BlackBerry 10.3 Roadmap announcement explained

By Brian Scheirer on 16 Apr 2014 12:33 am EDT
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Earlier today we reported the news of BlackBerry updating the 10.3 Roadmap. I'm afraid some may have taken some of the news out of context (good, bad, or otherwise), so I hope to provide context around the line items mentioned. First and foremost, realize this is an announcement for the 10.3 developing environments which will obviously have end user implications but perhaps not quite what you may think. I hope I don't get long winded in my explanations here but there is a lot to cover. I will do my best to "translate" from "developer speak" to end user implications.

I have only known a few developers who used Adobe AIR as their platform of choice.

Three developer environments are being updated and one is getting axed. What does this really mean? First, Cascades/Native is obvious since that is what BlackBerry uses for core applications and is the foundation of everything BlackBerry 10. Next, WebWorks (HTML) is arguably the most versatile web based language and many believe this is where everything is heading. And for the time being, it is a great platform for developers supporting BlackBerry, Android and iOS.

Finally the third platform, love it or hate it, is Android. Android support helps developers big and small quickly and easily get their apps on BlackBerry 10. Quite frankly, I wasn't initially on board with the idea of having Android on my BlackBerry but with each update of the runtime it is getting better and better. Updates get us more Android apps running smoothly regardless if you get them from BlackBerry World or some other means.

So, that leaves Adobe AIR as the odd man out. Honestly, I have only known a few developers who used (and many no longer do) Adobe AIR as their platform of choice. And BlackBerry 10 didn't really support all that much of it anyway. Regardless it is understandable that you may have AIR apps on your device and BlackBerry announced that user release 10.3.1 would no longer have native AIR runtime. That obviously means those apps will no longer work.

From a user standpoint you have two choices, don't ever upgrade to 10.3.1+ or stop using that app. And from a developer standpoint BlackBerry recommends you port your AIR code to another language or recompile your AIR app as an Android apk then convert your apk to a bar. I know that second developer choice sounds kind of like a hack, but who cares it'll work. Also worth noting, BlackBerry has to pay Adobe to have AIR installed on BlackBerry 10, so this is a cost saving choice as well as dropping a relatively unpopular developer platform. Bottom line is Native AIR is dead on BlackBerry 10, and probably won't be missed.

Back to the three platforms that are supported, let's take a look at the Native/Cascades updates. One of BlackBerry10 Developer Relations' rallying cries from the very beginning was they plan to support as many open standards as possible and OpenMax is the next one they are going to support. OpenMax is a media standard, feel free to poke around the web for more info. Next, Pro Voice sounds like a new set of API for native developers to access more audio features on the device. The next two items, Design Units and Asset Selector, are new ways for developers to reuse code to support multiple devices. I've done a write up about the current Asset Selector a few months ago.

From an end user standpoint it is safe to assume that future devices will have different resolutions than the current ones. And yes that could very well mean we will see full HD (1080p) screens in the near future, could also mean lower end specs like the rumored Z3's 960x540, or both. Grid layout and list rearrange are both pretty self-explanatory. Personally, I am happy about grid layout because it was a huge pain to get the grid look in Logic Puzzles.

The last item on the Native list is accent colors. As we all saw in the 10.3 leak the familiar blue accent was replaced by red in many places. I have a theory that was BlackBerry testing the waters there. And I will preface my next few sentences with this is my speculation of how this will play out. I foresee the user OS 10.3 will allow everyone to pick their own default accent color. From there developer can choose to let their app show that user selected color or override that color with an app specific color scheme defined by the app developer. I think this would provide a nice balance of user customization but also allow apps to force their own color scheme for branding/theme. Regardless, if my speculation is wrong it looks like developers will definitely get to force their one color scheme without going completely off the deep end like the Sochi Olympics app or like I did in this code sample.

Hopefully we'll all get a better overall Android on BlackBerry experience

The next three items on the list are updates for Momentics (the native developing tool from BlackBerry). So 64-bit OS support is talking about support of whatever computer the developer is using to write code not BlackBerry 10. I repeat this does not mean BlackBerry 10 will be 64-bit. The next two are also equally less interesting for end users. Pretty printers is a style of text display within the code editor. I layman terms, it makes it easier to tell if something is a "1" (number one) or a lowercase "l". It really helps for easily reading code even at 3am after 4 energy drinks. Lastly, card templates is like when you open the share button in your browser and you pick "share via Blaq," and Kisai Labs had to write that page that pops up (card) from scratch, well now BlackBerry will give developers some samples on how to do that.

Next up, WebWorks (HTML) got an update in November and March and the four items on that list just add some more features that can already be done in Native code. Not much to see here... Finally, Android has two interesting items on the board and four obvious ones. Starting with the four easy ones; Bluetooth LE, NFC, Share Framework, and Tooling update are exactly what they sound like. Now, Android apps that use Bluetooth LE will work, NFC will work, etc.

BlackBerry was very careful with wording

The runtime update brings Android support up from 4.2.2 to 4.3. Just the same as BlackBerry is giving Cascades developers new tools from 10.2 to 10.3, Google gave Native Android developers new tools from 4.2.2 to 4.3. So in the cases where Android developers took advantage of those new tools BlackBerry will also now support those features. Also, with each update of the runtime we've also seen BlackBerry optimize the player to run better. So it is safe to assume even in the cases that an Android app doesn't need 4.3 to run, hopefully we'll all get a better overall Android on BlackBerry experience.

