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  1. RubberChicken76's Avatar
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    Default Apps on N Series?

    I'm a keyboard guy, through and through. I'm currently on an iPhone 4S. There's a lot I like about it, but I still can't stand typing on the thing. My iOS fanboy friends have sworn up and down that I'd 'get used to it', that I'd 'be typing as quick as on my old 9900' and I'd 'prefer it in the end'.

    I've been on iOS for six months and this has not happened. I cannot type anywhere near as fast, I still make lots of mistakes typing and the autocorrect drives me bonkers.

    As such, I'm thinking N Series would be better for me in terms of my preference. I have concerns in one specific area: The apps.

    N Series has a completely square 720 x 720 screen. That's nothing like anything I've seen. That's nothing like the PlayBook I own or the iOS devices I own. Up until recently, it seems like all of RIM's efforts have been around getting apps created for or ported from that rectangle form factor (see PlayBook, Dev Alpha A, B). I also have a lot of PlayBook apps purchased that I'd like to use on a phone.

    Anyone have any experience with developing for the square screen? How easy or hard is it in terms of bringing apps over?

    My fear is that a lot of the apps won't make it to N Series because of the screen. But I also don't pretend to know how easy or hard it is in Cascades to deal with the different aspect ratio.
  2. peter9477's Avatar
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    We don't have the full set of tools/APIs we'll have to support the different form factors yet, so nobody can really answer that fully. That said, it shouldn't be significantly more work to support the 720x720 than what you need to do to decide how to lay out the components different, which may involve moving some of them to separate pages, or making a page scroll where it didn't need to before, or other things. In other words, I expect it's the design work that will take the time here and not the coding itself.

    I can't really see how "square" is problematic compared to "rectangular"... there aren't that many situations where the actual shape of the screen matters so much as the resolution and the physical size. The resolution's certainly adequate for lots of interesting things... my concern is mainly the physical size, but then I'm someone who's always felt the 7" tablet form factor was superior to the phone form factor for many of my most needed apps.

    In any case, if an app concept maps to a square screen that's only about 3.5" across, then it's not going to be a big deal for any competent programmer to adapt their app to it. I think it remains to be seen whether the keyboard phone will be fairly general-purpose, or largely just for pure "tool" use with a relatively limited set of apps available.

    Minor note: for Built For BlackBerry certification, most types of apps will have to support the keyboard phone once it's fully supported by the OS and SDKs. (For devs reading this: if you're going to be participating in the $10K commitment thing, you should be expecting to do an update during the year to add support for that form factor or risk losing your certification for any app that doesn't support it, from what I recall we heard during the webcast on that program.)
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  3. Plazmic Flame's Avatar
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    I made and posted this image in a similar thread a few months back. From the launch, although not ideal, apps designed for the L-Series should work on the N-Series with no hitches.

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  4. peter9477's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plazmic Flame View Post
    I made and posted this image in a similar thread a few months back. From the launch, although not ideal, apps designed for the L-Series should work on the N-Series with no hitches.
    Plazmic Flame, I'm not sure what that's showing us. For one thing, the Z10 will actually be 1280x768, not x720. (Later all-touch devices will be 1280x720 as you show.)

    For another thing, all that says to me is that except in "content-based" apps like a browser, where the page just blindly scrolls vertically when required, developers will have to do something or almost half their page will be missing, or squished vertically down to about 60% of the intended height. That doesn't mean such apps will be usable in the least, without at least some developer attention. (If a given app can be considered usable merely by dumping all pages into vertical ScrollViews, then I grant your point... was that what you meant?)
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  5. Cappyshirt's Avatar
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    This is my third time posting these images. But, I hope this gives you and idea of what it'll look like.

    {edit} you'll notice that your actually loosing the send/back/options toolbar at the bottom for the N-series. I assume that because you get the enter button on the keyboard and that you can swipe from left to right to go backwards.{edit}

    Apps on N Series?-blackberry-10-bbm1-602x523.jpgApps on N Series?-res-size.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Apps on N Series?-blackberry-10-oled-power-consumption.jpg  
    Last edited by Cappyshirt; 01-01-2013 at 11:12 PM.
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  6. greatwiseone's Avatar
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    Until we get Keyboard support in the SDK's, we don't know exactly how things will look...hopefully they'll drop the SDK's soon.
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  7. RubberChicken76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter9477 View Post
    W. In other words, I expect it's the design work that will take the time here and not the coding itself.
    Thanks for taking the time to reply, Peter. The design work was what sparked my question actually. For example, I started wondering if a lot of the games I have for PlayBook would need to be re-layed out visually to accommodate the square screen - and if developers would actually bother to do so. Guess I'll find out soon.
  8. jetstreamblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubberChicken76 View Post
    Thanks for taking the time to reply, Peter. The design work was what sparked my question actually. For example, I started wondering if a lot of the games I have for PlayBook would need to be re-layed out visually to accommodate the square screen - and if developers would actually bother to do so. Guess I'll find out soon.
    I would expect many games to be "letterboxed" with black bars top and bottom, rather than recoded for square resolution. Of course it would be much better if devs spend the effort to optimze for the square resolution (and hopefully buyers will reward them for the extra effort).
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  9. girl_Interrupted513's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetstreamblue View Post
    I would expect many games to be "letterboxed" with black bars top and bottom, rather than recoded for square resolution. Of course it would be much better if devs spend the effort to optimze for the square resolution (and hopefully buyers will reward them for the extra effort).
    Agreed. I don't feel like RIM has spent enough time and effort on the N-Series device, what with being so focused on the L. If we as buyers knew that they would take the time and make that concerted effort to have the N-Series device look and feel and run as top-notch as the L, I feel like the possibility exists that more people (especially the die-hards) would buy the N rather than the L.
  10. Taigatrommel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by girl_Interrupted513 View Post
    Agreed. I don't feel like RIM has spent enough time and effort on the N-Series device, what with being so focused on the L. If we as buyers knew that they would take the time and make that concerted effort to have the N-Series device look and feel and run as top-notch as the L, I feel like the possibility exists that more people (especially the die-hards) would buy the N rather than the L.
    I think things might change on January 30th once we'll get full details on both phones. I find it funny:
    Before any pics of the Nevada leaked, there were much more on Crackberry who wanted to go with the QWERTY, right now that percentage dropped significantly and IMO it is about time for RIM to finally settle any concerns about the device itself as well as the app compatibility when compared to the full-touch brother.
  11. Cappyshirt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by girl_Interrupted513 View Post
    Agreed. I don't feel like RIM has spent enough time and effort on the N-Series device, what with being so focused on the L. If we as buyers knew that they would take the time and make that concerted effort to have the N-Series device look and feel and run as top-notch as the L, I feel like the possibility exists that more people (especially the die-hards) would buy the N rather than the L.
    I think at this point we as fans just need to chill, especially when it comes to software. We'll find out soon how all these problems will be addressed when the N-series SDK is announced, which should be soon. Also If I remember correctly, RIM addressed resolution concerns by stating that the BB10OS is able to re-size it's self for different screen sizes. Remember RIM said they wanted 6 BB10 phones in total, that would be concerning if they hadn't thought through that.

    Also I feel like, when you chose the N-series your giving up games for productivity.

    I'm sure once both phones are announced and released will all be surprised by the reviews when people say "the Z10 is faster to type on than the X10"

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