BlackBerry has finally started making some headway in terms of headless apps. In case you don’t know headless apps are apps that run in the background without an active user interface. Sadly the current implementation will not offer either users or developers what they have been asking BlackBerry for but it is a start. Shadid at BlackBerry has detailed some of the functionality and limitations of headless apps in a great 101 post. He explains how short running headless apps are currently available in OS 10.2 but limited to only be triggered in four VERY limited triggers: (that are promised to be expanded sometime in the undefined future)
- On Boot,
- When an SMS arrives
- Based on your general geofenced area
- Based on a push message
NOTE: BlackBerry has promised to expand this list of triggers sometime in the undefined future
Most applications that users want to run in the background will not be able to based on these limitations since they require a privilege called “Long Running Headless Apps.” That feature as we clarified before is only available in the yet to be announced OS 10.2.1. The problem is that there are limitations even on this feature. For example, as far as I can tell a headless app service cannot invoke a UI application.
I am truly hoping that more devs are willing to work with BlackBerry to actually bring the headless apps users are expecting to BlackBerry 10. Currently OS 10.2 shows that BlackBerry is not delivering what users or devs want but hopefully OS 10.2.1 can deliver where 10.2 has failed.