Developers are more important to RIM than you may think

BlackBerry Developer Panel
By Jared DiPane on 2 Apr 2012 10:22 am EDT
0
loading...
0
loading...
100
loading...

Are you an aspiring BlackBerry developer but just aren't sure where to start? Keep reading for your chance to win a BlackBerry PlayBook!

Last week I had the pleasure of spending my day in New York City at Pace University with some folks from RIM and a room full of students who had never developed for BlackBerry before. Last year I attended the NYC BBM Hackathon as well, so I somewhat had an idea of what to expect, but this was completely different. Last year I was in a room full of BlackBerry developers -- they had an idea, they had an app and they wanted to integrate the new social end of the BBM integration -- this year it was students. These students who were attending signed up only based on the fact that RIM was coming to talk to them, teach them about some development tools and to talk about HTML5 and the benefits it brought.

Over 40 students signed up for the Future Developers day hoping to gain some knowledge, learn some things about the BlackBerry coding process and identify some of the benefits. Little did the students know that when they walked into the room and signed in that RIM would be handing them a brand new BlackBerry PlayBook to keep and help with their development efforts. With each student that entered and got their PlayBook the energy in the room just continued to fill and fill.

Sure, you may be thinking that it is only because it was free, but that wasn't the case. A majority of the students in attendence had never really heard much about the PlayBook, a bunch of them were iPhone and Android users, but each and every one of them was excited. They all powered on the PlayBooks, walked through the setup, and then trying to figure out just how it worked.  For many of them this was their first time holding the PlayBook, they had some questions about menus and how to get out of apps, but once they figured all of this out they were in heaven.

The folks from the developer team at RIM had put together some great powerpoint presentations which gave some awesome statistics to the developers. They portrayed how powerful HTML5 really was, how it was able to deliver content so easily, and could be used on a variety of platforms. They gave download numbers, and App World numbers, and the energy in the room was pretty great. The developers realized they could make some money here, there was a lot of niches to be filled, and a lot of room for great ideas shine through.

RIM's message was pretty clear to these developers. The BlackBerry PlayBook is just the start of the future for development, the ideas shouldn't be PlayBook specific, as once BlackBerry 10 hits it will be unified. While RIM doesn't discourage developers from developing for the BlackBerry 7 and older devices, that is not their vision of the future. This message is very obvious if you look at what RIM is giving away recently, the PlayBook. While many of you may think this is because sales aren't there, that isn't what motivates them to do this. They want the PlayBook in the hands of these potential future developers because that is where the platform is heading.

HTML5 and WebWorks apps are very important to RIM, they run wonderfully on the platform, there is a ton of developer tools available from RIM for the developers and all of that is free. Many hours have been spent by the developer team taking a look at the tools available and making them better for the developers, and while they may not be perfect still they have improved significantly. I watched a room full of students who had never developed for BlackBerry get all set up with the tools they needed, and their signing keys in under 2 hours. That is pretty impressive considering this process used to take days to complete for many developers, and these folks without any previous knowledge of the platform had it up and running in basically no time.

From the larger of events like BlackBerry 10 Jam to the smaller events like this Future Developers Day, it is obvious that RIM is dedicated to their developers. They fully understand that they need this development community to be strong, they want them to have all the resources that they need without delays. RIM has put tons of additional effort into ensuring that the tools are released along side new devices, if not before their launch. From a developer perspective that is extremely important, and something that many have griped about for a while.

BlackBerry 10 is huge to RIM and they want the developers to feel the same way. With so much potential, and so many apps that are still yet to be developed, what better time is there to start developing for BlackBerry than now? 

Contest: Are you a developer that has a great idea for a BlackBerry app, but just aren't sure where to start? Well we have a BlackBerry PlayBook to give away to a lucky developer looking to get going on the BlackBerry platform. There are plenty of you out there with some great ideas just waiting to make them a reality. So developers, let's hear it. Pitch an app idea that you have and are willing to make, and you may just get this beautiful piece of hardware to make it a reality (Leave you idea in the comments here - just a general notion, you don't have to go into detail). Contest ends Sunday at midnight PST. 

Reader comments

Developers are more important to RIM than you may think

103 Comments

To develop, or not to develop, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to forge ahead
With the current state of BlackBerry 7
Or wait until BlackBerry 10...

