BlackBerry 10 Fragmentation?
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  1. #1
    mikelcal's Avatar
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    BlackBerry 10 Fragmentation?



    Everyone knows that RIM likes to provide options when it comes to smartphones. Just take a look at the list of Blackberry Devices currently available. That is a grand total of 23 smartphones! And that is excluding all the devices running OS older than 5.0. With a variety of screen resolutions and aspect ratios, you can see why it was such a headache for the average developer to make BB applications. But that is in the past. BlackBerry demonstrated at this year's BlackBerry World Conference that they are "laser focused" on getting BB10 out on time and not only that, but doing it well. We have already seen a preview of what is to come and every day that passes we are getting one step closer to getting BB10 finally in our hands.

    A few weeks ago, I came across a blog post from an Android developer who offers an app called "Open Signal Maps." There, they share their views on what fragmentation means to the Android community. They also provide insightful information about the model of the phone, the operating system, and also the screen resolution of the devices that downloaded their app. Although this report is most certainly outdated by now, it still give us plenty to think about.

    For starters, let's leave BB7 and older devices in the past. Moving forward, we know that the PlayBook already has the basics of what will ultimately become BlackBerry 10. Other than this, the only other device capable of running BB10 is the Developer Alpha device being distributed at the various BlackBerry Jam Tour locations over the course of this summer.

    It can be argued that this already created a bit of fragmentation for BB10 since the DevAlpha has a resolution of 1280x768 in comparison to the 1024x600 screen of the PlayBook. Pixel density is important but let's just note that the difference in pixels is very minimal and could easily be adjusted by a seasoned dev. What is more exciting is that QNX with Cascades is so powerful, a developer can provide "screen profiles" to render GUI elements on the screen dynamically depending on what the detected output is. At the "native track" of the Santa Clara BB10 Jam, it was mentioned that BB10 could essentially detect it was connected to an HDMI 1080p monitor or screen and build a GUI for that resolution if the developer takes the time to add that display profile. Remember the "stereoscopic display" demo back at BlackBerry Mobile World Congress 11? Cascades now makes it possible for any developer to create dynamic display settings for different outputs with minimal effort. It was also hinted that there will be other devices with different aspect ratios and that Developers should take advantage of Cascade's versatility for building elegant and functional GUI's that add to the BlackBerry Flow experience.

    So, will there be fragmentation in BB10? You can bet there will be, but rest assured, it will not be as horrendous and as widespread as it is on Android.
    Last edited by mikelcal; 06-17-2012 at 02:27 AM.




  2. #2
    AgentBlackBerry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikelcal
    "laser focused" on getting BB10 out on time
    No offense but, I don't think you can call delaying a release by several months "laser focused".

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    Quote Originally Posted by DownForce View Post
    No offense but, I don't think you can call delaying a release by several months "laser focused".
    None taken, but RIM announced a late 2012 release, and I think they still have a more than a few months to deliver. So its not delayed by any means. They have been really clear since before February that they will bring a final product to market instead of rushing something unpolished out. You also forgot to read the other part..."Doing it well" From what I have seen they are taking it one step at a time and perfecting each element in BB10 before moving to the next piece of the puzzle. You can say it's late if its not here by January 1, 2013.

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    Joe Jerde's Avatar
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    Given that BB 10 is based on a completely new OS and UI for smartphones, I'd say that they are making good time. iOS 6 is going to be a wash, so RIM really has a opportunity to take the cake this year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikelcal View Post
    None taken, but RIM announced a late 2012 release, and I think they still have a more than a few months to deliver. So its not delayed by any means. They have been really clear since before February that they will bring a final product to market instead of rushing something unpolished out. You also forgot to read the other part..."Doing it well" From what I have seen they are taking it one step at a time and perfecting each element in BB10 before moving to the next piece of the puzzle. You can say it's late if its not here by January 1, 2013.
    BB10 was supposed to be released much earlier and were delayed until late 2012 - BlackBerry BB10: Crucial new phones delayed until 'late 2012' | Mail Online.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DownForce View Post
    BB10 was supposed to be released much earlier and were delayed until late 2012 - BlackBerry BB10: Crucial new phones delayed until 'late 2012' | Mail Online.
    Are we really using an article from December though?

