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Introducing the Official OSBB App for BlackBerry 10

Earlier today, the official OSBB App for BlackBerry was approved and appeared in the BlackBerry World storefront. We are excited to have an app available that is native, beautiful, and developed soley by us here at OSBB. Version 1.0 of the app is available for both the full touch and QWERTY BlackBerry 10 devices running BlackBerry 10.1 or higher and is, of course, free.  

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Feeds

When designing the OSBB app, we wanted to show our respect to the BlackBerry UI guidelines, but we also wanted to be a little different, so in the news feeds we added a brief description of each article that can be show or hidden with a single tap of the button located just to the right of the title. If the brief description grabs your interest, the full article can be viewed by tapping the list item.

 


 

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Search Feature

When building the search feature into the app, we wanted to mimic the native search present in native BB10 apps such as the File Manager, and we believe we nailed it.  The search feature will allow you to quickly locate whatever it is that you are looking for.

 


 

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Category Filtering

Hiding just above each topic specfic list, is a dropdown menu that will allow you to get more specific results, and allow you to dive a bit deeper. The dropdown is available in the Reviews section, Resources section, and The Rest section.

While we are definitely excited to have the official OSBB app available, we are even more excited to improve it and further develop it, so let us know what features you would like to see in the app, and as always, happy coding!

Download the Official OSBB App today!

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Developers Corner - Jason Carter

Jason Carter is a very accomplished developer on the BlackBerry 10 platform and has one of the most popular games available in BlackBerry World -- Words Plus.

Jason is a native of Canada and he and his brother Quincy are the guys behind TwoCasualCoders.com.  These two have brought us the great Cascades BBM integration open source code ‘HelloBBM’ that many Cascades developers use for BBM integration.

Jason is a great guy who is very humble and down to earth. I wanted to talk with Jason for quite some time, and I was glad that he took the time to do this interview.

How many apps have you done? Are you currently working on one now?

I have 2 games in BlackBerry World, WordsPlus and Sequent. Currently, I’m concentrating on bug fixes and enhancing the feature of WordsPlus but I have a few ideas of games I’d like to work on or games I think would be just fun to work on.

Is BlackBerry the only platformfor which you develop? Do you also build for iOS and/or Android? If yes, how does developing for BlackBerry compare to the others?

My first entry into mobile development was for Windows Phone, I created a game similar to Sequent during the summer of 2012. Currently, I plan to make BlackBerry my main/only platform I develop for.
And when it comes to platform comparison, I have a number of years coding with the .NET framework and honestly I find Microsoft’s development tools to be amazing. Developing WordsPlus on the new BB10 platform and tools is fun but frustrating in comparison to Visual Studios. However, VS is a very mature tool set and I’m sure BlackBerry’s tool will improve over time.

What was your motivation for starting app development? Is there another developer that influenced you?

My brother, Quincy Carter, is a huge BlackBerry fan and once BB10 beta 1 came out with Cascades he was on it and coding up his very first app, Launch Codes. He’s the one that really convinced me to make something for the new platform. I was hesitant at first, but figured they’ll be a lot of great opportunities on a new platform. And honestly, being Canadian and BlackBerry being a great Canadian technology company, I have a soft spot for them and wanted to be a part of their come back story?

What is your preferred programming language? Would you be interested in learning another language? (i.e. from HTML --> Cascades)

I’ve spent most of my career working with C#, which is also my preferred language. Cascades is great but I’d consider it more of a markup language like XAML, but more interesting because you can mix in javascript. When it comes to learning new languages, I was forced to pick up C++, which I actually hate! But then I discovered Qt, which is very similar to C# (or perhaps it’s the other way around) so I did a lot of business logic for WordsPlus in Qt. So this one experience allowed me to touch 3 languages in total (C++, Cascades, Qt).

Are any of your apps Built for BlackBerry™(BFB) certified? If so, do you have any tips for new developers on being BFB certified?

I have 2 games (3 technically), Sequent, WordsPlus and WordsPlus: Free Edition. Out of those, both WordsPlus games are BFB.
Tips. Hmm, I could say just follow the guidelines but that would just qualify you to be considered. For me, I went with the attitude of building the best game I can make. I wanted a game that looked clean and was intuitive to use by the end user. Also, I wanted something that looked and felt like it could have been a game actually built by BlackBerry as a pre-installed app.And what I mean by that is I wanted to use sheets, peek and flow, pull down application menu and all of the other BlackBerry 10 specific features and functionality available to me. And not just throwing those features in but integrating them in a way that made sense.
I honestly believe WordsPlus was awarded BFB certification not only because it’s a nice game but also because it show cases BlackBerry 10 features, functionality and UI in a great package. WordsPlus was designed specifically for BB10 and just by that alone it will never be on another platform.

Did you have formal schooling for developing or are self taught? Did you attend any BlackBerry Jam sessions for additional education?

Yes, I have a Software Engineering degree. I haven’t attended any of the BB Jam sessions; all of my BlackBerry development skills is from my technical background and BlackBerry’s online documentation. And also the forums, there are some great and helpful developers in the forums.

What are pointers or advice you could give to new developers? Where could they look to get a good start?

I recommend new developers to start small. It’s not that interesting but the fundamentals will get you very far. Jumping into something complicated might get you somewhere fast but if you don’t understand how you got there, you’ll never learn how to make enhancements to your app and even worse, the next app you do you’ll end up starting from scratch instead building on top of your previous knowledge.
For me, BlackBerry’s online documentation and developer forum were the best places to start.

How do you advertise your applications? Do you have a dedicated website or do you utilize social networking (i.e. Facebook, or Facebook page, Twitter)?

