1. Doggerz's Avatar
    Thing I miss most about PlayBook OS and BB10 is being able to run things in the background.

    I know Apple hired a QNX guy, I am wondering if they might be working on an OS that will work similarly?

    I'm not thrilled with iOS or Android in its current state. If BlackBerry won't make a QNX phone maybe someone else will?

    Z5 Premium - 6.0.1 - T-Mobile USA
    09-28-16 09:57 AM
  2. Ment's Avatar
    Google is already working on an experimental OS called Fuchsia that may replace Android in some applications. Big companies want OS they control not things they license from other companies.
    09-28-16 10:06 AM
  3. 00stryder's Avatar
    What I see (read: hope) happening is BlackBerry slowly injecting BB10 DNA into its offering of Android, up to a technical limitation, at least. Obviously that can't change the inherent architecture of the OS, but I do think they have Google's ear as they've demonstrated a clear commitment to maintaining security updates so maybe they'll be offered more freedom to tweak Android while still maintaining compliance with the alliance requirements.

    Posted via the CrackBerry App for Android from my Verizon BlackBerry Priv
    Doggerz likes this.
    09-28-16 10:47 AM
  4. Doggerz's Avatar
    I didn't know that.
    Maybe this means BB10 was just ahead of its time.
    I read about one QNX guy that Apple hired but not sure what he'd be able to do without getting sued by Chen.

    Z5 Premium - 6.0.1 - T-Mobile USA
    09-29-16 12:39 AM
  5. Doggerz's Avatar
    Yeah I mean even if BlackBerry could bring all the BB10 gestures and get closer to a BB10 experience on Android it still wouldn't be able to have the active frames / real time multitasking.

    Since we're stuck with Android or iOS now, I'm really hoping they start improving or changing operating systems to something like QNX.

    Z5 Premium - 6.0.1 - T-Mobile USA
    09-29-16 12:46 AM
  6. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    You don't need a "real-time OS" to do the kind of multitasking you're talking about. iOS and Android are both perfectly capable of doing this - it's just not a good idea, which is why they intentionally created app development guidelines that recommend in the strongest terms NOT to enable that functionality unless it is absolutely needed.

    I recently posted a video made about the 2012 Samsung Galaxy Note II (remember, this was before BB10 was even released) that was talking about its ability to be used as a desktop replacement. The video demonstrates the phone's ability to run many things simultaneously. The OS was and is perfectly capable - though the guy in the video specifically selected apps that were designed to keep running in the background (specifically, they were designed with the intention of using the phone as a desktop replacement, plugged into power, so that power issues didn't matter), but nothing about the OS needed to be changed to enable this.

    Here's that video:



    The point is: almost everyone agrees that letting most apps continue to run normally in the background is a very bad design decision on a mobile device with limited (battery) power. It would be a simple matter to let it happen - devs would mostly just need to check or uncheck a box - but it would be a battery drain and most people wouldn't be happy with the results. BB in fact had to make compromises to allow it to happen - including large RAM requirements and a limited ability to keep apps running (max of 8 at a time) - where Android has no such limitation.

    So, aside from any licensing issues, the reason you aren't going to see that is because neither Apple or Google thinks it's a smart thing to implement on a mobile device, and when you're making a device that has to work for billions of different people, you tend to make different decisions than if you're only making a device for a few million.
    Laura Knotek, Doggerz and JeepBB like this.
    09-29-16 12:58 AM
  7. Doggerz's Avatar
    Thanks for the information and thoughtful reply. I wish there was a way for the end user to decide what apps could run in the background (maybe a toggle that would display some sort of battery disclaimer). I don't really remember any problems with background apps on my Z30.

    I'm not sure why QNX is called a real time kernel if Android can apparently do the same thing. I admit that all this is a little over my head and I can only say what I liked about BB10 vs Android but obviously I don't have the understanding of it that you do.

    But that whole desktop replacement thing sounds like something I'd like, maybe in the future the battery consumption issues will be worked out.

    Again. I appreciate your post! Thanks!

    Z5 Premium - 6.0.1 - T-Mobile USA
    10-01-16 06:23 AM
  8. Richard Buckley's Avatar

    I'm not sure why QNX is called a real time kernel if Android can apparently do the same thing. I admit that all this is a little over my head and I can only say what I liked about BB10 vs Android but obviously I don't have the understanding of it that you do.


