned! Many of those are coming! I cannot speak directly to that but the App World team is working hard on adding those features after a successful App World 3.0 release.

What about HTML5 and WebWorks? Now that Adobe has killed their mobile Flash development to focus on HTML5 does that play well into RIM's strategy.

HTML5 and WebWorks allows us to recruit new devs that weren't previously mobile to easily make their applications mobile. It is also a key piece for devs to create enterprise apps that use HTML5 for easier deployment. RIM is following the standards and continues to expand on them. Our Torch team is blazing the trail by adhering to the latest standards and implementing things like WebGL.

What about PlayBook functions and BBX functions and API's beyond the standards? Say for example the desktop notification API in HTML5?

The Torch team is planning on staying pretty close to the standards but exposing capabilities of the BBX platform. I cannot speak directly to the notifications API but we plan on exposing the BBX APIs to WebWorks developers and changing them to HTML5 standards if it expands to cover it. This is a way for developers to move away from proprietary and the current push by other ecosystems to native development.

Well it was a pleasure to speak to you Alec. We wish you, your team, and RIM the best of luck!

If you have any more questions you want us to ask Alec let us know in the comments!

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Posted by Ronen Halevy for ©BerryReview, November 10, 2011, 6:00 pm. | Interview With RIM’s Alec Saunders on the BlackBerry Developer Ecosystem | 7 comments |

Twitter v2.1.0.20 & Facebook v2.0.0.55 for BlackBerry in Beta Zone

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 11:18 AM PST

Curve 9350

The BlackBerry Beta Zone rolled out some updates this week to the two main social apps. Twitter for BlackBerry was updated to v2.1.0.22 with a bunch of fixes to @Mentions, options, and virtual keyboard. Facebook for BlackBerry also got some love bringing it to v2.0.0.55 which supposedly fixes a bug or two.

You can pick up both at www.blackberry.com/beta. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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Posted by the BerryReview Team for ©BerryReview, November 10, 2011, 2:18 pm. | Twitter v2.1.0.20 & Facebook v2.0.0.55 for BlackBerry in Beta Zone | One comment |

Vodafone UK Gets White BlackBerry Bold 9900 – AutoFocus?

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 08:49 AM PST

Vodafone UK 9900 autofocus

The white BlackBerry Bold 9900 is making its rounds to carriers around the world. The latest stop is Vodafone UK which Terrence let us know about. They are offering the phone for free on certain plans but that is not the interesting part. Terrence pointed out to us that Vodafone has the white 9900 listed as having autofocus. I doubt that is the case since RIM said autofocus would not fit in the design but its fun to speculate!

Either way you can find the white BlackBerry Bold 9900 here on Vodafone UK's website

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Posted by the BerryReview Team for ©BerryReview, November 10, 2011, 11:49 am. | Vodafone UK Gets White BlackBerry Bold 9900 – AutoFocus? | 3 comments |

Free Zombie Attack Game Gets 100 New Levels

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 08:33 AM PST

Zombie Attack

We told you about Smarter Apps Zombie Attack game last month when it launched with an interesting freemium model. Smarter Apps then offered a limited time promotion of the first 100 levels free though they don't say how limited of a time. The other interesting feature of the game is the ability to pay a one time $0.99 price to purchase access to nuclear bombs that will clear any level which you can use once an hour. Now Smarter Apps has upped the ante with 100 more levels that they announced on their blog spotted by Adam @CrackBerry.

According to that post:

Version 1.1.44 was released on Thursday, November 10, 2011. An additional 100 levels of rock throwing, grenade launching and chainsaw tossing fun has been added, making it a grand total of 200 levels!

The other interesting thing is they have finally come out and confirmed that:

First time Zombie fighter? No problem, the game is free and so are all future updates. Get it at BlackBerry App World.

You can pick it up now in App World

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Posted by the BerryReview Team for ©BerryReview, November 10, 2011, 11:33 am. | Free Zombie Attack Game Gets 100 New Levels | Leave a comment |

Even When RIM Does Something Right They Still Get Hammered for it… (Adobe Flash)

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 08:14 AM PST


I have been having a field day reading all of the articles readers have sent in today about Adobe getting out of the mobile browser Flash game. Read some of the titles and you will see what I mean:

All of these bloggers are harping on the fact that RIM immediately reassured Flash developers who have spent time developing for QNX and the PlayBook that they would not be left in the cold. Andry Gryc from QNX nicely points out that these bloggers seem to have missed what Adobe and RIM actually said. Adobe essentially said that it will be no longer developing Flash plugins for mobile devices for use in their browsers including Android and the PlayBook while still pushing Adobe AIR as a way to package mobile apps. What RIM responded is that they are not going to suddenly dump all of their Flash developers in the cold.

This essentially means that Flash on mobile will continue to be useful since Adobe admits that they are going to continue pushing it for desktops. That means if you want to browse on your tablet just like you do on your desktop you will need some sort of Flash. HTML5 is a strong promise and RIM CLEARLY states that:

We are excited to see Adobe focusing their efforts on HTML5, and on bringing their world class development and design expertise to HTML5 and mobile. As many of you noted, at BlackBerry DevCon Americas this year we strongly emphasized HTML5 development, and all of our platforms include best-in-breed HTML5 browsing capability, based on the WebKit engine. We believe that HTML5 is the future of mobile, and are delighted to be aligned with Adobe on this.

