Where are the TAT-powered apps?
I've been going over some of the old (mostly pre-launch) video reviews of the Playbook. What I see is a huge promise that the Playbook had. One of the aspects of the Playbook that had an immediate "WOW!" effect was the demo apps (Cascades, Aura, etc.) that were supposed to be built on The Astonishing Tribe (TAT) technology/design. Here are a few examples:
(1) Does anyone know why we haven't seen apps like these implemented (except for Scrapbook and a few features in the native interface/apps)? Is it a technical problem (e.g. no NDK)?
(2) Do you expect that we will see more TAT-based apps coming with OS 2.0?
I personally hope that we will get many such apps. They look amazing and are a huge "COOLNESS" factor and will definitely sway some potential tablet owners to buy a Playbook. They will definitely help differentiate the Playbook from the crowd.
Last edited by kennyliu; 01-28-2012 at 11:04 PM.
- CrackBerry Genius
01-28-2012, 11:06 PM #2
- 4,434 Posts
kennyliu, the framework is still evolving, which is why we haven't more apps yet.
The package is currently in a closed beta. It remains unclear when it will get to a wider beta. Last official news on it that I heard had it targetted for release in April, but that was a comment made by someone (from RIM) back at DevCon and the date could easily have shifted by now.
By the way, the Scrapbook app (as most people know) is a Cascades app. I also just confirmed that both the Calculator and Pictures apps are Cascades as well, though at least the latter shows no obvious "cool" features because of it yet. (The Calculator does a slick animation when you switch to/from Tip mode, but that's about it.)
- 01-28-2012, 11:07 PM #3
Quite simple, Cascades hasn't been made available to developers yet. We're expecting a beta sometime soon, hopefully Devcon Europe. But right now RIM hasn't given any solid answers on when it's coming.
Last edited by kennyliu; 01-28-2012 at 11:13 PM.
- 01-28-2012, 11:14 PM #6
- CrackBerry Addict
01-29-2012, 12:35 AM #7
- 808 Posts
I'm hoping they will announce Cascades available during DevCon. If not that, then hopefully a release date will be announced.
Anyway, I LOVE the Front Runner app they showed.
Starts at 3:35. Especially the picture gallery at 4:02
Last edited by mithrazor; 01-29-2012 at 12:37 AM.
- CrackBerry Abuser
01-29-2012, 03:29 AM #8
- 376 Posts
The TAT demo apps have led to a bit of confusion on the part of some PB users, who expect TAT to be producing cools apps. Cascades is part of TAT's user interface technology. Here is one of the best explanations I've read of what TAT could do for RIM -- I think it's worth reading this whole article:
| RIM: a leap ahead in user experience, but can it execute? | VisionMobile blog
This article suggests, for example, that Cascades could let RIM easily build and maintain customized "personnas" for enterprise users and retail consumers. Will that help RIM address the potential conflict between power users who want efficiency and others who are attracted to flashy visuals? Blackberry users like skins, and Cascades could enable "super-skins."
This article also suggests that TAT's technology would permit "RIM’s carrier customers more differentiation and exclusivity opportunities, all without delaying the time to market – and therefore securing the carrier multi-million subsidy and marketing carrier budgets."
Cascades is TAT's technology for easily building and varying user interfaces. The visual part is specified (using XML) rather then hand coded, so it is easy to modify the visual part by simply modifying the specifications. TAT also has visual tools for building and modifying the specifications.
This is an interesting approach, and reminds me of a past advance. Once upon a time, text interactions with users were hardcoded into applications. To change an English-language application into a German-language application, you had to go through the code and try to find all the English messages and translate them into German. The advance was separating these messages out into separate files of resources, which were employed in the application. So now a translator specialized in software could translate all the English into German, or Russian, or whatever, by dealing with the resource files without getting down into programming.
So, in addition to allowing developers to easily use cool visuals, Cascades could also allow visual designers to modify app design without having to get down into coding and without being expert developers themselves.
Cascades existed before RIM bought TAT. Here are a few links to what TAT was up to then:
| TAT Cascades 3.8 now available | The TAT Blog
| TAT Cascades Licensed by Motorola
| MeeGo Tablet running TAT's User Interface
| TAT Unveils “Horizon” Concept That Blends 2D With 3D Images In Maps And Contacts | AndroidSPIN
RIM keeps pushing out the availability of Cascades, but I suspect the development and integration delays have as much to do with the rest of the new OS as it does with Cascades itself.
- 01-29-2012, 05:50 AM #10
Haven't you seen the update for Scrapbook and the new themes for it?! TAT has been working real hard! : )
They have been working on A LOT of behind the scenes stuff. From what I heard they are working a lot on the phone side of things and not so much on the PlayBook side of things, but since they are both suposedly a streamlined OS it will pay off in the end for both. They are also working on a lot of stuff to make it easier for devs to make everything look great.
Last edited by eKafara; 01-29-2012 at 05:59 AM.
- 01-29-2012, 06:24 AM #11
The playbook has changed very little since launch, 7 months later only two new features have been added and a scant half dozen or less major bugs been fixed. The world's first professional grade tablet still lacks word substitution coupled with full spell check, links passed through the clunky, buggy, bare bones bridge bbm will break if any combination of characters doubles as a smiley (!!! still!!!), and on and on and on...
How is it that we just keep seeing all these awesome things coming soon but nothing is happening? Answer: They are trying to sell us a bill of goods. They have bought a puppy that has grown into an uncontrollable, untrainable, untameable beast and are clueless what to do.
