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Crazy World of Mobile Development & App Stores

peopleinboxes Recently I cant help but have mixed feelings about device App Stores run by manufacturers. Back in the day when there were no App Stores any developer could release their own application without having to be accepted or modify their applications for the platform. For example, anybody could write up some code and offer it or sell it for Symbian, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, & more.

Nowadays I can’t go a day without hearing about some crazy story about App Stores. My favorite this week is Apple’s rejection of a chess game with built in chat because Apple thinks they have trademarked glossy chat buttons!

Its not promising when innovative first time BlackBerry developers like Screaming Toaster go on a  rant about how BlackBerry development is totally toxic. (His words not mine) I know that RIM has a whole team that is working hard to help and entice developers along with their new Developer Conference but I think they have a long road ahead.

Here is a perfect example. Yesterday Prosanta posted this great article on the brand new BlackBerry Developer’s Blog about using AJAX in the BlackBerry browser. This is a really cool idea and could lead to web apps kind of like we see on the iPhone. The only problem is that AJAX requires JavaScript which is DISABLED BY DEFAULT on all devices currently sold as far as I have seen! The Browser in OS 5.0 is supposed to fix this but from what I am seeing it is not that much of a JavaScript improvement in the beta OS’s. So in short this great feature that would allow for Web 2.0 applications will not be used by developers for at least a year or two until a majority of users are on OS 5.0+.

The App World is yet another example of this. RIM is pushing the App World to developers to help users discover and install applications. The sad part is that the App World is not installed by default on ANY new BlackBerry which almost defeats the purpose. I have run into over 5 first time BlackBerry users this week and not one of them had App World installed.

So are there any developers out there who want to follow in the footsteps of Screaming Toaster and Versatile Monkey and share their experiences? I am curious if things are improving fast enough especially with RIM’s efforts to release tools such as a developer bug tracker, forum, & blog along with their developers conference and Eclipse/Visual Studio plugins.

In my opinion app development and innovation is where the future stands in terms of cool new applications that change how we use our BlackBerrys. It is sad that until this day very few developers can make a quality app that even holds a candle to apps created by RIM internally. (and this is not due to lack of talent)

5 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Also my words about RIM:

    “Great people – Additionally, I’ve had the chance of working with some people from the company, and all the folks I’ve worked with so far are really nice, sensible, and really really helpful!!! RIM is awesome because even though the Alliance program has been shutdown temporarily until September, they allowed me to get BIS-B access so that I could sell my apps outside of the US/Canada, where BIS-B access is critical! For this, and so much more, I am indebted to RIM, and despite all their shortcomings, really love the company and it’s people! And I think they are heading in the right direction! I like that that newer devices have robust CPUs, lots of RAM, and decent graphics. There’s a long way to go still, but I think they are on the right path.”

    This is why ScreamingToaster is committed to building BlackBerry apps. BlackBerry ROCKS! RIM ROCKS! Just because they are going through growing pains right now, does NOT mean that they are not making all the right moves.

    Nazmul, ScreamingToaster

  2. That is great to hear Namzul! I saw that rim is using screaming toaster. Good work!

  3. Excellent article. It’s good to know my frustration with RIM isn’t just my own. I don’t understand the decisions the company is making.

    Add to your list the insanity of the new partner program, the ridiculous price, and the implication that it has more to do with what we can do for RIM than it does with what RIM can do for us, and RIM’s cruising for second-class status as a platform.

    Don’t get me wrong — I’ve been a big RIM supporter and believe they are one of the two companies in the mobile space that’s actually targeted a group of customers and been able to capitalize effectively. But things are looking different than even two years ago and it doesn’t appear as if RIM understands how to target anyone but enterprise customers, even though they are selling lots of Pearls to consumers.

  4. here is my $0.02 on apple’s trademark claims:

    apple is notorious for being agressive in securing and protecting its intellectual property rights. at the same time, they are also notorious for stealing rights that were never their’s to begin with (e.g. Teledex’s IPHONE). i was surprised to hear that apple had obtained a trademark registration for the bubble design — so i did a quick search on the us patent & trademark’s website, and could not locate a registered mark for the bubble design (or even a pending trademark application). of course, they can claim they have rights in the mark, as well as rights in the trade dress (overall appearance of the bubble design), but these claims may or not hold up. from a trademark perspective, i highly doubt the bubble design can function as a trademark, and even be registered. the claims to the glossy elements in the trade dress of the bubble design are, in my opinion baseless. they are common elements used widely in numerous applications. so to claim exclusive rights to these elements is just plain nonsense.

  5. Yes, JavaScript was turned off by default on devices prior to 4.6. but with the new browser and support for AJAX in the 4.6 browser, RIM changed the JavaScript setting so it’s on by default.

    You can’t do AJAX without JavaScript – so it would be silly for RIM to have it turned off.

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