05-29-12 09:49 AM
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tools
  1. Innovatology's Avatar
    While I'm as excited about Cascades as anyone, and it is not my intention to rain on your parade, I don't think we should see Cascades as the holy grail and the solution to the app gap problem.

    One of the issues we face as PlayBook developers is access to underlying functionality:

    1. API's to access OS functions, e.g. communicating with other apps, accessing contacts, scheduling background tasks, communicating with RIM services etc.
    2. API's to access hardware functions, e.g. Bluetooth, cameras, gyroscope, radio.


    Months ago, before the NDK (=C/C++) was released, we were all expecting it to provide access to these functions. These forums were filled with posts about how everything would be wonderful once the NDK was available. And while the NDK did provide a lot of possibilities to improve performance of our apps, it didn't add much access.

    In fact, the NDK is currently one of the least capable where API's are concerned. Many API's that are available to AIR, such as browser components and the camera, aren't supported by the NDK yet.

    We've forgotten that many, many of those functions weren't available on other, more mature platforms for a long time either. Even now, IOS doesn't support true background tasks, and only limited notifications. The PlayBook OS has huge potential, it just needs to be opened up a lot more, regardless of the language/framework used to write the apps.

    The existing software development stacks on the PlayBook are very capable. Many are even cross-platform. Yes, a UI framework for C/C++ is sorely missing, but don't discount AIR, Qt, WebWorks: good designers & developers can produce extremely usable and beatiful apps using the frameworks we have today. And once API's are opened up at C/C++ level they can easily be used by AIR, Qt or WebWorks apps too.

    Cascades alone will not solve the app gap. In the end, Cascades is "just" another UI framework. A very nice one, by the looks of things, but a proprietary one that only works on PlayBook and BB10...

    Regardless, I'm still eager to dive into Cascades and am confident that it will be yet another useful tool in our toolbox.
    04-15-12 10:40 PM
  2. BB_Bmore's Avatar
    Yeah, okay i see what your saying, cascades is amazing and all that and upon release developers will be able to make amazing apps. but the real key here, is that RIM have had a perfectly good NDK since day one. and THEY havent bothered to release apps. if you look at the Blackberry phones, RIM themselves developed the MSN app, the Twitter app, yahoo and google messaging apps, etc etc.

    The things like Skype and twitter people complain about not having... Its RIM's job to make those. like it has done for the phones. (well not skype, but still) The thing people complain about not having, are not coming, and they are from a developer who has had a native NDK all the time. Netflix ill give you, they should support the PB, but Skype? if the developers who made IM+ can make Skype work, surely RIM can, If RIM can make an MSN app for phones, why not the PB? if RIM can make twitter for phones, and make PB messages see Twitter messages, why is there still no twitter for PB?

    The REAL reason for the lack of decent apps from third party developers, is that if RIM dont have enough faith to put some time into giving their product the Native apps their other products get, why would someone else bother? look at it like this, if RIMs twitter and MSN apps were not available to BB7 phones, would other developers include BB7 compatibility in their products? no.

    Blackberry Playbook, Its the Beta test for BB10. its not meant to be fully functional. its meant to test how the system works. start building up a few apps to have around for BB10's release, work out any niggles in the system. when you hold your Blackberry playbook, your holding an oversized Beta version of a phone. which is lacking in features RIM have perfected, like BBM, Twitter, MSN, Yahoo, Google... your testing what they havent yet perfected.
    Sounds great so were is the playbook beta program at in the beta zone?
    04-15-12 10:46 PM
  3. sportline's Avatar
    its just promises after promises, hopes after hopes, and you cant keep on make promises and get people content of hoping something will come (eventually?).
    this explanation (TAT/cascades/OS10) has been offered many times during our playbook debacle from last year till now.
    i would say as long as blackberry playbook don't attract basic news apps like reuters, bloomberg news, bbc, fluent (which exists in every other platform bar windows) then :
    1. either the environment (ecosystem) is not attractive
    2. too difficult to program
    3. lack of interface (cascades/SDK/NDK or whatever)
    4. lack of incentives (quantity of users, etc)

    unless all those above are resolved, there will be a bare minimum of apps. whats appealing is that most of the basic, basic stuff like news apps are not even there.
    nikgilbe likes this.
    04-15-12 10:49 PM
  4. peter9477's Avatar
    http://m.techradar.com/news/mobile-computing/tablets/rim-confirms-bb10-is-coming-to-blackberry-playbook-1071018