Now on to "Accounts: Android applications that require access to an Android account will now be supported with BlackBerry 10 account integration." I'm afraid to read too much into this statement. On one hand, like many others, I read this as Google Play Services is coming to BlackBerry 10 and all the masses rejoice. BUT… I also read this as perhaps BlackBerry is just saying that they are providing Android developers an easy way to remove that portion of their code and replace with "BlackBerry10 account integration." Since I don't like to assume/jump to conclusions, I am honestly going to take the wait and see approach here and encourage everyone else to do the same. Perhaps we'll hear some clarification around that description soon, but I'm sure BlackBerry was very careful with that wording for a reason.

As I said in the beginning of this post, I hope I didn't drag on too much with this explanation. I just felt the simple reporting of the news earlier today missed out some key explanation around some of the items. I will admit that my explanation of the "Android Accounts" may not help much but I think I covered everything else pretty well. Sound off in the comments if you still have questions about the much deeper explanation for this announcement. Of course, none of this will matter until May anyway but it's good to have the info out there.

201 comments

Drmoe

Can't wait!

Posted using the best phone ever, the Z30!

Brian Scheirer

Can't wait for what? And how the hell did you read it that fast! :)

2Peks1Bird

Lol!

Z10 STL100-2 / running official 10.2.1.2141

GooberNS

Haha that was awesome, props to the article author!

Posted via CB10

thisiscjay

Is there any indication of complete Emoji support? Not necessarily keyboard integration but I still notice a number of emojis do not show up (boxes with X) when texted to me.

Edit: I'm actually guessing it would be noted as "Emoji Support Update" or something correct?

val_lixembeau

What OS are you on? For me, Z10 on 10.2.1, very close to the full emoji set shows up in the regular font (ie: where the app didn't provide it's own like iGrann does)

Sure wish they were in colour and we could type them in by keyboard though

thisiscjay

Running 10.2.1 as well. Some still showing up as boxes but yes I wonder if we will be able to view the full set or eventually have keyboard implementation. Perhaps when the runtime is updated to 4.4.2.

val_lixembeau

Don't think it has anything to do with Android runtime. If you look at an Android app like Instagram I think you will see that all emoji are supported with lots being in color. I guess this means the Android player uses a different font than the rest of the system.

thisiscjay

App and OS is a different situation though.

slagman5

Yah, I love that.

"Look at me! Look at me! I need attention!" lol

I'm sure all of the people who will say "maybe he's a speed reader" will be here soon...

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

imcurved

He used Hook On Phonics method of reading...

 CB10 

IJKBB10

Oh my gosh I haven't heard that in so long lol. Old school!

 Posted via CB10 on my  Z30

coffee-turtle

LOL! You brought me back to the 80's! :-D

gillespascoucou

The effort made on Android port is not really a good news for BB Q10 users. We have a square screen that cannot support correctly most of android apps. I can't understand why they're pushing it that much ?

Once again i feel screwed by BB after the playbook waiver...

sinkingphoenix

Don't forget that while this holds for Q-Users, Z-Dudes will profit immensely from every update to the android runtime.

Posted via CB10

gillespascoucou

Yeah but can they really afford to drop their core buyers (BB phones are well known for their keyboard historically) ?

I assume that it's the easiest way to provide apps for Z-Dudes but what about everybody else ?

Don't forget 1 important thing : if i have to switch to full touchscreen (and i seriously consider it since BB seems not to care enough about Q-Users), why do i choose a BB10 phone that can run android apps instead of choosing a real android phone ?

If the "only" interest about a Z series BB10 phone is to run android apps, people should better take an android native phone (and there are plenty of ...) !

graham bowers

People want to run android apps on a BlackBerry because they have android app ecosystem, and BlackBerry security that's second to none. Android security sucks.

Posted via CB10

Oscar_E

Above that it's still BB10 OS Experience, I have a Z10 and I simply love it, and every day my business partner whom is fandroid, keep asking about features more and more every day, when there's an email to be sent, a picture to be tweeked, a FB state to be changed, a twit to be sent, my colega always tells me, "you do it, is a lot faster from your phone" heck even unlocking the phone is a lot more secure and fast with picture password, and security overall.

Q10 is a great phone, but it is what it is, more inclined to the hard core mailer/typer/business people, if you want a full screen experience, get a Z10/30.

Posted via CB10

ryanza

I will take my Z10 or get Z30 over any Android device just because of the BlackBerry 10 OS. The Android runtime adds value to BB10 for me but BB10 is why I have a Z10 and want a Z30.

Sure I'd like to have access to Google Play store and have all my apps get access to Google accounts but that is secondary to having and awesome OS with the best, IMO, mobile UI.

Posted via CB10

gillespascoucou

Ok. I respect your arguments. In my opinion, top phones of every OS are more or less the same and they have similar capabilities. I love BB10 UI but not so much that i would choose it as a critical criteria to choose a phone.

There are some google apps i use for my everyday life (maps in BB10 is crap) and i think to have the best experience (and be coherent with myself) i'd rather buy for the next time an android phone ( or an Iphone). The keyboard was the MAIN reason a bought a Q10. If BB considers it as a niche (and not their core functionality as it was back in the time) and don't make enough efforts, why keep buying BB instead of more mature and attractive platforms (Ios and Android) ?

