1. BlackberryFan777's Avatar
    I would like to see BlackBerry begin to distribute key components of BB10 via BlackBerry World rather than through bulk carrier updates. For example, rather than treating the keyboard, calendar, phone, contacts and even the Hub as OS level items that require fixes and new features to be added via a global OS update, new versions would show up in BlackBerry World for immediate download. No one would need to wait months for a bulk realease to, say, achieve 10.1's fix for email retention beyond 30 days or to add codecs to the video player... or potentially for the browser to provide new standards implementations.

    Some variation of this method of appifying the OS has been successfully implemented by Android recently. You can find the new default Chrome browser and even the stock Android keyboard in Google's Play Store among other formerly OS-level apps as free downloads placed in Play for easy maintenance. We've begun to see this in leak patterns on BB10, as well, with particular OS-level apps leaking outside of an OS distribution.

    Here are the pros and cons for BB10 implementation as I see them:

    PROS: This will allow much more rapid and agile development of parts of the OS that users come into contact with regularly. We'd have a strong feedback loop from consumers to BlackBerry along with a means of quickly pushing out small incremental updates in response to consumer needs. This has worked well in the SASS world. Note, I'm not an "agile" methodology zealot and BlackBerry has a very diverse and complicated group of target users, but in the end, the platform is not marketing itself as just another app player or ecosystem; many users buy BlackBerry because the company will offer specific messaging solutions and such. BlackBerry shouldn't delay delivery of value in those areas to provide a more uniform platform for 3rd party developers.

    CONS: Kevin and Apple fans everywhere will point out that this approach could be a testing headache for developers and may very well mean more "fragmentation." Since, I'm an HTML5 developer, I consider the browser my "platform" and I know all about the problems inherent in developing for multiple browsers with different standards implementations or non-standard implementations and quirks. This nonsense was almost the death of JS. BlackBerry 10 is great in that once we finally got to official launch, most of us weren't talking a lot about different browser version numbers and as far as I can tell the development platform browser is pretty much the same as the browser users everywhere surf the web with. Much, much better than iOS! Why would I jeopardize this awesomeness?

    Conclusion: I'm not saying the current approach doesn't have its obvious advantages, but I still believe that BlackBerry should begin to modularize much of it's OS into apps for immediate distribution through BlackBerry World. It can minimize the impact on developers by providing a best-in-class testing tool that allows easy testing with various combinations of core OS and modular apps and browser versions. The platform "core" itself can and should continue with its rapid development cycle, as well, but be limited to biannual or triannual updates pushed out through carriers if there really isn't a better solution. The core should guide API development, implementation and revision in modular "app" components and the SDK / NDK update cycle. I see the core-level updates as the "constitution" and the modular app-level updates as the legislation; there's a lot of flexibility there, but it must be absolutely compatible with the constitution. Fragmentation, like entropy, is going to happen, particularly if licensing of the OS and such is on the table; The challenge for BlackBerry is how best to work within that reality without letting fear of it sabotage opportunities.

    Would you support this? Any ideas on how to impose an organizational framework for understanding compatability and what can and should be modularized or appified and what shouldn't? Go BlackBerry!
    allengeorge and web99 like this.
    06-19-13 05:18 PM
  2. Bla1ze's Avatar
    Or an even simpler solution.... put out all 10.1 builds as full developer builds and then anyone who wants it bad enough can install those, lol. I don't recall carriers complaining when all those dev alpha devices were connecting to their network running various OS' It's a really simple solution to an annoying problem. The people REALLY care to be on the latest OS will find it, those who don't even know which OS their device is on.. will never know what they're missing.
    willie44 and BlackberryFan777 like this.
    06-19-13 06:22 PM
  3. Harryl6134's Avatar
    I agree, Blaize. When I first joined CrackBerry, with a 9800 Torch, I got frustrated with updates on att. I eventually started installing leaks, then bta versions. When I got my Playbook, , the 2.0 OS was just out, and I again downloaded leaks. Now that I'm on a Z10, it,so back to leaks again.

    I'm not a power user, or a techie, but this is what's worked for me so far.
    06-19-13 06:46 PM
  4. BlackberryFan777's Avatar
    Bla1ze,

    That's a good point. I certainly wouldn't mind the idea of two different publicly-available OS tracks, say (1) "bleeding edge" (developer) versions, and (2) stable (LTS) versions. BlackBerry would only need to provide official support for the second version, so the cost of this additional distribution wouldn't be all that high and we could all benefit from rapid changes in the first.

    One thing I like about pushing out discrete components of the OS via BlackBerry World, though, is that it wouldn't be limited to just those who want it bad enough to install an unsupported developer OS. Or, maybe, you think BB should support a separate developer version of the OS just to get past this lame carrier update issue. I think we've begun to see the modular updates I want happen in limited scope with BB10 already with, say, Maps. I'm just looking to expand the concept even further to help combat the unpredictably slow update issues from U.S. carriers like AT&T. I think your full developer track OS might do the trick. The whole Blaq 10.0 Z10 problem has gotten me more and more frustrated with the carrier update issue...
    kbz1960 likes this.
    06-19-13 06:47 PM
  5. sinsin07's Avatar
    Sorry, it's not clear what the ask is. On iOS you never wait for carriers to fix issues. You have to wait on Apple and you connect directly to them. Same thing with feature updates. I could be wrong but I thought with BB10, the updates were suppose to come straight from Blackberry, no carrier involvement.
    06-19-13 07:54 PM
  6. BlackBerry Guy's Avatar
    I've always thought that the ability to do delta updates (changing only those areas that need changing, as opposed to overwriting the entire OS) would allow BlackBerry to take the carrier out of the picture. If the radio file isn't being touched, the carrier shouldn't need to test each new version.

    Posted via CB10
    BlackberryFan777 likes this.
    06-19-13 09:50 PM
  7. web99's Avatar
    I've always thought that the ability to do delta updates (changing only those areas that need changing, as opposed to overwriting the entire OS) would allow BlackBerry to take the carrier out of the picture. If the radio file isn't being touched, the carrier shouldn't need to test each new version.

    Posted via CB10
    That was my impression as well. I was expecting updates to go through the carriers at a faster pace if the radio files were not changed, but this does not seem to be the case.

    If every BB10 update is going to be delayed for 2 months by the carriers, including the deltas for small fixes, it will have a very negative impact on BlackBerry.

    Posted via CB10 from my spectacular Z10
    06-20-13 04:29 AM
  8. lawguyman's Avatar
    Or an even simpler solution.... put out all 10.1 builds as full developer builds and then anyone who wants it bad enough can install those, lol. I don't recall carriers complaining when all those dev alpha devices were connecting to their network running various OS' It's a really simple solution to an annoying problem. The people REALLY care to be on the latest OS will find it, those who don't even know which OS their device is on.. will never know what they're missing.
    This makes too much sense to ever be implemented. Think about the obstacles that must exist that prevent something obvious like this from happening and it makes you wonder how much BlackBerry has really changed.
    06-20-13 06:21 AM

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