    "We've said publicly a number of times that our first BB10 handset will be available towards the end of 2012, and that's still firmly the case," Rob Orr, RIM's VP of product management told us.

    "At some point after the launch we'll bring BB10 to our PlayBooks, yes."
    Since all you've done is quote my post, followed by the above, you're leaving me to guess what your point might be.

    Assuming you thought you'd just refuted something I said, may I simply point out that Cascades and BB10 are NOT the same thing. I was talking about when we'll see Cascades...
    04-15-12 10:50 PM
  5. narci's Avatar
    Since all you've done is quote my post, followed by the above, you're leaving me to guess what your point might be.

    Assuming you thought you'd just refuted something I said, may I simply point out that Cascades and BB10 are NOT the same thing. I was talking about when we'll see Cascades...
    I know cascades is different then bb10.

    I'm just stating that cascades will generally be launched with bb10.

    In turn, bb10 won't be on the pb until after the new bb10 phones are out.

    Here's the roadmap.

    http://mobilesyrup.com/2012/02/29/rim-outlines-blackberry-10-platform-roadmap-including-cascades-framework-and-super-apps/
    04-15-12 11:02 PM
  6. Innovatology's Avatar
    No. I'm sorry but you're quite simply wrong. For Netflix to port their iOS app to Playbook using the NDK and Cascades would not take as many resources to make it as cost prohibitive as you seem to think. However, rebuilding the app using WebWorks or AIR, two platforms they most likely do not have devs for, would be a lot harder - and probably WOULD cost a lot for them.
    Not sure I agree with you there. The IOS NetFlix app is an HTML5 app, with some lower level components. Unless they've made some realy bad architectural decisions, it wouldn't be too much work to port it to PlayBook. And there are millions of JavaScript, Flex/AS3 and C++ developers out there. It's easy to hire a few.

    If you're interested, more info on the architecture of the Netflix apps can be found here. Note that the article is about a year old, so things will have changed since then.

    Furthermore, the lack of APIs and flexibility of those platforms would mean they'd have to spend a huge amount of time optimizing the application to be usable, which might not even happen considering AIR cannot tap into multiple processing threads, etc.
    Any API available to native code is available to AIR too, including threads. The extension mechansim is even designed to be as cross-platform as possible.
    04-15-12 11:15 PM
  7. guerllamo7's Avatar
    I am on the camp of those who believe the app situation is just fine on the Playbook. There are plenty of apps and more coming in daily. However, augmenting the app situation dramatically would be welcome.
    I suggest people thinking about a Playbook get one soon. If this is true and Cascades is some kind of game changer, the prize will reflect that.
    At 199.00 the Playbook is awesome just as it is but if Cascasdes provides what the OP suggests then it is going to be a rocking deal of the year for BlackBerry consumers.
    04-15-12 11:34 PM
  8. phonegeek#AC's Avatar
    Thanks biggulpseh for a very insightful post. If 1% of the posts here were that insightful and thought provoking this would be a much better place.

    It is interesting that I see this after I have spent the better part of the last three days researching Android LTE tablets. I have decided that I will invest in an LTE tablet in the near future and was trying to get a sense of what's coming up. Now I wasn't planning to buy a new tablet for the next couple months anyway as I figured it would be at least June before we started seeing the new great stuff.