I do everything and anything possible. I have landing page (TwoCasualCoders.com), a Facebook page (facebook.com/wordsplusgame), tell my Facebook friends, a Twitter page (@jasonicarter), and I write guest blog posts and try to get reviews. Any visibility is good visibility.

Which BlackBerry do you use as your main device?

I use my white Z10.

Are you a full time developer? How long have you been doing this for?

My career is in IT as a software developer and analyst. I’ve developed mostly .NET desktop, ASP.NET and PHP websites for since 2004. I started doing mobile development in the summer of 2012.

Check out Jason's Apps in BlackBerry World.

 

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Welcome to the all-new OSBB!

 

Greetings!

First off, thank you for checking out the ALL NEW OSBB!   We have refocused and recommitted to being a community advocate for independent BlackBerry developers.  And as of today, we have just barely scratched the surface of what we plan to offer for developers.

If you have an account with the old OSBB site, you must use the account link at the top right and reset your password before you will be able to log in.

Our mission is...

(short version) ...to put independent developers front and center in everything we do.

(long version) ...to amplify independent developers and their respective applications by providing tutorials for new developers, reviewing the best of the best indie apps, and featuring independent developers in other meaningful ways.

Why are we doing this?

Independent developers have limited to no resources to commit to marketing efforts, and therefore often get overlooked by the community. While, we will not promote any app that isn’t up to snuff, we want to shine some light on all the hidden gems that are present in the BlackBerry World app store.

How do we objectively review apps if we seek to promote them?

Our reviews will be honest, but we will only review quality apps that we feel are worthy of your attention. This will allow us to both be honest with the reader, but also give some attention to worthy developers and their apps. In short, we will not be a marketing arm for ALL indie developers, but we will select and review apps that our editors (all of whom are developers) most appreciate.

What else?

In addition to reviews and other content for the everyday reader, the new OSBB will focus heavily on providing open source code, tutorials, and other content aimed exclusively at helping developers do what they do. Every member of our core team is a developer in HTML5 (Web) and/or Native (Cascades), and we will post materials created for us by members of our extended OSBB membership.

OSBB core leadership contact information:

Jeremy D. - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Don B. - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Alex B. - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Shane C. - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Developers Corner

I wanted to take a minute and thank you all for visiting the re-designed OpenSourceBB.com (OSBB). We have a lot of awesomeness planned, and we are happy ecstatic to refocus our attention on indie developers.

Not only do we want to focus on helping new and veteran developers, but we also want to amplify current independent developers and their apps. Moreover, we want to give the readers useful information about the actual developer behind the app.

When we decided to refocus and refine our mission around developers, one of the things I personally wanted to do was focus on the developer themselves--not just the apps. So, the plan is to do a weekly interview with a currently active independent developer.

In this weekly series I will be interviewing some of our favorite indie devs and getting to know them a little bit better. Our vision for this is to not only showcase some of the best apps that are out there, but also some of the best developers. I have a couple developers lined up and I hope you will enjoy this series.

Many of the developers that I will be featuring have apps in BlackBerry World now, but we will also be chatting with a few up and coming new developers also.

Please, leave your comments and support these developers, because they are the heart and soul of the BlackBerry developer community.

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Hello OSBB, I'm Alex!

Hello World,

Yes, I went there! As any developer knows, ‘Hello World’ this is the best way to start off anything new. Oh, and speaking of new… I am pleased to officially be writing for OpenSourceBB.com! I am very excited about this opportunity and anxious to start bringing you guys some awesome news and reviews. I hope that you welcome me to the community with open arms!

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Who uses BlackBerry?

This morning (right now actually) I attended a Market Insights session at BlackBerry Live, and what I learned was at first surprising, although in retrospect I perhaps should have suspected.

I'm going to keep it short because this post is coming from my Z10, but the presenters discussed who uses BlackBerry the most.

According to the presenters, people in their 30s to 60s are most likely to use BlackBerry, and more likely to use BlackBerry versus other smart phones as compared to other age groups.

More importantly for developers like me, most of those BlackBerry users have a higher education in general - which I hope means they buy apps :)

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Hopefully more information coming out from Live later today, and thanks to @Flip4Bytes for the images I missed getting a shot of.

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Space TV + v1.3.1.3 submitted to BlackBerry World

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Space TV + for the BlackBerry Z10 is an application designed to provide users with space related news, photos, and video, wrapped in an intuitive and smooth interface. This evening, I submitted an update for the app that includes some new features, some bug fixes, and a little polish.

Version 1.3.1.3 of Space TV + includes the following fixes and feature updates:

  • Now works with or without BBM permissions/integration
  • Added one time tutorial overlay on first launch
  • Optimized orientation settings for video player
  • Added "Contact Us" page allowing users to email support directly from app
  • Added link to review the app in BlackBerry World
  • Added detailed release notes in HELP area
  • The video feeds have been replaced and volume levels should be much better now
  • Further formatting fixes for Image of the Day date display
  • Improved rendering speed for image lists in Curiosity galleries
  • Added notice/disclaimer regarding data usage and streaming HD video

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With the US launch of the BlackBerry Z10 Fast approaching, I now have to decide how to market Space TV + to the masses. Luckily, Space TV + is currently featured in the BlackBerry World carousel, and the app carries Built for BlackBerry certification, so that helps.

Check out Space TV + in BlackBerry World

With regards to marketing my app, it occurs to me that #TeamBlackBerry is made up of the smartest people I know, so why not ask them? So, tell me... tell me how to market Space TV +.

Any suggestions are welcome :)

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