02-10-13 10:20 PM
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  1. W Hoa's Avatar
    BlackBerry's Legendary Development Team
    BlackBerry Jam Europe: Alec Saunders and his team are rocking

    By Ewan on February 5, 2013in Devices, Opinion


    Sitting today in the keynote at BlackBerry Jam Europe, I could see how BlackBerry was able to attract the largest app catalogue at launch ever, for any computing platform.

    The answer is loyalty and inclusivity, prompted and enhanced by BlackBerry’s now legendary developer relations team. I could feel the respect, care and attention for the audience in the room. If anything it’s rather difficult to parse as a standard participant. We’re so used to being lectured and instructed by other platforms that when Alec Saunders and his team come along with their warm smiles and can-do attitude, it’s rather astonishing.

    For the assembled BlackBerry developers in the room, it’s brilliant.


    Over the past (difficult) years, Alec Saunders has resolutely got up on stage in each continent and effectively made a promise. He asked developers to believe in BlackBerry (and, therefore, believe in him). So it was no surprise to many that the message was rammed home today: We made it, we delivered.

    Alec and his team worked incredibly hard last year supplying developer devices to legions of developers to help test and refine their Blackberry 10 apps ahead of launch. It was left to Alec’s team to console, cajole and support the disappointed faithful when the rumoured BB10 launch date was pushed back from Q3 2012 to January 30th. Throughout that time they held portatons, they held event-after-event in 40+ cities around the globe, taking the BB10 message far and wide.

    I remember discussions with some analysts back at various events in the summertime wondering why they were bothering. The conventional wisdom is that you do an “Apple” — build it and they will come. As countless (hapless?) platforms before have proved, that’s a rare exception. You need to work at it.

    And that’s what BlackBerry has done. It’s paid off. This is why BlackBerry World went live with a 70,000-strong app catalogue. And it’s why 1,000 new apps are hitting the store daily. Detractors will point out that the majority are direct ports from Android. Sure. I think, if I recall correctly, Alec highlighted that their two crazy-popular 36-hour portathon weekends delivered 16,000 about 36,000 applications into the catalogue. That’s astounding. And it means as a consumer, you’ll at least have a degree of parity when compared to other platforms.

    There’s work to be done though. This morning, Alec spent a lot of time highlighting the “Built for BlackBerry” opportunity. They’re aiming to favour submissions purpose-built for the platform shortly — those apps will soon be highlighted and promoted on the most valuable carousel real estate on BlackBerry World. Purpose-built applications leverage the full set of capabilities of BlackBerry, not least the fully integrated approach across the device from sharing to notifications.

    In this morning’s keynote, Saunders thanked the 12,000+ developers who stuck with the platform and resolutely worked on developing their apps for BlackBerry. If you recall, the company offered any developer who submitted an app prior to the launch of BB10 a brand new BlackBerry device. This was a smart move — not only did it help populate the app catalogue with a set of useful apps, it did so at a fairly low cost. Just a handset, right? Well, Saunders surprised everyone today (to audible gasps of excitement) when he announced that those developers will be receiving a very special customised BlackBerry Z10 — in bright red, each uniquely numbered. I think that’s a smart move and a nice reward. The devices are exclusive — you won’t be able to get them anywhere else.

    “You are the ones who earned them,” said Saunders, holding his red Z10 aloft, “You took the leap with us, you contributed in a real way to our shared success.”

    If you read that text — indeed, if you read the transcript of Saunders’ keynote, you’d be forgiven for thinking some of his language might sound a little bit… twee. A bit.. fake. It’s not, though — and this is the cruicial thing.

    In today’s world, with such cut-throat super-charged competition with a huge lead, you need a radically different method. BlackBerry’s approach is direct, friendly, highly-committed and very, very inclusive. I spent the morning today observing the warmth generated and engedered by BlackBerry toward it’s developers. It’s being felt and recriprocated by a growing number of deevlopers. This is the way ahead for the company.

    I’ll write more on this later but just to expand this theme to the larger customer base. I think it’s easy to forget that BlackBerry users have a history of being exceptionally loyal. These last few years will have tested many. I have not been surprised to find many previously hyper-loyal converts swapping to iPhone, Android or Windows recently, especially when it came to contract renewal stage. Who’s going to choose a 12-month old BlackBerry Bold 9900 over a Galaxy SIII or iPhone 5, particularly when there’s the commitment of a 24-month contract to be considered? There’s a school of thought that seems to assume once you step off the BlackBerry platform, that’s it. That it’s game-over for BlackBerry, that you’ll never be back. I don’t know about that. I wonder how many will take a look at the Z10 or the Q10 and make the leap once more back to BlackBerry? You only need to spend 5 minutes with the on-screen keyboard and the new Flow user interface and you can find your mind wandering. Especially when you swap back to your iPhone and wonder why you can’t just swipe-up to activate the device. Or pull right to peak at your messages.

    Based on what I saw today at this morning’s keynote, the developers are energised, excited and keen to get stuck in. The challenge for BlackBerry will be to maintain this — and, equally, attract the attention and devotion of their consumers.