What many fail to realize is there is a hugeeee number of BlackBerry devices in the ecosystem that will remain in there for years to come. BlackBerry 10 will be amazing, but the user base will still be no where near the user base of the BlackBerry 4 - 7 users.

 Developing isn't a waste of time. I would love to see more developers (as would many other users) so if you got an idea, make it a reality! 

Hey they also have the c/c++ developers class next week as well and i have a spot so it will be interesting to see that its in a similar area to pace from what i remember in the email. Im curious to see how many people actually have prior experience with the bb ecosystem

Given the fact that the RIM is having such a hard time getting folks to ditch their old BBs for OS7 devices is pretty telling. . .getting the newer devices out there is the first step in getting developers on board and RIM is doing just that

A most eloquent response to the conundrum faced by those wishing to develop for our fair platform. :)

+1 avian sir

RIM confuses me more everyday... I have recently met with a major developer in both the smartphone and health care environment. They are currently developing for IOS and Android but not BlackBerry... As I only use BB devices I asked why not BB? The answer disturbed me. They stated "RIM is very difficult to work with".

If developers truly are important then they MUST work closely with major developers especially if they plan to refocus on enterprise support. Just my thought on the matter.

I would really question that developer as to why RIM is hard to work with..

After seeing a room full of students (most of whom have never touched the BB platform before) get all set up to develop in under 2 hours time, I would question that developers knowledge of the BB development.

Previously the tools weren't the greatest, the process took up to three days, and now it is no where near that. 

I agree! When we started working with some devs from other platforms their first opinion about BB platform was not as good as I hoped. But after working on BB platform for a while they started to love it.

well... on the other hand... it is also true that older OSes (including OS6) and tools from a year ago were a bit frustrating and we still strugle to have things done for OS5-6... :S

I would suggest that it may be their past experience which is clouding their judgment, and that if they were to take another look (especially with the current BB10 development environment and tools) they may not maintain their beliefs.

It would be nice, if they aren't doing it already, for RIM to "reach-out" (God, I hate that expression) to [major] developers who may have a negative view from previous experiences, and show them what is available now.

Si.

Their current ideas about developing for RIM are based on old data. RIM has done an amazing turn around in developer relations over the past year. Mind you RIM is not finished yet, but for sure it is vastly improved.

I still think there are a lot of misconceptions about RIM and Blackberry devices. . .I don't know where all this bad information is coming from but is sounds like RIM is getting pretty cozy with independent smaller developers and completely ignoring the major ones. . .

Wow!! Just booted up my laptop, and of course headed straight to Crackberry.

This story actually made me feel warm and fuzzy inside, LOL. I wish I was a developer, I would develop away for RIM.

Re: difficult to work with.

Walnuts1024, I suggest you pass on that major developer's name/contact information to someone at RIM and have RIM contact that developer directly. RIM should jump on these cases right away, especially in North America where they are having so many problems with market and developer interest. Perhaps Crackberry can help you with bringing the developer and RIM together. Sure, we know it's RIM's job to work out these relationships, but as users we can help in cases like the one you described by making RIM aware of problems that may exist.

It's all about being more aggressive and not leaving the field passively to the competition.

You make a good point. I will do that. I would love to see RIM back on top of the Smartphone world where they belong.

Difficult to work with. You bet. RIM has completely messed up it's developer strategy.

They have no support for Java on BB10 except via Android.

When you consider that until recently every app in App World was a Java app, it demonstrates the madness of their decision.

It is not that the strategy in itself is poor. If RIM was starting from scratch it might even make sense.

They're not. And the strategy has been a disaster for RIM.

Basically unless you're already a good C development shop, you're stuck with Flash Actionscript (and Adobe more or less admits Flash is done), or HTML5 - and HTML5 doesn't provide anywhere near the performance or API support of Java.

You could create an Android app, but then you're always going to make the app work on Android first, and only move to BlackBerry afterward - and then generally not the best implementation because of API differences.

It's hard to describe just how incredibly bad was their decision.

Removing Java is one of the best things RIM could have done. In the current phone lineup, JVM crashes are the biggest cause of issues with the phones.

It may make the back end application development a little more difficult, but the end product for the user will be a much more stable device.

Perhaps you should suggest the same to Google.

Don't blame a technology when the issue is a poor implementation of the underlying JVM.

And the point was that RIM provided absolutely no tools or facilities for existing Java developers to port their apps to Playbook or BB OS10.

That's how much they care about developers. Not at all!