    Now I have been here for awhile, I do testing for most of the berries to be released on at&t's network, and have been user and fan for a great many years. I have provided insight as to issues with certain products, I have provided insight as to when certain products would be available. I have been shouted down for some of the things I've stated and proven right in the end.

    I was an early adopter of the Playbook having received mine two days after release. I have been an early adopter of the sideloading tools, and converted many android apps to be used on my playbook to make it more usable. I have regarded these steps as bandaids hoping that it would stay functional for me until the true promise of the platform can be recognized.

    In this span I also have watched RIM release OS7 devices, with many of the same promises of features that either materialize many months after release, and in many cases just substandard hardware altogether. NFC may someday be a useful feature but not yet, wifi hotspot was painful to get an OS that made it really usable, now battery life on the 9900 for many is worse than Android devices. I've been using an HTC One X for the last several weeks and it has better battery life than my 9900 and it has an LTE radio in it...

    Are apps important, of course, however it is my belief that RIM has spent too many resources trying to keep the Playbook locked down, too many resources trying to find ways to plug holes and prevent rooting when the main reason people wanted to root the device is to unlock the functionality we all know is in there but just couldn't be allowed to access it.

    RIM has a new LTE tablet coming some supposedly. I am still looking for a new tablet, but I fear RIM is just too far behind now. LTE tablets with the Ice Cream Sandwich OS are so far ahead that RIM needs to hit a bases empty grand slam to catch up and I am not sure they can.

    I will continue to keep my PB and watch over the next couple months but I most likely won't run out and buy a new RIM product day 1, week 1, or month 1 anymore. I'll test the ones I get at work and if the new RIM LTE PB is the best tablet on the market then I may make that leap. After a year and a half of waiting for what the Playbook was supposed to be I am not certain how much patience I have left...

    Thank you again though for a positive, and insightful post.

    PG
    04-15-12 11:44 PM
  9. GP540's Avatar
    I am doubtful on the lack of quality apps available in app world I have 201 apps installed and I have downloaded more than that but anything I haven't found fun to play or something useful I deleted it. Now I do admit a couple of these apps aren't from app world ie emulators... 5 converted android apps. There are great quality apps out there. Furthermore everyone needs to go to a physiologist as Apple has brain washed the world into thinking more = better... Quality = better and if time brings quality ill wait...


    Playbook ftw
    04-15-12 11:44 PM
  10. VishRS's Avatar
    Got goosebumps! Wooooohooooo!!!!
    04-15-12 11:46 PM
  11. Rootbrian's Avatar
    I'm not disappointed and I haven't complained since at the number of apps available in appworld on the playbook I have, so if a few big ones do make it into appworld, I'll be sure to try them, be it skype or another one I use, but if they don't come, no sweat right? I'll use my tablet pc for the ones that're missing, or my computer. Regardless, I have allot of tolerance and patience, including appreciation. Anything I feel like complaining about, I think and look on the bright side: just have patience and wait for it to arrive. That's just how I roll. Now, if I were a developer, I would reverse engineer skype and get it on the playbook right away. But I'm a non-skilled one and cannot do that.
    DAnklaud, Gouk and berrydroidapple like this.
    04-15-12 11:49 PM
  12. murnende's Avatar
    It's funny; the awesome is always "right around teh corner!!!11!! First the developers were waiting for security certification. That came and went, no developers. Then they were waiting for the NDK beta. Came and went, no developers. Then it was NDK release . . . then it was OS 2.0 . . . now its Cascades . . . still no developer love, but always a plethora of hope.

    The app situation on the PB is what it is, and there's no magic just around the corner that's going to change it. The developers want returns, and the PB community isn't big enough to generate the returns the big guys want.