PS : even if we are in a bb oriented site, some can have different opinions and can be disatisfied with BB orientations. No need to fight just because we don't have the same experience with BB10 or/and don't see things the same way :)

Chanlion

If you haven't already, I recommend WAZE. They got acquired by Google and even before that, their app and maps were solid. The only problem with it is that's it's an Android app so it starts up slower than you'd like but after the startup, it runs smooth.
I agree with you on the BB Maps thing.

gillespascoucou

Waze is not really usable with the square screen of the Q10. A lot of glitches appears. The problem is not having a replacement app ;there are plenty of in Android market but only few (or almost none) are made for a square screen like the Q10. So i'm stuck with BB maps which is far from what i can call a useful maps app (especially in France).

leehardballer12

I've attempted to use the "vaunted" BB keyboard. I don't like it. Never have, never will. The virtual keyboards have always been better for the way I use it. And the BB10 virtual keyboard is outstanding, so there is no more argument about the physical keyboard being better for power usage. Not to mention the sacrifice in screen real estate for a physical keyboard is not nearly worth it, again imo. If BlackBerry had not produced full screen touchscreen devices, I would never have a BlackBerry. It has nothing to do with we "Z-Dudes" (as has we've been dismissively described) needing an app-centric device, or a bigger screen for games. (although that is a very nice perk given the quality of games produced for BB10) We want all the things great about a BlackBerry with better multimedia capabilities than what the physical keyboard devices can provide.

rdgroulx

Screwed? Did you not notice the screen was square when you bought it? BlackBerry is blowing through the laws of physics to port Android stuff on BB10 and you feel screwed you chose a small screen? If you ever had a Droid, you'see in Google Play store not all Android apps are compatible on all phones. Considering Google doesn't even achieve full compatibility I think BlackBerry is doing a helluva job with Droid ports.

RDG Z30

just_luc

Amen!

Posted via CB10

gillespascoucou

Didn't you notice that Blackberry ensure the customer that all apps will be adapted to the square screen of Q series because they facilitate that process in the SDK ? Don't be condescending Ok ?

BB does make is own OS and the phones that goes with it. For Google this is not the case. If you want to compare, choose another case. And for a competitor entering in the market lastly, i expect them not to do the same mistakes. So do you ?

And yes i feel screwed because you forget that the keyboard is the core function of a BB. How can they manage to not give access to so much application, even in the professional field ?

I'm not the guy who made the BB strategy but hey if they come out with a keyboard phone, they should at least give customer access to applications. By pushing android compatibility, they are killing the Q series. I've been screwed once with the Playbook but i keep the faith in BB10. It goes the same way with the Q10. Next time, bye bye BB.

You have a Z30, you can't understand how frustrating it can be because you have access to the whole android catalog.

Andy321

But would you feel non-screwed if there were no android compatibility at all (ie, if BlackBerry phones could not run android, period)? If so, why does it bother you that the Z-series people will be able to run Android apps as well as BlackBerry apps? Don't give up on your Q! Chen is a big pusher of physical keys and there will be a lot more Q-series devices than all-touch in the future

Posted via CB10

gillespascoucou

Andy321 so because it is not that bad i should be satisfied ?

You miss the point. What bother me is that unfortunately, this decision to focus on android compatibility is like a sentence to death for Q series ( don't tell me that i don't know what's on BB plan. I already believe on their word for the Playbook; look where we are : nowhere. No update to BB10 and no more support).

Q series are not made for android compatibilty. As a high priced phone, supposed to be the top of BB range (Q10), the renewal key element, things are not going the right way.

So for those like me that choose to support BB by buying Q series, it looks like the Playbook "treatment" is going to happen once again.

That's why i feel fooled ONCE MORE (i have a playbook too). Maybe screw was i little too harsh.

Xandrex_BSCF

Well regarding the strange ratio 1:1.

BlackBerry provides developers with ways to manage all ratios (1:1 for Q10/Q5, 16:9 and 15:9 for the Z10).

Android provides developers with ways to manage several ratios including the HTC Chacha.

In both cases, developers are free to use the generic method which will ensure their app is displayed correctly on all ratio, or they can decide to focus on one ratio (for instance 16:9).

In that case:
A) Any Android phone with a different ratio will not render the app correctly
B) Naturally a converted app will not behave more easily, since the converter cannot to better than the original APK.

So in the end, you can blame the developer for not managing all ratios. Not BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

THBW

Sorry but BlackBerry can't force App developers to build for the q10. For that to happen numbers must go up, end of story. I understand your frustration but what did you expect. The keyboard forces design constraints and you have to live with it. The Reality is that we live in a touch screen world. BlackBerry continues to make keyboard devices because there is a hard core group of people that love them. Not many but enough.

Supporting Android apps is not mutually exclusive with apps support for the q10. BlackBerry is simply addressing a weakness in their platform in a pragmatic manner. Obviously it has worked because the shear volume of bitching has dropped dramatically. They absolutely need to keep going. BlackBerry needs to remove all perceived barriers for apps developers, prosumers and consumers. If they don't, they will die.

When you buy a keyboard device, you are buying a communication machine with strong enterprise functions. We all know that. When we buy a touchscreen, we compromise this functionality for screen real estate. Those are the choices and you have to live with it.

As to BlackBerry not trying to support keyboard devices, I simply don't believe your argument. How do you explain that the next two devices are keyboards? This focus has made touchscreen folk think BlackBerry is ignoring them. So goes my rant.

Posted via CB10

tayl0rd

1) The keyboard is not the "core" function of BlackBerry, security is.
2) What apps have you installed FROM BLACKBERRY WORLD that have not worked on your Q? If you're talking about sideloaded Android apps, then your argument has zero merit. BlackBerry made NO guarantee that sideloaded apps would work with a Q or any other of their devices.
3) What makes you think the Q10 is BlackBerry's core device? I'd like to see some real sales figures, but I seem to recall the Z10 outsold/outsells the Q10 2-to-1. (That's in the States. It's probably much higher in other countries.) The Q10 is just a horrible form factor these days, hence the lack of format support. Who else is making a 3" square screen?

vagos2006

@ Rdgroulx. Screwed? Did you not notice the screen was square when you bought it? BlackBerry is blowing through the laws of physics to port Android stuff on BB10 and you feel screwed you chose a small screen? If you ever had a Droid, you'see in Google Play store not all Android apps are compatible on all phones. Considering Google doesn't even achieve full compatibility I think BlackBerry is doing a helluva job with Droid ports.