Effectively they discarded an entire portfolio of applications, worth millions of dollars in development effort.

You are confused about Flash. Adobe uses AIR for there own Android and IOS Tablet-apps. Adobe countinues AIR for Android IOS and hopefully Windows 8 in the future. And RIM uses AIR too. Flash as Browser-plugin a very different beast. By the way, Actionscript is VERY similar to Java and i work with the same eclipse-IDE like the most java developer. Its not comparable to the much simpler Javascript.

For my sins I also write Flash. And for almost all purposes other than animation/graphics, Flash is dead.

There's really no point in keeping up the pretence. Steve Jobs was right. It pains me to say it because I've recommended Flash to several of my enterprise clients and now have to tell them to rewrite.

By the way, Actionscript supports ECMAscript standards, as of course, does Javascript. Apart from similarities of syntax, there is no comparison with Java.

I do have 2-3 different ideas on the playbook. 1- Would be a complete clock with facebook and twitter integration. 2- A wikitude for my enterprise 3- A twitter application.

My ultimate goal would be to create a game but I'm not even near being able to create one.

So yeah having hardware to test on would be great thanks.

Without going into specifics, I'm working on a coaching tool to allow coaches to score player performance during a game.

I have a great idea for you. You could call it something like "Playbook".

I'll just nip off and shoot myself, I promise I'll be very humane (HHGG)

This is a timely piece. I am itching to develop but don't know where to start. I would love to develop a front end to IBM i apps

Not bad but my idea is a watch program. Thus I can also sell Kevin various sets of watch bands for his Playbook too! Recurring revenue.

I wish we knew the resolution of the bb10 devices, i know they'll follow the playbook aspect ratio and initial consensus is that it'll have a higher ppi than the retina display but it would be nice to know the actual specs. I'm developing an app right now but i would hate to have to redesign the graphics.

Why wouldn't it be 1024 by 600? I may be wrong but I have assumed, given the timeframe, that the PB was intended to have the same resolution as the first phones.

Incidentally - the reports of 4G iPads getting very hot suggests that when RIM said they were waiting for a good 4G chipset, they weren't lying.

2 Ideas:

Work with Logmein to get their client working on Playbook / OS10.

Take up the Dropbox API and build an app that allows true synchronization on a tablet. Hello, I have 64GB of space, I would like synchronization, not just access. :)

No time to develop, but I'd pay for either. Promise!

A golf scorecard app.
- save photos of the course with details about the shot/yardages
- save all courses, scores and stats about your golf game.
- save information about clubs in your bag and how you hit them
- multiple golfer profiles
- navigate course information by hole, see photos, prefered play for the hole for each playing condition

RIM's development strategy is unbelievably stupid.

They've disgarded 10's of thousands of Java developers and told them to go develop for Android.

It was a madness of the most amazing kind and a total smack in the face for people who have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in development costs.

Perhaps driven by the fact they dumped all their old Java development relations guys and replaced them with QNX guys.

It's hard to believe a company could be run in ths manner.

I haven't written a line of code for BlackBerry since they made the announcement and will only develop for BlackBerry if I the app works on Apple or Android first.

RIM does not value developers. Actually probably never have. And that has been their downfall.

They actually ended java support for us, the users, and our experience.

They didn't feel as though Java allowed for the experience they were looking for, and alternate methods (webworks, air, etc) all do allow for the experience. 

"They didn't feel as though Java allowed for the experience they were looking for"

Absolute nonsense. Otherwise why provide support for Java applications via Android?

It had to do with licensing - but that's another story.

The fact is they've provided no transition path for thousands of existing developers. Many of who have spent years developing apps for RIM, only to see that effort discarded on a whim.

It was a shoddy disgraceful act, by an incompetent corporation.

RIM needs true leadership. What they have is corporate bureaucrats without the first idea about entrepreneurship.

Br14- it sounds as though you are stuck in the past. Java is garbage.
Nobody wants Java.
Adapt or die. Learn something new.
After all : we all miss DOS!
If apple or Google abandoned the crap that is Java, you'd be saying how brilliant it is!
Here's an app idea : how about something that makes people think carefully about what BlackBerry is ACTUALLY doing, instead of reacting to everything based on their own little fancies. "Don't change BlackBerry! BlackBerry,why don't you change?!"
"Don't sweat the petty things,
And don't pet the sweaty things "

I am adapting. I'm writing for other platforms.

