• My Time Away From BlackBerry By Corran Blyth

    In August 2011, I sold my BlackBerry smartphone to my Mother for $80 and moved over to Android. I purchased a HTC Desire S for around $400-500. Donít get me wrong, it was hard moving to Android from BlackBerry. Iíd be losing BlackBerry Messenger, Push email and of course, my beloved keyboard. Now, in April 2012, Iím still using my HTC, and though Iíve enjoyed my time installing ROMs, overclocking and doing various other warranty destroying activities, I think itís time to move on, and get back to my old BlackBerry ways.

    On April 19th 2011, I purchased a BlackBerry PlayBook. I watched it develop, from OS 1.0 through to OS 2.0. I witnessed the increase in apps, which is a subject with much controversy. I believe the increase in quality and quantity was dramatic, and that the range of apps now available is great. This said, I still think thereís room for improvement within app world, by certain developers (Cough, Netflix and Skype).
    Anyway, my PlayBook was a great and worthwhile purchase, but I couldnít help but think I was missing something Ė that my PlayBook needed that extra boost. And I know now that the boost that was needed was a BlackBerry Smartphone.

    After watching the bridge features develop, I remembered how good BlackBerry Messenger was and how I loved the emoticons, the user interface and the delivered and read notifications. BlackBerry messenger was and still is the best smartphone messenger app in my opinion; I just donít see any competition overtaking it in my ranking.
    Part of the fun in BBM was only being able to speak to BlackBerry contacts Ė people with the same interests as me, people interested in the news that was coming out, the development of a purely business company into a company split into public and business consumers Ė on the same phones.

    Iíve always been open-minded about smartphone devices, but for some reason, Iíve always defended RIM Ė through all the hate, the BBM outages and people wanting a new phone considering Android or iOS as their next Operating System. Iíve always recommended BlackBerry phones, to iOS users, Android users and of course, users unsure of whether to move away from their BlackBerry phone.

    In a week or soís time, me and my development team will be attending BlackBerry 10 Jam in Orlando, Florida Ė a developer conference focused around the new phones and their development methods. I am excited for this, as some insight into the BlackBerry 10 platform might be all thatís needed to tempt me to buy a new BlackBerry. While Iím out there, Iíll also be picking up a Bold 9650 from a friend, which will be used to get back into BBM ways (Nope, itís not replacing my HTC Ė but a BB10 device might just do that!).

    Being a developer at C2 Development, choosing the right platform is always crucial and with cascades just around the corner and the awesome base of the Native (NDK), BlackBerry may become my favourite platform for development. Currently, without cascades, itís difficult to make anything other than a game in the NDK and at this point, my time for game development is lacking.

    Currently, our team develops for the PlayBook in WebWorks, which, despite the few bugs, is a great platform for development. Being able to take experience of website development including HTML, CSS and JavaScript (and its various libraries/APIs) into creation of applications running on a device was simply a terrific idea by BlackBerry, and they pulled it off extremely well. However, the performance of a HTML app is never going to be equal to that of an app written in the native language to the QNX-based operating system.

    For this reason, if RIM does BlackBerry 10 right, and cascades is as good as it looks, from a developer and consumer point of view, there will be no hesitation in my purchase of a BlackBerry 10 device.

    During the conference, I will be receiving a prototype device of similar size to the future BlackBerry 10 devices, which I will certainly not hesitate in jumping in and creating demo apps for. Unfortunately, as I am going as a developer and not as a journalist, Iím afraid I wonít be able to give any information about the device however, be certain, that behind the scenes, we will be working on getting used to developing for the platform and its form factor.

    If youíre a developer (or not), and youíll be attending BlackBerry 10 Jam or BlackBerry World, drop a comment below and weíll try and find time to meet up with you.

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