    A year after BB10 has dropped, if (and that's a big if) it has a significant adoption rate, you may see the bigger developers get on-board. Until then, stop holding your breath, you're just going to give yourself a headache.
    notfanboy likes this.
    04-16-12 12:08 AM
  13. wdtarver's Avatar
    Yet another post promising great things "around the corner." Isn't this what we've been hearing from the introduction of PB? These kinds of promises are what sucked me into buying the 64g Playbook at $699. Right now my PB is a pretty reliable movie player, web browser, and e-mail reader. As for anything else, I'll believe it when I see it.
    04-16-12 12:08 AM
  14. Rootbrian's Avatar
    @murnende I don't hold my breath for things. I use the tablet equally between the tablet pc and computers I already have. This way, nothing collects dust.
    04-16-12 12:17 AM
  15. murnende's Avatar
    I use my PlayBook extensively, so far as it does what I want it to do. When it doesn't, I use my laptop. I simply don't believe that there's some magic formula right around the corner that's going to bring in the developers. Right now, I think RIM would have been better served using TAT to build apps. Then, at least the apps we have would be TAT sweetness.

    RIM still has time to blow peoples' socks off, but the window is closing in my opinion. I've been really tempted to try the Lumia 900, but I've fought the urge in order to see how Win 8 and BB10 pan out. I think if Win 8 is strong, and integrates tablets, phones and notebooks effectively, Android and BB will be in deep . If on the other hand, Win 8 is a dog, RIM has a lot of opportunity to come back in the handset and tablet space.

    Until they sell a ton, though, you won't see the developers banging on the door.
    04-16-12 12:26 AM
  16. spdill12's Avatar
    Thank you for this post. Posts like this renews my excitement for what I can expect in the near future. I just hope RIM targets its key demographic which is business users. Its nice to have the car games and the angry birds but like I read from another post on here, we just need 100-200 QUALITY apps. Blaq and Conqu are the only quality and useful apps on App World.

    RIM needs to stop playing catch up to the competitors. Let iPhone and Android provide the toys. Like the Bold commercials outlines - "We need tools not toys" and that's exactly it! RIM came onto the scene with a tool for users to be connected in the business world and it did that exactly to perfection.

    Let's see a robust, fluid, stable OS on quality hardware with quality business, social media apps and throw in a few entertainment apps.

    Let's not lose focus again. The mantra should be"Tools not Toys" through RIM headquarters. I'm sure TAT and Cascades will deliver I just hope its not too late.
    04-16-12 12:46 AM
  17. biggulpseh's Avatar
    Not sure I agree with you there. The IOS NetFlix app is an HTML5 app, with some lower level components. Unless they've made some realy bad architectural decisions, it wouldn't be too much work to port it to PlayBook. And there are millions of JavaScript, Flex/AS3 and C++ developers out there. It's easy to hire a few.

    If you're interested, more info on the architecture of the Netflix apps can be found here. Note that the article is about a year old, so things will have changed since then.



    Any API available to native code is available to AIR too, including threads. The extension mechansim is even designed to be as cross-platform as possible.
    My bad on the Netflix apps, totally thought they had switched it up. But either way, sub Skype in there and ya know what I mean.

    And from what I gather the ANE only allow pseudo-threading? I.e. Not all actions... Or am I way off base with that?
    04-16-12 12:49 AM
  18. sportline's Avatar
    Yet another post promising great things "around the corner." Isn't this what we've been hearing from the introduction of PB? These kinds of promises are what sucked me into buying the 64g Playbook at $699. Right now my PB is a pretty reliable movie player, web browser, and e-mail reader. As for anything else, I'll believe it when I see it.
    you don't know what coming around the corner..maybe it's love (is waiting just around the bend) or 30klbs runaway truck with no brake.
    browser is the main thing on the playbook.
    04-16-12 01:10 AM
  19. varunsain's Avatar
    Great Post!!
    04-16-12 01:46 AM
  20. G-bone's Avatar
    I GOT NOTHIN' BUT FAITH!!!
    And reading intelligent, thoughtful posts like yours does nothing but restore my faith in BlackBerry Nation!!
    Keep on Rockin' in the Free World!
    mithrazor likes this.
    04-16-12 02:50 AM
  21. costas1966's Avatar
    My thanks to the OP for this useful post. Whether it's true, hopeful, speculative, leaked, experimental, or anything else, it is one glaring thing...realistic and positive.