And my concern is not for the programming language. I write upwards of 30 dialects. Java happens to be the one I had to use to build apps for BlackBerry.

My concern is the money my company spent in developing applications over several years in Java, that are now completely redundant.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars in salaries blown away by a poor decision from a company in the process of committing suicide. And you can multiply that by between 20 and 40 thousand Java developers.

Google supports Java. Apple doesn't by the way.

They actually asked us if we wanted to switch to Python!

RIM could have changed technologies without abandoning it's developer community - then trying to dress up that abandonment with juvenile programs like BlackBerry Jam.

There are a lot of little ones that my business partner and I want to work on, but our largest target audience is churches so the really big ideas have to do with that audience:
- Bible app with a Greek and Hebrew concordance and a parallels view for original language alongside English translations
- worship software, something like Proclaim (cloud collaboration with a bunch of tools) but with the ability for the PlayBook to serve as either the projecting device or as a remote control displaying notes while projecting from another device
- already in progress is a Hymn Book app

We also want to do:
- a code editor so you can develop from the PlayBook
- a checkers game
- a cribbage scorecard game
- a cloud-synced grocery list for sharing with other devices
- a cloud-synced note-taking app using a stylus (I've had a salesman request this)
- a cloud-synced project tracking service

There are lots of games on Playbook, and I would like to focus on education, I would like to develop some math programs to help the child to learn math.

Also, I would like to develop some application for the church, so people can use playbook or BB10 phone to do some religion studies.

If I can get a free playbook to start and have the RIM team to help me to get start, I am ready to go.

Hi @BBfun101,

Alex from RIM here. Sounds like your heart’s in the right place when it comes to apps for the PlayBook; I’m happy to help you get going. For starters, check out these helpful tools and resources at our BlackBerry Developer Zone that will have you developing apps in no time: http://bbry.lv/zmSuvz. Good luck with the contest.

Cheers,

Alex, RIM Social Media Team

Hey I was wondering is there anyway we could download the specific ppt used at PACE from anywhere?

I do have an idea for a app that deals with making things a bit more private considering what recently happened with another controversial app in another marketplace.

I am glad I logged on today to see what the most recent news was. I just read an article on Forbes saying bye bye to blackberry and I came here to see what's going on. I hope many of these students decide and stick with BB because we certainly need more developers. One thing that I noticed from this article and a couple I read last week there are a lot of user out there that have never touched a BB device and see what they can do. I myself have both a Bold 9930 and PB and use them both all day. I have been a BB user for at least 4yrs and even recently friends and family that needed to use my phone to make a call or watch me use the playbook were like wow very nice phone. Day after day more apps are created for Android and all we hear about is Ipad, ipad, ipad. I have noticed myself more and more there is truly not enough advertising for the BB products.

I want to build a mileage & odometer tracking app. It might be good for BB10 phone not so much for playbook. The problem that I face is that every time I need to record the current odometer reading and come up with MPG & some other stats with my car, there is no easy way. I have to manually write down the current odometer reading & gas cost from receipt. Then I go home and enter it into a spreadsheet. What I could just point by phone camera to my car odometer and then to the receipt and it will upload onto a spreadsheet on google doc or somewhere else & do all the MPG tracking & gas cost comparison for me.

Project management app, compliant with the current business standards (PMBoK), capabe of dealing with the whole project lifecycle (not just another task manager).

Recycling centres locator with few unique features. The first one is: help/or give suggestions what can be recycled and how using augmented reality, with simple point camera to the object. This is my main goal for now, other features are only drafts.

Also, with the current platform support (NDK and Qt) it's quite hard to do the above mentioned, due to limited hardware access (mostly camera). I hope that RIM will bring more features with BB10

It seems like the new java for RIM is the Adroid Player. The only reason I ever have rto reboot my PB is because thwe Android player freezes up. RIM needs to get this fixed for BB10 and while there at it let us load Android Apps freely. The big names are just not porting apps over to the PB (likely because they know there are problems with the experience).

BB10 needs to run all android apps period. RIM stop being so arrogant to think you can create a controlled eco-system like apple. You are no longer in a position to take on Apple, your positoin is to fight like hell to make your product even relevant.

Step 1 is to get all Android Apps on the BB10 devices. Then you can worry about web works etc. because that'll buy you time. Without it, honestly, why buy BB10? Because we want to support RIM? RIM is not a charity and unfortunately even if every user did buy a BB10 phone there aren't enough to build a growing business on. RIM needs to say "ya ya we have ALL the apps, now let me tell you why you should by a Blackberry" until that first part is done, getting web works developers is irrelevant.