    It may just be me, but when the new CEO switch took place it almost became a clean slate and so far everything that has been promised officially has been delivered in time and I think that reflects back to the new CEO and the new people that are being put in place.

    You know that delay was probably caused by the fact that no one wanted a non-LTE BlackBerry 10 device and Mike and Jim should've kept their mouths shut until they actually knew the phones were gonna be ready. For all intents are purposes, those plans for an early 2012 release date were probably for what we know to be the Dev Alpha now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgentBlackBerry View Post
    For all intents are purposes, those plans for an early 2012 release date were probably for what we know to be the Dev Alpha now.
    That's what I have been hearing. That the Dev Alpha is actually the Colt. And that they decided to not release the Colt as a official device and simply wait till BB 10 was a totally finished OS on launch.

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    You guys are right, I'm wrong.

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    There will always be "some" fragmentation in ALL the Mobile and traditional computing operating systems. I think that RIM is well positioned to deal with it because the fragmentation from BlackBerry OS 5.0 all the way to BlackBerry 7.1 was actually bearable, it wasn't a huge difference, yes some apps didn't work but the vast majority did.
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    xdev is offline BlackBerryOS Noobie
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    Well, developers complain about the fragmentation of Android, but it seems that the power of Android lies on the side of... fragmentation. Yes, I'm completely serious. ;-)

    The fragmentation is the Android's biggest defect and advantage. Defect for developers - it is for sure. But an advantage for fighting with competition. They (Apple, Microsoft) were certain that because of the fragmentation Android will be dead by now. But everybody can see that the current market share reports show something quite different. This is a huge mistery of Google: how - despite the fragmentation - they have won the first place on the market...

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    Quote Originally Posted by xdev View Post
    Well, developers complain about the fragmentation of Android, but it seems that the power of Android lies on the side of... fragmentation. Yes, I'm completely serious. ;-)

    The fragmentation is the Android's biggest defect and advantage. Defect for developers - it is for sure. But an advantage for fighting with competition. They (Apple, Microsoft) were certain that because of the fragmentation Android will be dead by now. But everybody can see that the current market share reports show something quite different. This is a huge mistery of Google: how - despite the fragmentation - they have won the first place on the market...
    As a developer and a consumer I see this in two ways. One is that Android is so fragmented in terms of operating systems. Two, the more common fragmentation argument, the multiple devices and many variables in hardware. For instance if you go out and buy an iPhone or a BlackBerry you KNOW that it will be supported for a good while, heck even BlackBerry OS 5.0 is still receiving new features, new OS updates and so forth. The problem with Android fragmentation is not exactly the device, screen size etc and making all of that fit, because no matter how bad anyone hates "scaling" it's done a damn good job, Android apps are often the ones which scale best when I use the Dev Alpha and PlayBook for testing. Why? Because they are designed for multiple screen sizes and a variety of devices. The real issue is in what an OS update can bring and even if you'll get an OS update.

    A new OS can bring some pretty neat features. For example, with BlackBerry 6 we got universal search, webkit based browser, redesigned user interface yada yada yada :P

    I'm not sure if BlackBerry 6 launched with BlackBerry Messenger 6.0 (can't remember if it did) but something like BBM 6.0 was available on any BlackBerry running BlackBerry OS 5.0 and BBM 6.0 brought some neat features like app integration. So that would be a case of backwards compatibility with previous operating systems. Which many apps already do on Android because you want to make sure your apps work on as many devices as possible, also as the software engineers at Google want to make sure backwards compatibility is as good as possible because you don't want to have consumers complain none of their apps work if every time you release an update it breaks all the third party apps.

    So after a long winded post and explanation I think the real problem is not just there's too many devices and too many hardware variables, that's already a known issue and an entire problem on its own, what I'm also hinting at is that there is this side of fragmentation which is less explored, which is the OS.

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