    Z5 Premium - 6.0.1 - T-Mobile USA
    Real time capability, and multitasking capacity are separate features of an OS. As Troy correctly points out the Linux kernel which underpins Android, the iOS kernel and the Windows Phone kernel all support multitasking. In fact there are many cases where you can see this happening. When I start updating the applications on my iPad then close the app store and open kindel to read a book, that is multitasking.

    A real time OS is one which is capable of responding to external events in a guaranteed maximum latency. The size of the latency tells you if it is a high speed or low speed real-time OS. The reason QNX is the popular, if not only reasonable choice for the applications it is used in is that it is a very mature and flexible high speed real-time OS. When an engineer is designing a car control system she can analyse the number of control channel needed -- ABS, throttle, torque control, suspension, steering assist, etc -- and specify the hardware necessary to guarantee that all the channels will always get the computing they need when they need it. This is something that is very difficult to do with a derivative of Unix. I worked with one Unix derived real-time OS from Masscomp back in the 1980s and 90s. In order to do what they did at the time they had to rewite the scheduling algorithm and implement asymmetric multiprocessor task switching.

    The difference between BB10 and other mobile operating systems, even Tablet OS is that when it came out they used real-time principles to bring the smooth seamless multitasking to the UX with less hardware requirements. Hence the limit of 8 active foreground applications and the restrictions on headless applications. This unfortunately breaks down with the ART and Android applications that are written to use a different API and different rules, and really breaks down when you push past 8 on the 2GByte devices, depending on the requirements of the applications of course; but the real-time guarantee is no longer valid.

    LeapSTR100-2/10.3.2.2876
    JeepBB likes this.
    10-01-16 07:24 AM
  9. last_attempt's Avatar
    Troy Tiscareno;12606576]You don't need a "real-time OS" to do the kind of multitasking you're talking about. iOS and Android are both perfectly capable of doing this - it's just not a good idea, which is why they intentionally created app development guidelines that recommend in the strongest terms NOT to enable that functionality unless it is absolutely needed
    .

    I will completely disagree with it not being a good idea, it's great to be able to run a few apps with a radio station or YouTube etc playing in the background as I'm doing right now. My Z 30 battery life is still great.

    I'm not super familiar with ios or Android but I'm sure they could do the same couldn't they.

    Posted via CB10
    Last edited by last_attempt; 10-01-16 at 03:29 PM.
    G_Unit MVP likes this.
    10-01-16 02:46 PM
  10. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    .

    I will completely disagree with it not being a good idea, it's great to be able to run a few apps with a radio station or YouTube etc playing in the background as I'm doing right now. My Z 30 battery life is still great.

    I'm not super familiar with ios or Android but I'm sure they could do the same couldn't they.
    I'm guessing you didn't watch the video I posted in this thread - from 2012. Android and iOS have been able to do those things since before BB10 existed. It's just that most apps are designed (intentionally and for good reason) to allow the OS to "put them to sleep" when in the background, except for things like audio apps. But you can usually get alternative apps that will let you, for example, play YouTube videos in the background just for the audio - despite the fact that it makes little sense to do so given that you're consuming a ton of data for no reason if you aren't even viewing the video information that you're downloading in the background.
    Ronindan likes this.
    10-01-16 11:50 PM
  11. last_attempt's Avatar
    No, I watched it it's impressive I'm not doubting their capability I just don't understand why that function would be discouraged. You can do this through wifi of course without a problem. I myself have a 300 meg monthly plan so am careful about this kind of stuff.

    As far as battery life goes I still get a full days worth doing this.

    I just disagree that not having that option available for someone to enjoy would be thought of as a "good reason".

    Posted via CB10
    10-02-16 12:43 AM
  12. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    No, I watched it it's impressive I'm not doubting their capability I just don't understand why that function would be discouraged. You can do this through wifi of course without a problem. I myself have a 300 meg monthly plan so am careful about this kind of stuff.

    As far as battery life goes I still get a full days worth doing this.
    It's discouraged because most people use their phone as a PHONE, using mobile data and running from the battery. And both Android and iOS have tons of customers who don't understand technology and who would accidentally leave things running and burn up their battery and use all their monthly data in a day if the OS didn't protect them from that. BB10 someone protects against this by limiting the phone to 8 running apps at once, but many people on iOS and Android have 20-30 apps running at once (background processes), and that has to be accounted for.