    By all accounts the company had a blow-out brilliant launch last week in the United Kingdom. One senior executive told me privately that he was, “Absolutely f–king delighted!”. Could this mean a hundred thousand units shipped into channel and then into customers hands in a week? More? It didn’t take long for me to start hearing stories about sell-outs (particularly of the white Z10) — but we’ll need to wait and see.

    BlackBerry appears alive and well. I’m off to go and find out more about what they’re doing with the platform.


    BlackBerry Jam Europe: Alec Saunders and his team are rocking - Mobile Industry Review
    02-07-13 08:07 AM
  2. W Hoa's Avatar
    I'm bumping this because Alec and his team deserve the recognition. So I'm putting it back in front of everyone. Also, after this weeks BBRY performance I'm buying.
    02-07-13 05:12 PM
  3. njblackberry's Avatar
    Dissenting Opinion. I'm sure Alec and the team have done a great job.
    Then why are all of the early adopters complaining about the lack of apps and missing apps. And crummy apps.

    I guess that's what happens when you are a beta tester of a new device.

    Alec and team: get the apps approved, get the apps quality control checked (Battery Watch shows the OS Version as Android 2.3.3) and get the apps that were "committed" to at the launch.

    Hate all you want.
    02-07-13 05:17 PM
  4. Thunderbuck's Avatar
    Dissenting Opinion. I'm sure Alec and the team have done a great job.
    Then why are all of the early adopters a few malcontents complaining about the lack of apps and missing apps. And crummy apps...
    Fixed that for you...
    bungaboy, Cee134, Dapper37 and 8 others like this.
    02-07-13 05:26 PM
  5. Shanerredflag's Avatar
    Great article...
    02-07-13 05:28 PM
  6. njblackberry's Avatar
    Really, I guess the multi page threads about missing and crummy apps aren't appearing. Must be a bug in CB.
    Malcontents? Really. You are happy with the availability of applications today on your new Z10?
    THBW likes this.
    02-07-13 05:28 PM
  7. anon(5624621)'s Avatar
    Dissenting Opinion. I'm sure Alec and the team have done a great job.
    Then why are all of the early adopters complaining about the lack of apps and missing apps. And crummy apps.

    I guess that's what happens when you are a beta tester of a new device.

    Alec and team: get the apps approved, get the apps quality control checked (Battery Watch shows the OS Version as Android 2.3.3) and get the apps that were "committed" to at the launch.

    Hate all you want.
    Not hating, but the fact that they still have work to do doesn't negate all that they've accomplished so far.
    02-07-13 05:29 PM
  8. simu31's Avatar
    I want to know where their latest music video went to. I was really looking forward to that!

    Si.
    02-07-13 05:36 PM
  9. FSeverino's Avatar
    I'm bumping this because Alec and his team deserve the recognition. So I'm putting it back in front of everyone. Also, after this weeks BBRY performance I'm buying.
    and, as my signature says WHERE WAS ALEC ON LAUNCH!?!?!

    JEEEEZE
    02-07-13 05:36 PM
  10. Shanerredflag's Avatar
    He was there in NY...there are a couple YouTube videos of him giving interviews after.
    02-07-13 05:46 PM
  11. njblackberry's Avatar
    Not hating, but the fact that they still have work to do doesn't negate all that they've accomplished so far.
    You are 100% correct. It should not. But the fact remains that the delayed launch is missing a lot of apps that people should expect to see on day one.
    02-07-13 05:46 PM
  12. FSeverino's Avatar
    He was there in NY...there are a couple YouTube videos of him giving interviews after.
    I know... but why was he not ON STAGE. He would have done a much better job than anyone that was there
    bungaboy and Shanerredflag like this.
    02-07-13 06:29 PM
  13. mithrazor's Avatar
    Dissenting Opinion. I'm sure Alec and the team have done a great job.
    Then why are all of the early adopters complaining about the lack of apps and missing apps. And crummy apps.

    I guess that's what happens when you are a beta tester of a new device.

    Alec and team: get the apps approved, get the apps quality control checked (Battery Watch shows the OS Version as Android 2.3.3) and get the apps that were "committed" to at the launch.

    Hate all you want.
    It's your right to be discontent about the apps on a platform that hasn't even launched completely yet.

    I don't know why people were expecting to see all the apps that are on iOS and Android. Especially for a platform that just launched a week ago.
    bungaboy likes this.
    02-07-13 06:36 PM
  14. RubberChicken76's Avatar
    Then why are all of the early adopters complaining about the lack of apps and missing apps.
    Really? Every single, solitary last one of those early adopters is moaning about the apps?

    Such drama ... such sweeping statements ... such assumptions that everyone is the same ...

    Anyway - back to reality for a second ... they clearly have lots of work to do. On the other hand, if you look at where they were when the PlayBook launched with 3,000 apps and didn't really have any big names in the store or in queue, one would suggest the needle is going in the right direction ...
    bungaboy and Shanerredflag like this.
    02-07-13 06:43 PM
  15. SCrid2000's Avatar
    Battery Watch shows the OS Version as Android 2.3.3
    That's because it's an android app running in an android emulator.

