05-29-12 10:49 AM
312 123 ...
tools
  1. biggulpseh's Avatar
    Okay, so I'm reading far too many posts on here from novice BlackBerry fans who are fed up with the lack of apps on their PlayBook. Don't worry, I share in your frustration. Just please read this post before making another thread how upset you are, so maybe you'll understand the situation is about to VASTLY improve for the better.

    When the PlayBook was first released almost exactly a year ago, developers had 2 options for making apps on the platform: Adobe AIR and WebWorks (html5). In their first iterations, the Software Development Kits (SDKs, used to assemble the code and app) which were released for both of these coding platforms were missing a number of important Application Programming Interfaces (APIs, allow use of different parts of the hardware and OS) necessary to build great apps. Furthermore, as platforms, AIR and WebWorks don't allow for full utilization of the hardware.

    What the PlayBook was missing was a Native SDK (NDK) for building apps in in C/C++, which allows for the most high-performing apps on the platform, able to utilize all APIs available. A few big name devs like EA were allowed to use it to build games such as Need for Speed and Tetris. It has been subsequently released for all devs, and games like Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies utilize the NDK. However, the NDK still does not have a Native UI Framework.

    A Native UI Framework is basically a way for devs to be able to insert different UI elements into their app simply and easily. The textbox I'm typing into right now? All the dev has to do is type the code to insert a textbox into their app, set the size etc. and voila; textbox in their app. Button I'm going to press to submit this post? As easy as putting the word 'button' into their code and going from there. Unfortunately, this is currently unavailable for Native devs. For games, most devs create their own simple UI elements for menus and stuff like that to match the style of the game, so they don't need OS-wide UI elements. However, imagine making an app like a Twitter app with tons of buttons and scroll bars and everything and having to code and design that all yourself. It's almost impossible. So devs have so far had to rely on AIR and WebWorks for their UI Frameworks, and as such, the NDK for regular apps has not been used as of yet.

    But there is hope in the form of a UI framework called Cascades. Cascades was brought in by RIM's acquisition of a company called The Astonishing Tribe (TAT), and without question, is going to be BEAUTIFUL. Search for videos on YouTube with TAT and you will be blown away. These guys are at the top of the mobile UI game, and apps utilizing TAT in the future are going to be incredible. Devs will be able to insert beautiful 3D elements into their apps quickly and easily, making coding time dramatically reduced, yet make apps on the Blackberry 10 platform look 10x better than they look on iOS or Android.

    Wondering why apps like Netflix and Skype and Kindle aren't on the platform yet? No Cascades yet. Trust me, those companies aren't going to invest tens of thousands of dollars into AIR or WebWorks development for the PlayBook when they can just wait for Cascades which will look way better anyways. After Cascades is released (hopefully around BlackBerry World), we're going to see an influx of amazing apps hitting the platform.

    Furthermore, all the core apps such as the Adobe Reader, Music, Browser, etc are all being re-engineered using the NDK and Cascades. This is HUGE and I can't even begin to describe how awesome it will be to be able to have all apps made with this beautiful UI framework. Imagine BBM with 3D transitions and your contact list with beautiful transitions and 3D effects. I honestly cannot even begin to describe how awesome the BB10 platform is going to be, which is also coming to the PlayBook of course.

    Now don't get me wrong, using AIR and WebWorks, devs have been able to make some AWESOME apps (Blaq and What's Up for example), but I'm assuming at some point down the road these devs will make the transition from AIR to Cascades in order to utilize the full power of the platform. What I'm learning from different sources is that RIM is going to do their best to make this transition as easy as possible, and for events like the BlackBerry 10 Jam they've even brought in designers to show devs how fantastic their apps could look if they were re-engineered using Cascades.

    So if I can say anything to PlayBook owners and BlackBerry fans, it's please just have patience for the release of Cascades and the new SDKs and you will be glad you did. They're trying to understate it, but this is the biggest thing to happen to BlackBerry since I can even remember. It's going to be huge. So keep your eyes peeled for the events of BlackBerry World and the Blackberry 10 Jam on May 1st and I'm sure you won't be let down.
    Last edited by biggulpseh; 04-15-12 at 01:51 PM.
    04-15-12 01:36 PM
  2. mikeplus1's Avatar
    I too look forward to seeing what is revealed at BBWorld, BB Jam 10 and especially looking forward to seeing BB10.
    04-15-12 01:40 PM
  3. Atentozedten's Avatar
    Now that is the kind of posts I look forward to seeing. Optimistic, informative and unbiased. Thanks.

    Sent from my BlackBerry 9900 using Tapatalk
    04-15-12 01:44 PM
  4. madman0141's Avatar
    I learned something from the post. Great Job!
    04-15-12 01:47 PM
  5. Blkacesvf41's Avatar
    Sure hope you're right. If I see another "lack of apps thread" I am going to shoot myself.
    04-15-12 01:48 PM
  6. Snafufubar's Avatar
    I read lots of wishful thinking in that post - hopefully you bb owners will get some apps soon.
    04-15-12 01:52 PM
  7. TRlPPlN's Avatar
    i'm waiting on the party poopers to chime in...
    04-15-12 01:54 PM
  8. djmm2's Avatar
    Outstanding! Too bad we cannot speed up time. I also hope RIM invests in a real ad campaign, and get the news out!
    04-15-12 01:55 PM
  9. Merboy6969's Avatar
    Great post. Thanks for the info.