RDG Z30

^^^^^ this my friend was spot on! kudos!

coffee-turtle

Good reasoning there about incompatible devices no matter on what.

therodwarrior

I don't think he read it that fast, but did you? I noticed that you posted at the same time.

Posted via CB10

heyjohnnybravo

Thanks for the quick run down!

Posted from my TARDIS!

BadGoliath42

Good news ahead then. I wouldn't bet on Google Play integration, but more integration of Android apps within BB10 is to me very appreciated.

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

BBPandy

It won't be there. On the BlackBerry Developer blog post that announced the 10.3 roadmap someone asked if it meant Google services were coming & BlackBerry responded with "No"

Posted via CB10

sungay

Correct:

"This will not affect Google accounts, it's for the account manager API."
http://devblog.blackberry.com/2014/04/roadmaps-updated-looking-forward-t...

Puz_zled

So it will provide a logic path for the app to keep working and not seize up even though it doesn't get access to Google Play services?

This post Powered by BlackBerry

Raestloz

It means that developers can finally leverage the Accounts system of BlackBerry 10, that settings page where you set up your email. It also lists accounts for other stuff like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Hopefully this will allow game developers to connect to Facebook Connect easily, tho I can't bet on it

Z10 STL100-1/10.2.1.2102

Omnitech

I for one am glad for this. Adding all the Google frameworks adds-in all the snoopy Google junk that is a key reason I have a BlackBerry and will never have an Android smartphone. (Unless it is rooted and heavily modified to strip out all the intrusive Google junk)

Those who think you can just "turn it off if you don't want it" don't understand Google and how their technology and ecosystem works.

PiotrJot

I'm just wondering, if any apps installed on my Z10 are made in Air. Well, going to find out after 10.3 is out :)
And I hope they do mean Google Play services to finally work, with the support of android 4.3

Posted via CB10

StoicEngineer

Thank you for the clarification. Even an old APL coder could understand your review early in the morning.

Posted via CB10

Elvis Salvador

Can't wait!

Posted via CB10

birdman_38

Who is Brian Scheirer? And why has there not been a formal introduction?

Brian Scheirer

I've been writing on CrackBerry for almost a year, thanks for noticing :(.... http://crackberry.com/weekend-coder-helloworld .... haha

birdman_38

My apologies. I never read the weekend coder stuff. I'm sure you're doing very good work though :)

pacman84

He is awesome. While his examples are sometimes a little short, he knows how. To explain things. He also is a general nice guy and replied to me on twitter today within minutes. I hope we will see a lot more from him on crackberry and the whole BlackBerry community! Keep up the good work, Brian.
-pac

Posted via CB10

DJRikko

He does a good job indeed. I agree that his stuff is pretty short sometimes, but still insightful. This write up though.... FANTASTIC.

kojita

My coding teacher...you should follow his class on CB too :D

jon4400

That was a very well detailed explanation. Thanks

Écrit avec mon Z30

Z10NIZED

Does this affect Google Play services at all?

Posted via CB10

Brian Scheirer

Based on BlackBerry's choice of words in the description (pasted above exactly as they have it) it is really hard to tell. Not sure if we'll really know for sure until May.

Thunderbuck

Personally, I'd be surprised if this turned out to be integration with GPlay Services. But I could see it being able to pass, say, a user's Facebook credentials from the account registered in BB10 instead of making the user sign in.

Posted from CB10 running on my awesome Z30 2B6927F7

somerandombbusername

I think it's a step into that possibility. Regardless, it means more compatibility.

LuayS

Agreed, I think down the line they will have an account section which reads add Google account and then apps which require Google play will tap into that section.

Posted via CB10

BerryRipe

I'm getting tired of all the "out of context rumor news". Articles that are based more on facts are what I prefer to read and I'm sure Mr. Chen would agree; wars and rumors of wars.

 BlackBerry Q10  Keep The Faith 

Brian Scheirer

This isn't a rumor... this is really happening. I just wanted to clarify that this is happening on the developer side not a roadmap of "what's coming in your 10.3 OS update sent from your carrier". If you read the comments of the post earlier today, many readers interpreted it that way.

Gotta realize that it is important to post news fast when it comes out but equally important to explain it once we've had time to really think about it and digest it.

Lobwedgephil

Appreciate the clarification.

deezy87

10.3 will be the LAST OS with AIR support

10.3.1 will be FIRST OS without AIR support, that is all

https://www.dropbox.com/s/we999nignds8a6s/10.3.png

Brian Scheirer

Correct. That's what I have above.... Also pretty sure you shouldn't post that screen cap (I know exactly where you got that from)

deezy87

there are lots of ways for me to get my hands on this sorta stuff, it's pretty easy

wagnrb

More app support is essential to promoting consumer choice, I would love to see blackberry account support with an Android account that simply runs as a Google account in the background.

Posted via CB10

JaysonBrown

Awesome I am excited for what's to come in 10.3. Long live BlackBerry lolol

Posted Via BlackBerry Q10

xBURK

Great read Brian. I Completely understand that this is your best possible guess and I will leave it at just that. Appreciate the effort as I'm sure many Crackberry members will agree.

Powered by BlackBerry

chiefx13

Great article.

I'll admit.... the second one made a lot more sense to me. :)

dillon z30

Good to see they are working hard at many different avenues to give the end user the best experience on BB10 and keeping BlackBerry devices viable. Even as an end user I know the updates are coming in the short term from this. Something to look forward to I think. Hasn't been much ground breaking end user news lately since john put his foot down on leaks, mostly prosumer and enterprise news, nice change for us layman users. Great explanation, thanks.

Posted via CB10

joshua_sx1

So the "OS Leaks" era is really over then?