And "new developing platform/time to develop needed/transition blah blah blah" excuse is way overapplied, that account is overdrawn and it needs to come to light that its no longer the case. All facts point to this thing having been in the oven since summer of 2010 and since launch of april 19 2011 it is still in beta.
Enough promises and videos of stuff coming soon. Deliver, rim, or admit failure.
Last edited by kb5zht; 01-29-2012 at 06:33 AM.
- 01-29-2012, 08:20 AM #12
Hopefully OS2 being released "soon" will start a trend of actually delivering on some of those promises. If 2011 was the "year of broken promises", I guess we'll see if 2012 becomes the year RIM actually delivers!
I love my Playbook, but I'd love it still more if it were finished!
- 01-29-2012, 08:24 AM #13
Enough with the carrot dangled in front of our faces. Deliver. Its bad enough some of us paid over twice what the device sells for now, yea we understand its common for new products in this sector to be overpriced at launch, but nobody can honestly say they knew upon purchase all promises were humbug and accepted ahead of time they were buying a beta product that would be unchanged for 7+ months. We are knocking on the end of January, rim, and we have calendars and are aware February is upon us and remember you said "release in February". And dont think some of us are smart enough to know why all OS 2 "demonstrations" thus far have been exclusively by rim reps and officials that, keeping the playbooks clutched tightly in their bands, knew the safe and careful UI choices to make as well as the fact that no one playbook has been used to show them all, but different playbooks that most likely have each been specially programmed to demo a set of features. RIM quit making grandiose promises and applying labels you cant live up to and redeem your pride and integrity and get to work. Amateur hour hasn't ended yet.
Last edited by kb5zht; 01-29-2012 at 08:49 AM.
- 01-29-2012, 08:44 AM #14
I am prepared to wait how ever long it takes to enjoy using Trails.
Last edited by Just Me; 01-29-2012 at 08:50 AM.Boring signature.
- 01-29-2012, 09:17 AM #16
Go live your life rather than wait around to observes other peoples efforts.
You clearly do not comprehend how much thinking and hard work it takes to deliver innovative ideas.
Be patient and even you will be impressed.
I am prepared to wait how ever long it takes to....
Okay... so if you feel you want to fall in with the ranks of sheep and get fleeced thats your business. Those of us who understand the meaning of a business transaction will mind ours.
- 01-29-2012, 10:02 AM #18
- CrackBerry User
01-29-2012, 10:28 AM #19
- 51 Posts
Keep in mind with RIMS current economic situation all resources are going to be dedicated to growing the business and generating revenue. ie expect to pay for a lot of features going forward. ( apps )
The new OS may allow you to do a lot , but i am betting a lot of those packages have to be paid for after you get your few token free ones.
- 01-29-2012, 10:45 AM #20
I've just been reading another thread where the question was if the PIM apps coming in OS2 were built using Cascades?... the conclusion, backed by various tweets from senior RIM people, is that the new email, contacts, etc in OS2 do not use Cascades.
I reckon the fact that RIM choose not to use Cascades for what is arguably the core App in OS2 speaks louder than I can as to the (im?)maturity of the Cascades framework.
Doesn't sound like Cascades is coming anytime soon...
Patience: Patience is a virtue shared by few women, and by no men!
- CrackBerry Genius
01-29-2012, 10:59 AM #21
- 4,434 Posts
It is finally in a closed beta, however, which is at least a clear sign of progress. It won't be out soon enough (obviously) for independent developers to use it for anything we might see around the release of 2.0, but there's still hope we'll have it within a couple of months.
If they can find a way (as some of us have requested) to at least release some early documentation on it "soon", some early adopters could be in a position to release apps with it within a couple of weeks after it finally does show up in an open beta form. (Provided they don't restrict releasing apps developed with the beta. Sometimes they do that sort of thing, sometimes they don't.)
- 01-29-2012, 11:09 AM #23
Reading the linked article on the previous page it seems that porting over an existing OS, you should note that the UI for PlayBook OS was developed by another company and not TAT, to the Cascades UI is a monumental undertaking to say the least and it is the reason why we've only seen a few individual apps using the Cascades UI.
Here is a quote from the article and note the estimated time frame for complete porting.
The downside is that Cascades-enabling an existing software stack means that legacy ‘spaghetti’ applications have to be ported one by one on top of TAT’s framework, which takes 9-12 months for the complete UI (it’s 10s of millions of lines of code that have to be ported). This is what has historically limited Cascades to only tactical wins for specific applications on Motorola, Samsung and Asus handsets.
- 01-29-2012, 11:42 AM #24
However, I don't believe that takes away from my basic argument. Cascades clearly isn't ready (or it wouldn't now be in a closed Beta) and is too immature for RIM to base their core Apps on. And, taking your point about the whole job being too big and needing to focus on specific apps; if RIM were to pick any single high-profile App that shouted "This is BlackBerry" with which to highlight Cascades, that App has to be the PIM!
So the fact that RIM is not using Cascades says a great deal about the status of the Cascades framework, and probably answers the OP's question about where all the apps are.
Last edited by JeepBB; 01-29-2012 at 12:02 PM.
- 01-29-2012, 12:51 PM #25
I strongly suspect the hold up is integration with the developer tools and as such Cascades as a standalone is not immature. What is immature is getting the UI out to into the developers hands in a simple easy to understand package.
I am pretty sure that RIM could have had TAT incorporate Cascades into the pim apps. But is it really necessary at this point or is getting the framework out into the right hands more important?
I leave you to answer that as I know I would rather have a complete set of dev tools out in the public as soon as possible instead of a fancy email app.