RIM has invested a ton of effort in HTML5 and it is a key building block of BBX. RIM is just saying that Flash will continue to be supported in its current form. All of the future improvements Adobe has planned for Flash in v12 are not intended for mobile devices. On top of that there is the Adobe AIR side of Flash that Adobe clearly says they are going to continue driving:

Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores.  We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook.  We will of course continue to provide critical bug fixes and security updates for existing device configurations.  We will also allow our source code licensees to continue working on and release their own implementations.

So are these bloggers just taking a cheap shot at RIM for essentially supporting developers and saying the same thing as Adobe? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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Posted by Ronen Halevy for ©BerryReview, November 10, 2011, 11:14 am. | Even When RIM Does Something Right They Still Get Hammered for it… (Adobe Flash) | 8 comments |

Free Caro BBM Connected Game Updated to v1.5

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 07:44 AM PST

Caro1 Caro2

The HUGELY popular Caro game that we have told you about since beta just got a nice update to v1.5. This update promises to be "99% Bugs Free" which is refreshing! It also promises to be the most stable, robust, and fastest version of Caro so its definitely worth an update. In case you don't know Caro is a free Tic Tac Toe like game that works over BBM for some addictive gameplay.

Caro3 Caro4

You can pick up Caro free in App World

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Posted by the BerryReview Team for ©BerryReview, November 10, 2011, 10:44 am. | Free Caro BBM Connected Game Updated to v1.5 | One comment |

Kobo Purchased by Japanese Rakuten for $315 Million

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 06:51 AM PST

Kobo Acquired

Kobo has been having some issues on BlackBerry including the PlayBook version for a bit but now we might know why they are a bit distracted. Scuebydue pointed that the Canadian Kobo was just purchased by the Japanese Rakuten for $315 million. I had never heard of Rakuten before but supposedly they are "one of the world's top 3 e-commerce companies by revenue" planning on expanding their "unique B2B2C borderless e-commerce business globally, by adding an ecosystem to provide downloadable media products to consumers, starting with eBooks."

In short I am hoping that means they plan on putting more effort into their BlackBerry PlayBook and smartphone eBook readers and expand their catalog. Full details on the acquisition below:

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Posted by Ronen Halevy for ©BerryReview, November 10, 2011, 9:51 am. | Kobo Purchased by Japanese Rakuten for $315 Million | Leave a comment |

FileScout v2.7.1.5 “Massively Improves” DropBox Integration

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 05:55 AM PST

 FileScout Update

EmacBerry has updated their popular FileScout file manager application to v2.7.1.5 this week. This update brings a slew of improvements and other updates but mainly improves the DropBox integration they introduced in previous versions. This is because DropBox released a new version of their API on October 22nd and FileScout now supports this new DropBox APIv1 which is supposed to be "massively improved."

Here is the full change log:

  • When multiple applications have registered itself as content handler for a file type FileScout will show a application chooser. So now you can select if you like to open a file with application ‘A’ or with application ‘B’ [if 'A' & 'B' have registered itself for the same file type (mimetype/extension/suffix)]
  • When you create a playlist the content of the playlist will be sorted (depending on your current FileScout sorting settings)
  • New key shortcut to close FileScout instantly: [SHIFT]+[X]
  • Some performance improvements when working with the TextViewer/Editor (the hourglass should appear less often – if at all)
  • EMail-Archive function: Instead of the Message-HashCode a TimeStamp will be used in order to create a Message-Subfolder (for some reason there have been reports that the message hash was not ‘unique-enough’)
  • *.M4B files will be considered as playable Audio files.
  • FileScout will check the compatibility with the installed Dropbox Plugin (and automatically open the Browser if an update of the Plugin is required)
  • Filescout Dropbox Plugin – Dropbox APIv1 Support:

    Since the 22′nd of October Dropbox have released a new Version of the API. The FileScout Dropbox Plugin will now make use of the new APIv1. Basically you should not really notice a difference. Please see the list below for the changes:

    • When you want to upload a file to your Dropbox the Plugin now will list all content of your account (not only the directories/folder structure) – so now you can see if a certain file is already is present in your Dropbox
    • Create a temp Share Link for any file in your Dropbox. No matter if you download or upload a file – for any item displayed in your Dropbox you can create a time restricted (temp) link that you can send to anybody (even without a Dropbox account) in order to share the item. Simply highlight the file and select ‘Share’ from the BlackBerry Menu – after a short wile you get a dialog showing the link information (containing the information for how long the link is valid)). The link (URL) will be automatically copied into your device clipboard so you can paste it where ever you like (eMail, twitter, facebook, etc…). Please note that you can create also Share links for a Dropbox folder – in this case Dropbox will made the complete content (including all Subfolders) available in a ZIP-Archive – so use this function wise!
    • For OS6.x and OS7.x the authentication works now completely via the official Dropbox Website (accessed via the BlackBerry Browser) – So there is no need to enter your Dropbox account information into the FileScout App anylonger
  • OS7.x main application icon size adjusted – @Rezn I hope that’s fine now

If you want to pick up FileScout or update your existing copy you can do it via AppWorld or update your existing FileScout installation OTA

If you liked this article, you might find these interesting:

Posted by Ronen Halevy for ©BerryReview, November 10, 2011, 8:55 am. | FileScout v2.7.1.5 “Massively Improves” DropBox Integration | 4 comments |

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