;-)

Posted via CB10

Koepman

Awesome stuff

Since 2010 

dikku11

pretty good to read all the stuff about 10.3 after wp forum is filled up with tons of 8.1 features

wfubball

Android account support means support for AccountManager API's I'd assume. These api's are just so that you can create an "account" for your app to store data and user details. http://developer.android.com/reference/android/accounts/AccountManager.html

Brian Scheirer

Quite possibly. Again BB seemed to be purposely vague in their explanation. And after all that API is in Android 2.0... however in BB 10.2 Native devs got the ability to tie user data to BBID accounts (small amounts per app) so perhaps now Android apps will also be able to tie data to BBID accounts... or something else... really hard to tell at this point.

mnc76

Yep. This sounds like what it is. It's a nice addition for sure, but full Play Services it is *not*.

Posted via CB10

Kaye_max008

Thanks for explaining, I was beginning to think 10.3 is rolling with free BlackBerry 's

Z10 10.2.1.2228

boldxox

Does that mean that there won't be flash support in the browser anymore?

Posted via CB10

Brian Scheirer

I don't think these two have much to do with each other. Odds are you have Flash on you PC/Mac desktop/laptop but you don't have AIR. I think it is safe to assume Flash in the browser is safe.

Raestloz

Flash and AIR are pretty much completely different things, running in different environment. I'm not sure how long BlackBerry will support Flash in their browser, but AIR doesn't have anything do to with Flash directly

Omnitech

And the version of Flash shipping in BB10 is now so many generations behind the current Flash version that a lot of Flash content will refuse to run on it.

BB10 is the VERY LAST mobile platform that is supported in any way by Adobe with a Flash runtime, and mostly because Blackberry probably does a lot of their own work to keep minor updates like security patches happening.

The fact that they are dropping AIR tells me that their honeymoon with Adobe is over. Integrating AIR and Flash probably got Adobe's attention and support on some things (ie Flash and Adobe Reader etc) that other mobile platforms did not get natively integrated. But it seems that era is probably coming to a close now. (No surprise really, Flash is a dead-end technology that is no longer supported on most mobile platforms, neither is it supported on Linux any more. Just a matter of time before it dies completely.)

mnc76

Good write up.

Question : why are webworks apps so *obviously* glorified Web pages?

The BlackBerry Community app has a "Web page loading bar", and you can slide the whole screen to the left or right (like you can do on a Web page).

(I'd include images to explain what I mean, but can't do so on a blog post).

Also, I'd be shocked if the "Android account" notice has **anything** to do with Google Play, so I think you were totally right to exercise caution there.

I honestly think we need to give up on the possibility of GPS (Google Play services) on BB10. I just can't see it ever happening for so many reasons.

I hope it does though :)

Posted via CB10

Brian Scheirer

All dependent on the WebWorks dev and actually the example you gave is actually a very poorly coded Cascades app. I'll stop there in my review of the BB Community app. However I get what you are saying. There are plenty of good WebWorks apps out there and just as many poor Cascades apps.

mnc76

Thanks for the clarification!

Posted via CB10

mnc76

Hey, can you point me to any free Webworks apps you think are examples of "well coded Web apps"?

Just curious to see what webworks can do when good coders are behind it.

Posted via CB10

drfever

At the end of the day, does this mean we wil get full functionality out of Android apps like actual headless push notifications? Got example Score Mobile and Scoremobile FC For Android currently don't push score notifications to the device even if the app.is open in a frame. Will this new OS update enable ANDROID apps with push notifications to actually work the way they were intended to work on BlackBerry devices as they work on Android devices? So many current Android apps that I have which have push alerts don't push to my BlackBerry Hub. I'm curious as to whether we will go from compatibility to actual full functionality.

Any feedback on this point would be appreciated.

mnc76

Lack of notifications on non-BBWorld Android apps is one of the biggest reasons Android on BlackBerry is still not-so-good.

Sure, I can install Facebook Messenger from Snap, but I don't get any message notifications half the time.

The other problems:

1. SLOOOOOW load times

2. When you return to an Android app after being in some other app, it can take up to 10 full seconds for the Android app to start responding to you. It takes a huge amount of time for Android apps to reload their state after being put in the background. Sometimes (after returning to the Android app) the screen will just be black until you physically touch the screen.

3. Networking code is SLOOOW. Android apps that make extensive network reads are super slow. For example : tumblr is super slow to load animated GIF images , whereas it is super fast on even 3 year old Android phones.

Posted via CB10

mnc76

Also, 50 percent of Flipboard articles don't load. They sit there spinning forever.

This never happens on my Dad's almostv3 year-old Galaxy Nexus.

Posted via CB10

mnc76

After posting this, I deleted the version of Flipboard that I had downloaded from BlackBerry World and rebooted my phone.

I then installed Flipboard from Snap, and I must say, the version from Snap is way faster. All the pages that failed to load using the BlackBerry World version, seem to load with no problem now.

Posted via CB10

mnc76

Android on BB10 is too often an absolutely excruciating experience to put up with.

The Android player is nowhere near to being production quality.

Posted via CB10

arvind1983

Android Player on BB10 is just a band aid support. Its just a temporary fix. Most of the Android apps don't fully work. We will have to see how Android runtime will work on Sailfish and Tizen OS. If they can bring full Android support I am not sure why BB can't do the same. Even Nokia X can run almost any Android app perfectly (I know Nokia X runs on a modified Android OS). Again, lets wait to see how Tizen and Sailfish will handle Android apps.

Gerii

Sailfish OS is already out. The apps are much smoother, but there are also some apps which won't or just partially work (e.g. BBM Audio doesn't work). Most of the issues also have to do with Google Play Services missing.

val_lixembeau

I would be skeptical of getting full push any time soon. For push, you need a server to send them to you right? We know all about BlackBerry's NOC.