    Sent from my BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps using Tapatalk 2 Beta-5
    04-15-12 01:56 PM
  10. DAnklaud's Avatar
    I just downloaded/installed the native sdk and got C/C++ for dummies, thanks for the heads up on whats missing ,here hope'n i'm any good at-all ; Other than that ,RIM seems to play the "tortoise" in the "hare" -y- race of OS function/app-world, well as far as that story goes ,we know who wins, now i just hope it becomes a "Realized Reality"
    04-15-12 02:01 PM
  11. sputneek's Avatar
    I learned something from the post. Great Job!
    Ahhh, optimism so refreshing, enjoyed reading something positive for a change
    Steltz likes this.
    04-15-12 02:01 PM
  12. app_Developer's Avatar
    It's absolutely true that there are people holding out for Cascades instead of writing something in Air or HTML5. Hopefully we just have to wait two more weeks to get started at least.

    Great post/thread.
    04-15-12 02:11 PM
  13. alnamvet68's Avatar
    i'm waiting on the party poopers to chime in...
    They already have.

    Oh, an in before the lock....this thread is just too damn positive.
    rotorwrench and Willard814 like this.
    04-15-12 02:12 PM
  14. biggulpseh's Avatar
    Sure hope you're right. If I see another "lack of apps thread" I am going to shoot myself.
    Haha me too. It's just ignorance on the subject that's the problem though so I needed to set the record straight.
    04-15-12 02:12 PM
  15. I am JT's Avatar
    I share your positive outlook but for other reasons than apps. I would further suggest to those that have posted in the multitude of complaint threads that they direct their complaints directly to RIM and include their BlackBerry ID or PIN if they have one. It would be far more effective than whining here.
    04-15-12 02:18 PM
  16. westronic's Avatar
    Now that is the kind of posts I look forward to seeing. Optimistic, informative and unbiased. Thanks.

    Sent from my BlackBerry 9900 using Tapatalk
    For accuracy's sake, I'll point out there certainly was bias in that first post.

    Great news, if it's all accurate. I hope all the apparent conjecture in there is accurate.
    SassyD likes this.
    04-15-12 02:22 PM
  17. Spencerdl's Avatar
    It will be a welcomed enhancement for more apps on the PlayBook as to increase user experience on this already powerful tablet. Thanks for the technical information and reasoning behind the lack of apps. I luv this tablet that just keeps getting better and better
    04-15-12 02:23 PM
  18. biggulpseh's Avatar
    I share your positive outlook but for other reasons than apps. I would further suggest to those that have posted in the multitude of complaint threads that they direct their complaints directly to RIM and include their BlackBerry ID or PIN if they have one. It would be far more effective than whining here.
    Oh I agree, let's not forget that it's the TAT guys who are designing the Blackberry 10 UI.
    04-15-12 02:26 PM
  19. DAnklaud's Avatar
    I haven't had much trouble finding any app I need , except a map app of MY Personal liking ,and some video chat for cross platform chat,but as I have seen for the past 4 months , I don't think I'll have to wait much longer as the future creeps in closer & closer.
    04-15-12 02:31 PM
  20. Canuck671's Avatar
    Way to go. Love the info

    04-15-12 02:33 PM
  21. Darlaten's Avatar
    With all due respect for the OP, this sounds like nothing more than the tired and worn our corporate mantra from RIM that we have all been hearing since the Playbook was initiatlly announced; namely, "There there *pats you on the head*, it will all get better sometime soon. Just you wait until you see what we have in store. Come on. Please wait just a little bit more. Dont worry, its all going to get better soon."

    In any event, I liked your post and I truly hope that this miraculous, utopian, and wonderful future you predict comes to pass. I just wonder how many of us will be left to see it through.
    04-15-12 02:33 PM
  22. DAnklaud's Avatar
    I'LL Be left to see it through
    04-15-12 02:39 PM
  23. biggulpseh's Avatar
    With all due respect for the OP, this sounds like nothing more than the tired and worn our corporate mantra from RIM that we have all been hearing since the Playbook was initiatlly announced; namely, "There there *pats you on the head*, it will all get better sometime soon. Just you wait until you see what we have in store. Come on. Please wait just a little bit more. Dont worry, its all going to get better soon."

    In any event, I liked your post and I truly hope that this miraculous, utopian, and wonderful future you predict comes to pass. I just wonder how many of us will be left to see it through.
    Trust me, I share in your frustration. When I heard that OS 2.0 was delayed last fall I almost had a stroke lol. Every time I hear 'soon' from RIM I roll my eyes like everyone else. Just keep in mind, without a true Native SDK, we can't expect awesome apps on the platform. With Cascades, the way the framework has been engineered more or less makes it hard to make an ugly app. 3D effects and transitions in seconds being used by novice devs... Hold out some hope! Cheers
    DAnklaud and rotorwrench like this.
    04-15-12 02:40 PM
  24. anon3969612's Avatar
    Excellent post. Thanks for the info.
    04-15-12 02:41 PM
  25. Fmar's Avatar
    I'd be called a troll by many here... But your authoritative and perhaps slightly over confident post gives me some hope.

    18 to 24 months to get it right is a lot of patience.

    I hope you are right.
    04-15-12 02:48 PM
312 123 ...
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD