Watch the first 20 minutes of our 60+ minute podcast above. We're going to sit down with Alec again just as soon as we can. Apologies!
The unthinkable happened. We screwed up. On Friday, April 12th, we recorded an awesome video podcast with a very special guest. BlackBerry's VP of Developer Relations and Ecosystem Development, Alec Saunders, joined myself, Chris Umiastowski and Rene Ritchie to talk all things BlackBerry 10 app related.
We spoke for over an hour. All was great. We talked about his role and the structure of the Dev Rel team at BlackBerry. We talked about the upcoming BlackBerry Live and BlackBerry Jam Americas event coming up next Orlando in May. And from there, Alec fielded a bunch of questions that we asked on behalf of CrackBerry readers.
When all was said and done, for some reason (we blame Gremlins.. and Adam), our video podcast errored out while saving. Our failsafe backup recording managed to fail as well. We sent the fragments we had to a video repair service, and after several days they managed to save the first 20 minutes of the podcast, but the rest was lost. Totally, totally sucks.
You can listen and watch the first twenty minutes above. The community Q&A questions came after this section, but in the first 20 minutes you'll learn a lot about the Dev Rel team in BlackBerry and how they're working hard to ensure amazing apps are built for BlackBerry 10. As somebody who's been following closely for over seven years, it's amazing just how much things have changed in the past 18 months that Alec has been at BlackBerry.
As for things that we discussed but are now forever lost as part of the one third told podcast, I'm going to highlight them below... from memory. Note, these are not words out of Alec's mouth, but my words and takeaways based on the answers he gave us. Not as as hearing it from the man himself, but it's better than nothing!
BlackBerry Live / BlackBerry Jam Americas - You want to be there! Registrations are filling up fast (ahead of schedule from last year), but there's still some room left. This year both events are at the same venue. I asked Alec if there were any exciting things we should be looking forward to, and he noted that we'll start to get a better understanding of what Thorsten Heins means when he talks about BlackBerry 10 being a "mobile computing platform". Exciting stuff. Also, I asked if Alec and the "BlackBerry Band" will be the entertainment act for the BlackBerry Live party. They will not be - they're officially retired, though I did suggest they start prepping a reunion tour sooner than later!
Apps for the BlackBerry Q10 - One of the questions the community wanted us to dive into was the state of apps for the Q10 that is about to launch. Alec noted that there should be more apps available for the Q10 at launch than there was for the Z10. Both Chris Umi and I were happily surprised at that! To be sure, we'll the CB10 app ready to rock for the Q10!
What gets in / What gets rejected - We had a great discussion on BlackBerry's stance about what gets in or rejected from BlackBerry World. In general, BlackBerry is more open than iOS (tends to be super strict) and more closed than Android (the Wild Wild West). Alec talked about how BlackBerry isn't perfect - sometimes things get it in that ultimately should not (app submitters didn't have rights to submit, etc.), but the team does there best to react very quickly if issues ever arise. I reiterated my theory on this that it's similar to the internet - when the volume of apps gets up to beyond 100,000, you're talking a LOT of titles to monitor. All content producers, app developers, etc. should be on the look out to protect their own rights - you can't just leave it up to another party to do that job for you 100%. And of course, all of BB's guidelines can be found online.
What about more merchandising options for developers? We also had a great discussion on all of the softer things both developers and consumers want to see come to BlackBerry World. Like BlackBerry World gift cards. The ability for developers to issue coupon codes and run sales. The ability for BlackBerry World to offer an affiliate program.
Built for BlackBerry - We also got on the topic of quality app experiences, and Alec made it clear you'll see BlackBerry continue to put more emphasis on having developers build great app experiences on BlackBerry 10. Expect more promotion of Built for BlackBerry apps.
We spoke about SOO MUCH MORE than just that, but we lost it. We will do this again soon (we've fixed the problem on our end so we shouldn't lose a podcast like this again.. knock on wood).
Apologies to everybody -- Alec, BlackBerry, our readers, the Internet gods -- for messing this one up. We live. We learn.
At least you have a third of a podcast to a watch above! Enjoy it. And... the great news... Alec PROMISED he'll drop in for another CrackBerry visit soon!