Well, Apple runs something similar, and so does Google. Google used to have something called Cloud To Device Messaging, and now has Google Cloud Messaging (might be a bit off on the names). BlackBerry would have to get some kind of cooperation from Google for this to work I think.

Otherwise, apps can do their own push if the app developer is willing to host their own server infrastructure and so on, but BB10 might discourage that because it isn't a good use of resources on the phone to have many apps all independently holding connections open, waiting for push.

So to get this working, BlackBerry needs cooperation from Google (highly unlikely) or app developers (maybe).

Trick_Deck

Bluetooth LE is the best part of the android update to me. I backed Coin and use Fitbit. Both need LE to sync, and this makes me happy lol

Z30 unleashed

esmejayjay

So might as well throw my Z10 to the bin coz I think STL100-1 most likely is an Adobe Air device. I guess, crap!!!

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Brian Scheirer

Not sure what you mean... stl100-1 just means it runs a different cpu and gpu from the other stl100-X. AIR is software, all Z10's run the same software so when BB stops AIR support with 10.3.1 and beyond they will replace any native apps (if any are left) that are AIR with a new code base and any third party apps will no longer work (across all BB devices). Long story short, your stl100-1 after this update will be just fine, trust me.

mnc76

Luckily for you and your STL100-1, you guessed wrong :)

Your Z10 will be just fine.

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the_igg

I think you're crap because you obviously don't know what you're talking about.

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Omnitech

Go ahead and express your true feelings there.

the_igg

Roar roar roar blueh blueh blueh. Ok I'm done.

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hannes89

Good write up!
Thanks

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SlcCorrado

Thanks for the write-up :)

nucks26

Sooo pretty much all pointless crap the average user won't notice and won't care about

Posted via CB10 for Q10

Nharzhool

Not really...everything there will have an effect on the end-user - just the size of said effects won't necessarily be huge.

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Hussein Z10

Hey does it means that ApK files are not supported with 10.3 upgrade or what??!!!

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mnc76

? How did you read that?

I didn't see anything that even remotely suggested that APKs would no longer install.

I'm confident that Android support is only being IMPROVED, not reduced.

Basically, everything that currently works will still work, PLUS, many things that previously didn't work will now work.

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mnc76

Adobe AIR is not Android.

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Prem WatsApp

GNU is Not Unix.

Sorry, could not resist.

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

Omnitech

Heh. Always refreshing to see someone here who has a little computing knowledge outside of a tiny smartphone app bubble. It gets lonely sometimes.. :)

CDM76

How do we tell if app was coded with AIR, cascades, android, etc

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HaberNik

Does anyone have a list compiled of all the BlackBerry world apps in AIR?

Tapped and flicked from my BlackBerry Z30!

zeushunt

Thanks for the explanation. Hoping to see more of these coming.

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Jean Zombie

Wow. That was an unexpected enjoyable read. Thanks.

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Nharzhool

Brian, thanks for the write-up! A lot of information clarified there. :)

Though, I think that you might have been a bit too lax with your language in the write-up which made it a tad hard to read.

Good to know about the Android integration improving. Thanks again! :)

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Hussain Karimi

People seems to be worried about android updates. I would like to know if they are making substantial changes to UI. Not some small color accent change. Talking about ios like transformation.

Xandrex_BSCF

The article is about the 10.3.0 and 10.3.1 changes for developers.
From an official perspective there is no information about UX change.

That being said it seems that at least the menu of the camera app is easier to use (no more nesting).

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Tobster619

Can't wait for May; it's also nice to see that BlackBerry will be providing card examples for Cascades. I might have to postpone the big update for one of my apps until May so I can implement it on the share card :D

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UnlimitedEra

Cool we're getting android 4.3.

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Atmarix

Thanks for the translation Brian
I didn't even know what they meant by "roadmap"
Excuse me for my ignorance

From my White Z30

UberschallSamsara

Brian,

First, thanks for all the Cascades developer resources you put out there.

But, regarding your comment " I know that second developer choice sounds kind of like a hack, but who cares it’ll work." - it's not that simple:

http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/Adobe-AIR-Development/It-s-OFFICI...

" As long as you aren't using any BlackBerry specific AIR APIs, this shouldn't require any code change."

There are plenty of AIR apps using BlackBerry specific AIR API's. Games might have a relatively easy time porting to the Android captive runtime, but AIR apps, and particularly Built for BlackBerry AIR apps, are very likely using BlackBerry specific AIR API's e.g. for the AIR versions of BB10 UI components. So for those devs, it's either rip up and rewrite, or just abandon users and incur their wrath for BlackBerry's decision.

ANTIABE

Keep moving!

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G-bone

Thanks, Brian.
Time will tell...

#IchooseBlackBerry10

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bigopti

Good stuff Brian :)

I also hope, and this is where the rumor part of me kicks in,
some new sweet untold features will make it to 10.3. Because of this:

"We have some more features planned for the separate gold release, and as we solidify requirements and timelines, we’ll continue to refine the roadmaps to provide more details and insight on the upcoming features."

I am also curious if they will bring more new goodies to the platform, we know the camera app will get an update, we know they are working on sensor-based features and the voice command thing.

MrMousey

This was much needed. Thanks for the clarification. :)

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hardeyemi

When is 10.3 rolling out?

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DoryGuy

Rumors are September. If the SDK comes out in May, then we'll have at least June, July and August of leaks as it gets fixed, then September for all carriers but the USA... followed by January for Verzion, T-mobile, Sprint with June 2015 for AT&T

Mayank_V_Labh

It's a great thing!
Can't wait for 10.3

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Igorriok

If BlackBerry doesn't add Google Play, I am leaving, Z10 is a great device, but they lost the competition, so it time to fully incorporate android runtime or lose the device market.