    Why are so many posters frothing at the mouth about the PB and its "downfall"?? Why so much negativity? From the trolls, I think the answer is evident...from the PB owners and supporters, I think there is a bit of insecurity and jealousy that their friends with iPads and Android tablets have a whole lot of apps at their disposal. Yes, yes, yes....I know...Skype and Netflix....yes, I KNOW how much we would all love those apps on our PBs....me included...BUT...I somehow managed to get over my pen** envy very shortly thereafter, once I got a hold of a PB and began using it...and I had a perfectly good (and still have) Android tablet.

    The user experience for me is night and day...the UI of the PB is unmatched, and with the limited, but very useful collection of free and paid apps, I can pretty much do anything I need to do for work and play. No, I cannot Skype...but I can always use my Android for that. No, I cannot Netflix...but I can always use my Android for that as well.

    As a BB phone user, the Bridge capability is phenomenal, especially the remote control function (which, btw....I can pair to my Android tablet too) and the email, calendar, and UI is sooooooo much nicer to use.

    For me, it works. For someone else, these things mean nothing.

    I fully believe that RIM will come through and do what's necessary to gain back market share and prove the value of their products.

    I, for one feel that there is too much negativity on this forum, where what we really need is the sharing of information. That's why I am here....to learn and share. Not to b.i.t.c.h. incessantly. I should take that up with RIM. As should we all....IF we are THAT unhappy.

    Anyway, kudos to the OP for the info, and I really hope to see these changes from RIM soon. Until then, I will continue to experiment and try new things with my PB....something most iPad and Android users don't care to do, because the power of innovation, experimentation, and knowledge has been done for them by apps.

    Rock on.
    Last edited by costas1966; 04-16-12 at 02:55 AM.
    04-16-12 02:53 AM
  22. dejanh's Avatar
    More speculation, more promises, more talk. Wasn't OS2.0 supposed to revolutionize the PB? Hats off to you OP on the post but at this point in the game only concrete results are acceptable. Until then, this is all just wishful thinking.
    Hobbes2099 likes this.
    04-16-12 03:03 AM
  23. cletis's Avatar
    Cascades will not bring the developers. Developers will start spending their resources on building apps for the RIM world once BB10 phones have enough market penetration to make it worth their while to develop to the platform. I'm thinking about 12 months after the launch of the first BB10 phones. I've said this before, and I'll repeat it now. There's no one RIM OS out currently with enough market share to make it worth developing to, and even if there were, the knowledge that all current OSes are soon going the way of the dodo makes them dead to developers. But Cascades plus BB10 penetration equals an attractive proposition for dev's.
    barskin likes this.
    04-16-12 03:05 AM
  24. dejanh's Avatar
    Cascades will not bring the developers. Developers will start spending their resources on building apps for the RIM world once BB10 phones have enough market penetration to make it worth their while to develop to the platform. I'm thinking about 12 months after the launch of the first BB10 phones. I've said this before, and I'll repeat it now. There's no one RIM OS out currently with enough market share to make it worth developing to, and even if there were, the knowledge that all current OSes are soon going the way of the dodo makes them dead to developers. But Cascades plus BB10 penetration equals an attractive proposition for dev's.
    Yeah, I am going to agree with this. While the original post reads like hard facts it is actually an opinion piece. Some of the arguments and statements were already debunked in the last few pages of this thread even. All I am saying is that you should not hold your breath.
    04-16-12 03:11 AM
  25. Bakamushi's Avatar
    Why are so many posters frothing at the mouth about the PB and its "downfall"?? Why so much negativity?
    Dude, this is just you imagining that you are endowed with a shield and a sword to slay a dragon.

    Chill out, it's just an IT provider, and we just want the damn updates.
    barskin likes this.
    04-16-12 03:14 AM
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