    As the video shows, there's nothing that prevents an advanced user from installing apps to accomplish what he wants to do, but the stock apps have to be designed for a wider range of users and in a more conservative way.
    Ronindan and JeepBB like this.
    10-02-16 12:48 PM
  13. keliew's Avatar
    It's becoming more common to run simultaneous apps on the phone or rather it's wish to...

    Limiting running apps on the Active Frame while allowing apps to communicate with the Hub is a smart way in tackling the problem.

    Can BlackBerry Android work towards that? Or is the Android system limiting such a design?

    BlackBerry Passport via CB10
    10-02-16 03:16 PM
  14. last_attempt's Avatar
    It's discouraged because most people use their phone as a PHONE, using mobile data and running from the battery. And both Android and iOS have tons of customers who don't understand technology and who would accidentally leave things running and burn up their battery and use all their monthly data in a day if the OS didn't protect them from that. BB10 someone protects against this by limiting the phone to 8 running apps at once, but many people on iOS and Android have 20-30 apps running at once (background processes), and that has to be accounted for.

    As the video shows, there's nothing that prevents an advanced user from installing apps to accomplish what he wants to do, but the stock apps have to be designed for a wider range of users and in a more conservative way.
    If most people used their phone as a PHONE Blackberry would never have to have worried about the app gap, and still be number 1!

    I actually have a nexus 5 that works only through wifi (something wrong with sim card slot) and I was able to listen to online radio and use the browser etc, so maybe were talking about different things.

    oh well, thanks for the explanations you've provided though
    10-02-16 04:10 PM
  15. app_Developer's Avatar
    I just hired someone from Google recently and we had this conversation. I'm convinced the only people left who think an RTOS is a good idea in a modern phone are all here on CB. Everyone else has moved on years ago. I don't even think engineers at BlackBerry think RTOS in a phone makes sense anymore.

    Either company could have easily bought QNX or Symbian at any point in the development of iOS or Android. However, engineers at Google and Apple are not partisan fans of QNX, therefore they have no reason to think this would be a good idea.

    BTW, the founder and original author of QNX is now at Apple and it's quite clear he's working on the car. That is an application where a kernel design like QNX makes a lot of sense. Autonomous cars are the square hole to QNX' square peg. Apple knows that.
    JeepBB likes this.
    10-02-16 06:55 PM
  16. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    If most people used their phone as a PHONE Blackberry would never have to have worried about the app gap, and still be number 1!
    I meant "as opposed to docked on a desktop and plugged into wall power." In other words, it was a power-management (and also a data-management) decision.

    And as I said, the OS is perfectly capable of doing what you want - it's just that most stock apps are written to prevent it. Nothing prevents you from using alternative apps that allow it for things like the browser and some other apps.
    10-02-16 08:48 PM
  17. Doggerz's Avatar
    .

    I will completely disagree with it not being a good idea, it's great to be able to run a few apps with a radio station or YouTube etc playing in the background as I'm doing right now. My Z 30 battery life is still great.

    I'm not super familiar with ios or Android but I'm sure they could do the same couldn't they.

    Posted via CB10
    I wanted to run YouTube minimized in Android like I could in BB10. I used to think it wasn't possible on Android but in the YouTube example it IS possible, YouTube purposely doesn't allow it to happen. But they launched a pay service where you can do exactly what I wanted to do.

    Z5 Premium - 6.0.1 - T-Mobile USA
    10-04-16 11:42 PM
  18. Doggerz's Avatar
    I just hired someone from Google recently and we had this conversation. I'm convinced the only people left who think an RTOS is a good idea in a modern phone are all here on CB. Everyone else has moved on years ago. I don't even think engineers at BlackBerry think RTOS in a phone makes sense anymore.

    Either company could have easily bought QNX or Symbian at any point in the development of iOS or Android. However, engineers at Google and Apple are not partisan fans of QNX, therefore they have no reason to think this would be a good idea.

    BTW, the founder and original author of QNX is now at Apple and it's quite clear he's working on the car. That is an application where a kernel design like QNX makes a lot of sense. Autonomous cars are the square hole to QNX' square peg. Apple knows that.
    I guess I kept hoping Apple or Google would somehow see something pretty great in QNX (for phones) but I get your point, especially if they never tinkered with the PlayBook or BB10 phones.

    I know they werent even ready for release really. But even in their unfinished states I saw improvements from 10.0 to 10.3 and could just "feel" the potential that OS had if it had a lot of money and development behind it.

    I'm really enjoying the discussion here and appreciate the education.

    Z5 Premium - 6.0.1 - T-Mobile USA
    10-04-16 11:48 PM
  19. Doggerz's Avatar
    Hey guys I really enjoyed this conversation and I admit I was confused when using RTOS and multitasking thinking they were the same or similar.

    I guess I don't understand why QNX isn't a better option for either Apple or Android and why they wouldn't want something like that. For an enthusiast maybe who likes to tinker around. It just felt to me like QNX on BB10 was faster or more solid and used less resources than how Android feels to me. And I loved the active frames and to me it still feels more modern than Android. And it's not because I'm a fanboy. What I'm talking about here is the OS and not BlackBerry.

    Really appreciate every comment here. The way you guys explain things is great. I love trying to wrap my head around it and understand it some, even if I don't fully grasp

    Thanks!

    Z5 Premium - 6.0.1 - T-Mobile USA
    10-04-16 11:59 PM
  20. Soulstream's Avatar
    RTOS had little to do with the ability to multitask.

    If you think about it, on the desktop market Windows for example is NOT a RTOS and it had no trouble multitasking.
    app_Developer likes this.
    10-05-16 08:07 AM
  21. early2bed's Avatar
    I guess I don't understand why QNX isn't a better option for either Apple or Android and why they wouldn't want something like that.
    iOS is derived from MacOS which is based on NeXTSTEP which Steve Jobs brought back when he returned to Apple in the 1990s. One of the reasons why the iPhone developed such a robust third-party app catalog, despite never having the most market-share is the existing programming language components from OS X that could readily be translated to the iPhone OS by developers. These include data elements, multimedia functions, human interface elements, etc.

    If iOS or Android adopted a new core operating system then their entire third-party app catalogs would have to be rewritten which would never be worthwhile no matter how efficient QNX is. These mobile operating systems are like 100 floors of a skyscraper built on top of a few standard foundations. Right now, QNX only has a couple of things built on it. The most sophisticated was BB10 but unless it continues to be used in new devices, it won't be useful for mobile computing much longer.
    Last edited by early2bed; 10-05-16 at 08:35 AM.
    10-05-16 08:20 AM
  22. app_Developer's Avatar
    Hey guys I really enjoyed this conversation and I admit I was confused when using RTOS and multitasking thinking they were the same or similar.

    I guess I don't understand why QNX isn't a better option for either Apple or Android and why they wouldn't want something like that. For an enthusiast maybe who likes to tinker around. It just felt to me like QNX on BB10 was faster or more solid and used less resources than how Android feels to me. And I loved the active frames and to me it still feels more modern than Android. And it's not because I'm a fanboy. What I'm talking about here is the OS and not BlackBerry.

    Really appreciate every comment here. The way you guys explain things is great. I love trying to wrap my head around it and understand it some, even if I don't fully grasp

    Thanks!
    For one thing, using an RTOS in a phone forces you to adopt a memory model that is not efficient on a phone. The process model in Android, on the other hand, was specifically designed to optimize for this constraint. If BB10 had gotten more 3rd party app developer support, this flaw in their thinking would have been exposed eventually.

    The converse of this question is interesting also. Given that you do not need an RTOS to support preemptive multitasking, what real benefit does an RTOS give you in a modern phone?

    Again, Apple hired the inventor of QNX, but he's not there for the phones. He's there for an application that would actually benefit from an RTOS.
    10-05-16 10:11 AM
  23. thurask's Avatar
    Reading Losing the Signal gives me the impression Lazaridis was as deluded about QNX as the fanboys. The entirety of chapter 15 is Lazaridis trying to shove the square QNX peg into the round hole of a mobile operating system.
    10-05-16 10:20 AM
  24. app_Developer's Avatar
    Reading Losing the Signal gives me the impression Lazaridis was as deluded about QNX as the fanboys. The entirety of chapter 15 is Lazaridis trying to shove the square QNX peg into the round hole of a mobile operating system.
    I agree with your reading of that section. In fact, if QNX had been in any other country except Canada, I really don't think RIM would have given them a second thought.
    10-05-16 10:12 PM

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