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bidagreat1

Screw Google Play! Focus on BlackBerry World

Bidagreat using the magnificent Z10

Bluenoser63

Bye. You clearly don't understand the implications and issues your desire creates.

XOW JTO

Whennnnnn implement to all BlackBerry 10 devices include stl 100-1.
Sad if not.
Can't wait

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Xandrex_BSCF

Yes all BlackBerry10 devices will have it.

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Dave XII

will we ever be able to adjust 'Permissions' for Android apps? This would add some value...

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Omnitech

Actually, Android 4.3 was the specific version that Google added the elusive "App Ops" feature that does just that. Then in 4.4/4.4.2, they removed it, claiming it was "just an experiment".

Personally I'm crossing all my fingers hoping BlackBerry has the sense to enable that in their 4.3 runtime. Because I really REALLY despise the "all or nothing" permissions crap in Android.

Dave XII

always thought it's something related to the Android runtime not to be able to opt- out certain permissions. Didn't know that it's not possible for Android users either!?

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Dave XII

so please BB dev team go for Android Runtime 4.3.x including 'App Ops' feature :)

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Omnitech

Yep, it has been a stupid aspect of Android from the beginning, pretty much.

HaberNik

Thank you for taking the time to explain this!

Tapped and flicked from my BlackBerry Z30!

masterful

Very smart writing Brian! Please keep up the good work and obviously more awesome native application.

 Slicing using my 

bidagreat1

I don't want a better Android experience on my BlackBerry! I want a better BlackBerry experience on my BlackBerry!!

Bidagreat using the magnificent Z10

Afriberry

When should expect another update before 10.3

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ChrFerreira

So when would we get the 10.3?

Brian Scheirer

SDK in May and usually consumer release is about 3 months later... so Aug would be a good guess. That way developers have time to update/change anything before the masses have it on their phone.

bigbikeguy

Anyone having issues with Bbm not sending to iPhone or Android? Seems to be a problem???

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kordog1

Mine is working fine between iPhone and Z10

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kfh227

Please contact Bbry about android accounts and find out what this is in detail.

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nt300

Looking forward to this. I can see BB10 replacing Android as an OS, seeing how much better many apps run on BB10.

Puz_zled

Thanks Brian for the great explanation! Superb first non-weekend coder article!

This post Powered by BlackBerry

Shanerredflag

Great explanation...thx.

Is that a Z30...yes, yes it is.

BigAl_BB9900

Thanks for a good explanation

Elvis Salvador

Hey Brian schierer you should post a picture on your profile pic so we can put a face to the name

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Brian Scheirer

My twitter has a picture of me... @BrianScheirer

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XDrew42

So. Can we have a list of apps that are AIR. So I can prepare to switch any may be using.

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Schmurf

I wonder if the BlackBerry 10 account integration on Android means there will be a BlackBerry Android App section the provides a portal to Google Play. I can't see any sane business deliberately enabling their customer base to shop at a competitor without getting some sort of slice of the revenue.

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Jiggy1971

I think the intent on this article is good but the approach is off.

Simon Sage

Thanks for the deep dive, Brian! This is exactly the kind of one-two punch we're aiming for with Newsroom.

MarsanP01

After many explanations ... sure something will not work after the next update.

Post by Z10

dlrogers81

I just don't like the idea of BB surrounded by Android. I'm starting to feel like I don't have a BB device. I want BB World to grow and I want native BB apps. Sure android apps run fine on BB 10, it's just not the same to me though. I would rather have a high powered android device where the apps are truly intergrated. I mean it works, but it's a little off-putting to me.

vagos2006

I know how feel, I had the same thoughts exactly, but when BB10 gives you the ability to install Android apps straight from Google play via snap, it gives people some more choice. There are some apps that aren't on BB World and will never will be. I had 3 apps that I installed via snap that I really needed. I like the fact that I can still have my amazing BB10 OS on my Z10 and enjoy all the it has to offer unlike the laggy Android OS which I despise and still have access to their apps as well. I have the best of both worlds. I like to have my cake and eat it too, why not!

Oglon3r

Now this is a genuinely interesting and we'll written article. None of that Jubei bs.

Posted via z30 sta 100-5

cottonakin

Brian, thanks a lot for taking the time to write this, it clarified several things that I was confused about. The only thing I would add to the article is that this doesn't mean that 10.3 is arriving in May. I have read several comments from people making that assumption.

Brian Scheirer

True, May just means Gold SDK for 10.3 will be out. If past timelines are any indication of future releases, I'd say we're looking at August for consumer 10.3 OS. (90 days later) But once Gold SDK's are out it is easier to speculate what the consumer release will entail... so back to May as a "we'll probably know more" date.

gabrielfunky

Good for me! Z10 soon to be a Z30. Yeahhhhhhhh.. so loving this right now.

For dudes having the Q-series, don't be feeling bad. I went for a Z10 because I'm a fan of bigger screens and yeah I love gaming and productivity. My bro went for the Q-series because he isn't much of a gamer but loves productivity more. So, that explains a lot.

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00stryder

Thanks for the great breakdown Brian!

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Kevmobile

Beautiful. Well done and thanks, Brian.

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Hardik Rathod

Am sure that whatever is going on it'll be best for BlackBerry. And will be always unique and outstanding.

Posted via BlackBerry Z10

Oilers24

I specifically purchased the Q10 for its keyboard. I have Netflix but no other android apps.

My understanding is the android apps are not supported in the work space so if I partition the phone into work and play I wouldn't be able to use them anyway.

Because I came from the Tour I haven't missed the gaming apps plus I would rather play them on the Playbook or some other tablet. To me phones are too small for most games anyway.