    Posted using CrackBerry App on BB10
    02-07-13 06:48 PM
  16. SCrid2000's Avatar
    Can't edit yet in bb10 CrackBerry app lol.
    Before responding to the dissenting opinion, I meant to agree with the article that Saunders and the Dev Relations team have been awesome.

    Posted using CrackBerry App on BB10
    bungaboy likes this.
    02-07-13 06:50 PM
  17. njblackberry's Avatar
    That's because it's an android app running in an android emulator.

    Posted using CrackBerry App on BB10
    I know that, you know that. Don't you think it looks a bit silly given all of the (generated) hoopla about QNX? An app in BlackBerry World shows the OS as Android 2.3.3.
    THBW likes this.
    02-07-13 06:51 PM
  18. njblackberry's Avatar
    It's your right to be discontent about the apps on a platform that hasn't even launched completely yet.

    I don't know why people were expecting to see all the apps that are on iOS and Android. Especially for a platform that just launched a week ago.
    So I can walk up to a retail store in some major world cities (and Canada) and buy a Z10, but it isn't "launched completely yet"?
    It was delayed multiple times to get it right, and it doesn't have some apps day one that Alec and the gang had to ensure were there.
    02-07-13 06:54 PM
  19. SCrid2000's Avatar
    I know that, you know that. Don't you think it looks a bit silly given all of the (generated) hoopla about QNX? An app in BlackBerry World shows the OS as Android 2.3.3.
    Well that's what it's running in lol. Should BlackBerry lie and said it's a native QNX app? I'm personally glad they're not being that disingenuous.

    Unless you mean they should do away with the android player. I hope they do eventually, but for now it's attracting devs and impressing people, so I see it as a necessary evil.

    Posted using CrackBerry App on BB10
    02-07-13 07:00 PM
  20. njblackberry's Avatar
    I think that the average, non enthusiast who downloads and installs Battery Watch, will think it is a mistake and that BlackBerry didn't do any application quality control.
    02-07-13 07:03 PM
  21. FSeverino's Avatar
    I think that the average, non enthusiast who downloads and installs Battery Watch, will think it is a mistake and that BlackBerry didn't do any application quality control.
    or will be able to put two pieces of information together

    1) BB10 ALLOWS android apps
    2) The OS of the app says Android

    conclusion... this is one of the android apps that BB10 allows.

    mind blowing logic... isnt it...
    02-07-13 07:06 PM
  22. Thunderbuck's Avatar
    Really, I guess the multi page threads about missing and crummy apps aren't appearing. Must be a bug in CB.
    Malcontents? Really. You are happy with the availability of applications today on your new Z10?
    For one thing, as a US user (the "nj" in your handle stands for New Jersey, right?), maybe it's worth reserving comment until the phone actually gets RELEASED in the US. One of the multi-page threads you refer to is sourced on a CNBC item that complains about the availability of (among other things) Pandora. Now, the Z10 isn't available in the US, and Pandora isn't usable OUTSIDE the US, so what's the point in announcing its availability?

    Is there an "app gap"? Sure. My wife loves her new Z10, but I happen to use both BBM Music and Slacker and neither is available yet, so I'm not in an insane rush to migrate. If you look at my comments here, I've encouraged users to carefully consider the apps they use before they commit to a Z10, particularly if they'd be looking at a contract. If there's no "dealbreaker" app that the user can't live without (or find a tolerable substitute), then the Z10 isn't the phone for them at this point.
    dietertong and southlander like this.
    02-07-13 07:42 PM
  23. Shanerredflag's Avatar
    I know that, you know that. Don't you think it looks a bit silly given all of the (generated) hoopla about QNX? An app in BlackBerry World shows the OS as Android 2.3.3.
    Does it matter?? It works...right? Verbage for Verbage sake?
    bungaboy likes this.
    02-07-13 07:44 PM
  24. Thunderbuck's Avatar
    I think that the average, non enthusiast who downloads and installs Battery Watch, will think it is a mistake and that BlackBerry didn't do any application quality control.
    And this is another case of making the "perfect" the enemy of the "good". In an ideal world, BB would have been able to perfectly duplicate the iOS catalog and have that to offer from day one. Since that can't happen, we're faced with two alternatives: 1) an app catalog that will take a painfully long time to become competitive or 2) tolerate some so-so Android ports.

    The Android Runtime is an overwhelming benefit. It gives developers a low-risk way to test the ecosystem, and it gives users more choice. That it's being upgraded to Jelly Bean only improves its appeal.
    bungaboy and northernrds like this.
    02-07-13 07:46 PM
  25. Shanerredflag's Avatar
    I think that the average, non enthusiast who downloads and installs Battery Watch, will think it is a mistake and that BlackBerry didn't do any application quality control.
    I wonder if Android will support BB10 apps...no? Why not? Clearly an operating platform that can support two systems is superior? Yes?
    THBW and jakie55 like this.
    02-07-13 07:48 PM
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