Screw Android.
What RIM needs is a couple of border collies to herd all the sheep out of the android market.

I'd like some links to the actual tools needed (all of them) to develop programs for the playbook... even if they would be for personal use.

All I've done to date is vb.net (and vba years ago) for windows, but I'd like to dive into the playbook..

Just go to www.blackberry.com/developers

But if you're going to develop for BlackBerry, take a tip from me and use HTML5.

That way your apps will work on other devices and you won't be wasting you time - as many of us who built Java apps for RIM find to our cost.

I like Thorsten Heins honesty. Now he should be honest about how they've screwed over their current developer community.

Perhaps it's a newb question, but none of the information there tells me where I am coding?

For vb.net I use Visual Studio.. what am I using for the playbook (assuming html5)? Somehow I doubt I'll be using notepad :)

There are a variety of different tools, depending on which platform you want to use for your app.

Adobe's FlashBuilder is used for AIR apps. Adobe did have an offer that gave free copies to students and the unemployed; don't know if it's still in effect. The AIR SDK is definitely freely available, though, and is available through the Blackberry Developer site.

There is a customized version of Eclipse available for building native apps, again available through the BB Developer Site.

https://bdsc.webapps.blackberry.com/devzone/

For HTML5 you can use whatever editor you find comfortable.

I imagine you could continue to use Visual Studio provided you avoid any proprietory MS API's etc.

I use eclipse and E.

Then you should download Ripple (or use in Chrome) - Ripple is pretty cool.

And the WebWorks SDK.

If you want to make your work transferrable to other platforms (including Windows) - check out Phonegap (now owned by Adobe).

TRUELLY NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE TOUCH OR EVEN TRIED THE BB DEVICES, ESP. PB BECAUSE OF LOW ADVERTISEMENT, I WENT TO BESTBUY AND FRYS ELEC. IMMEDIATELY NOTICED ON TABLET DISPLAYS. APPLE, SAMSUNG,HTC,ETC. RUNNING ON DEMOS. BLACKBERRY PB "DEAD OFF" I WAS UPSET WHEN I FOUND OUT THIS. I MEAN HOW COULD CUSTOMERS SEE THE QUALITY OF THIS DEVICE. THEN IF YOU GO TO VERIZON, THEY BARELY EVEN HAVE A DISPLAY FOR BLACKBERRIES ( NO HATES HERE ) PEOPLE WILL NEVER KNOW ABOUT BB BEC. OF LACKS ON SUPPORT.. AS A LOYAL BB USER WISH I CAN CREATE AND DEVELOP AN APP TO FOR RIM.. THANKS..

I'm an aspiring developer and I would love to get this PlayBook to help me develop my new app.

My idea is actually for the PlayBook. It would be an adventure type game, where you take a few different pictures of your face with the PlayBook and these pictures get put right onto the character in the game.

Your character would then go through a haunted house and have to choose the right way through or else they'd get too scared and have to run for the hills!!

Lots of creaky open door sounds as well...

I am not a developer, but would like to suggest some ideas so that any one who knows how to do it can do it if it makes sense for them.

1. An application which will allow users to compare two word/pdf documents. This is particularly useful for contracts where they are exchanged multiple times during negotiations via emails. I am not sure if this can be worked out but if someone can pull it off it would be amazing.
2. A better crackberry application. Which works like Facebook application. Don't need to login every time. And better UI. we all love our crackberry don't we?
3. There is a good app called add to available for 9900. Where emails can be directly added to task,calendar, memo. Wish this was available for PlayBook.
If the above are already available in appworld for the PB then I am sorry for the post.
And to all those wonderful developers for PlayBook, there are lots of BB fans out there who will support you. Just look at the numbers on appworld. Thank you guys for developing.
Cheers.

My idea is simply to make an e-mail client which supports PGP/GPG encrypting. Blackberrys are missing this feature and, believe me, many people would like to see it.

Another option would be to write some kind of extension to the actual BB client, but I don't know (yet) if is it possible. Surely it'd be easier and better for end-users.

Unless you're a theme dev... Or make background apps like BerryBuzz, I've seen NO evidence in current apps to show this is do-able. Seems like RIM's plan is "whatever you like about BlackBerry phones, kiss it goodbye"

First thing first, is there a website where I could "licensed my idea" before I post it here? I'm nowhere to be a developer, a designer maybe who is so much interested to develop an app for bb10. Just needed someone/partner to code it.