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kordog1

Ya but you wouldn't want the android apps in the work dolce presumably. They would be in the personal space I would think.

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coffee-turtle

Great information in this article. Thank you, Brian!

jerobarraco

About the accounts. I think it makes a lot more sense to have a Blackberry Account binding on android apps than trying to make google accounts work on bb.
Google accounts arent really something you can legally implement on bb. and it would be stupid to have to have a google account on your bb device.
so i think its really smart to have "the bb experience" even on android apps, rather than just porting the android exp to bb.
G ppl really try to hold control on android through those services , so i bet they will do as much as possible to not allow bb to get the full android exp anyway http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/02/neither-microsoft-...

i rather be able to make microtransactions using my bb account with its safety and native dialogs even on an android app, than having to mantain my bb and g account.

also as a dev im so eager to get the new momentics.
Too bad they dropped air, i know ppl that where making games with it.
I hope they extend a little bit into qt and not that much on cascades. using pure qt allows to create apps that works outside bb as well , or port existing apps. And bb has a lot of horsepower to port a desktop qt app to the dev and use an outside screen with bluetooth keyboard to work pretty comfortably.

imsokassygurl

Really cant wait for this update.. I hope, you can add font changer so that wr can also customize each blackberry os 10 fonts..muc better of also support theme builder or theme changer..but mentioned color scheme picker is way better than nothing at all..haha..

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TonyHove

A very good piece. You unpacked the 10.3 situation very well! Very interested to see how things play out with BlackBerry in the coming months :-)

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mani279

When official it will come????

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Midgeone25

The q10 is for those who value keyboard. All blackberry's are for fast secure communications to assist business users NOT toys to run apps and games. The fact that they can now run android etc is basically an afterthought that adds value. Complaining that you can't use apps on the 1:1 Q10 screen is bullshit you have bought a top of its class BUSINESS TOOL. If you still want BB10 and the ability to run apps get a Z series or if its apps you want i phone or droid. I love the extra apps on my Z10 but i got it for the bb10 experience anything else is just gravy from BlackBerry but i know it will never match droid for apps and games but droid will never be BB10!

Tapping and flicking on my Zed 10

Shawn Paul

So I was woundering since th entire world loves 2 run behind apple tech n copy dem y hasn't anyone tired turbo charging dere processors apple seems 2b doing it 4 dere macbook pro n i hear media artists talking abt how smooth th macbook pro renders 2-3 video clips @ th same time while th regular PCs struggle or just freeze, so bak 2 BlackBerry y don't you guys try this use individual turbo chargers for each core helps run th phone's os smoothly as well as the same case while playing those heavy graphics. I think it even helps same some $$ in RnD. It's just a thought I had seems like it could work it works in cars y not on tech

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tombstonebb

Very well written article for us non-sw dev's.

Thanks. I enjoyed it.

Tombstone - Combat Vets Motorcycle Assn - WWW.CVMAFLORIDA.ORG

wavezz

when the f..ing apn bug will be fixed?

Sean Fanelli

Att fail.....see ya in 10.3 next year at this rate

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Sean Fanelli

Google play services support! We can log into games from snap now!

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kordog1

I hope that Google play services are not offered but rather, the developers have the option to dub in Blackberry id
This would encourage better consumer commitment to BlackBerry brand.

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AOAJ007

Thanks for the break down, it helped me 100%

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WarriorCelt

This is a brilliant explanation from Brian. I am a complete layman when it comes to app development and it often feels like I'm trying to read the matrix when those who speak “developer” start writing about SDK's and API's.

Well done for translating this information into English Brian!

As for the article itself, I have my fingers firmly crossed for Google Play integration as I believe that this is the last piece of the puzzle in closing the app gap.

Pete The Penguin

Unless BlackBerry start making Android phones, get Google Services Framework certified AND join the OHA, we're NEVER getting an officially sanctioned Google Play Store.

Pete The Penguin

Have BlackBerry improved how they handle headless apps?

fouad.serag

I totally support it, however I'm not with the idea of implementing more Android into blackberry. I have been a BlackBerry fan for years now, and the reason for not changing to any other platform is that I prefer using BlackBerry than any other of their competitors and specially Android. I know that this is all we can get now, but hopefully in the future everything gets native!

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Herbie52

I built an android app using html/css, with Dreamweaver, and packaged it with App Mobi. I have been wanting to move my app to Blackberry, but I am far from considering myself a programmer. I design websites, but I am very new to mobile apps. This article will be extremely helpful in bringing my app to Blackberry, Thank you!

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bardiakiasat

There sould be a way for clearing the app's cache in 10.3os, it's annoying 200mg cache for twitter , Facebook and...

tenma go

I wonder why they didn't just jump over 4.3 and update to 4.4? With the whole ART runtime thing, it'll make apps perform close to our native babies and be easier on the battery life.

Oh and another annoyance with the Android Runtime is the way the apps and menus/UI looks so out of place, all it takes is at least a font swap, so like, they should replace the Roboto font used in android with the BB10 slate font all over, that wouldn't be hard to do, they're all in one folder (/system/fonts)

On the topic of fonts, is it just me that'd like to see customisable typefaces? Like back in OS7 and before that?

But seriously BlackBerry, just jump over 4.3 to 4.4, switch on ART if possible because the apps that can't run on ART (like whatsapp) aren't needed.

And please give the android side a bit of BlackBerry UI-ness, typeface chance, a bit more BB10 user chrome, sort of like Barnes and Nobles did with the Nook HD, (the chrome looks eerily similar) they could even implement swipe to go back if they wanted!

This comment was done from one brain fart so sorry if.its all over the place.

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motec bb

Any word from blackberry when 10.3 will be here?

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