The first idea Would be to create an app for student drivers. This would include a quiz from information in the state drivers handbook and an interactive simulation based on the same information.

I would also like to create an app similar to RockSim where I could design and simulate flight of custom designed model rockets. This may be more difficult due to the CAD requirements.

I want to make a nature guide for BB. It can and will be used by hunters, campers, naturalists and outdoor enthusiasts. Many hunters I know, myself included, take their phones with them. They have (on other phones) but I don't, a plant, tree, animal footprint, survival guide.

Taking tech outdoors is most helpful. But some of the places I go don't have service. So this app will not require service to be used.

So please pick me. I've already started working on this app. I just don't know how to put it on my phone.

I would like to develop a program for performing energy efficiency audits on buildings. It ideally would be able to enter consumption data, call upon local environment variables, and be able to make the job of making adjustments to the building easier. exporting to excel sheets, etc. It would be pretty complicated I suppose, but hey, first step then second.....

I would love to try and create a 'pinboard' app, where you could put pictures, lists, graphs etc onto one big 'pinboard', could be quite useful for planning a wedding (dress, cake, guest list, calendar etc), any sort of party, school project, business plans... :)

I'd like to develop an app for my playbook!

It could involve a fantasy play for nhl teams! Or maybe just fantastic specified team apps to keep you updated to all the feeds integrated with twitter, rss, and other connectable services!

I am planning on being a future BlackBerry dev and the app that I would create would utilize Cascades to its full potential and let the user organize their photos into beautiful photo albums. They would be able to swipe and turn through the pages of their photo album with simple, but beautiful animations. They would be able to use any photo on their device and order them however they want. They would also have the option of entering captions in their desired font. The app may possibly be able to create an html5 version of your album that would work in a web browser for sharing online so that others may enjoy it. The app would be easy and intuitive, yet rich and powerful. This would not be your regular joe photo app or gallery.

I'm a developer, just not of BlackBerry apps. At least not yet. I've been doing embedded development for over a decade, mostly computer vision applications and the assorted Java tool. My two cents regarding BB development is that until recently, it wasn't particularly easy to figure how to make a BB app that didn't look awful; the samples were really thin. That isn't so much the case now, as the sample code on GitHub is _so_ much better than what was available two years ago.

That said, my ideas for apps all revolve around getting work done. I've never really been much of a gamer, so the appeal of any platform as a gaming system is lost on me. I want to be able to work - tests of statistical significance for small data sets, create control charts, simple matrix algebra, something like MATLAB Mobile but for BlackBerry and Playbook. (Also, it would make me happy if I could do calculations with tablet but without a desktop session, ala MATLAB Mobile.) Maybe a calculator shell like GNU bc. (It really bothers me that I can't see the history of what I've typed into a regular calculator app.) Or something more aimed at the management types that carry BlackBerries, e.g. Six Sigma math, manufacturing and quality standards, etc.

I would imagine that getting GNU Octave to run on PlayBook wouldn't be the hardest thing in the world with the native SDK. The hard part would be all of the libraries that it depends on, but even that wouldn't be the hardest thing in the world, mostly just tedious to get everything to cross compile. My (admittedly very limited) experience with QNX leads me to believe it wouldn't be that hard.

If only I had a PlayBook to play with... :) And copious free time, which would also help.

For what it's worth:

So, GNU Octave is a MATLAB-like system for scientific computation. It has four absolute prerequisites (http://goo.gl/z9z9s): BLAS, LAPACK, PCRE, and GNU readline. PCRE is already supported on QNX by RIM. GNU readline was trivial to build for arm-nto-qnx. (Hooray GNU autotools!) BLAS and LAPACK are a little more tricky because they're developed in Fortran, but there is CLAPACK/CBLAS, which I was able to build for arm-nto-qnx with just a little bit of Makefile magic. (See, all of that time spent compiling things for fun in college wasn't wasted.) ATLAS would be faster than CBLAS, but it demands to be built on the target so that it can do self-optimization at build time (rather than at runtime, ala FFTW).

My problem, however, is that I don't have a target to test these with. My development computer is a netbook, and the Playbook simulator won't run in VMWare Player because Atom N4xx doesn't support any of the virtualization extensions. So, I could totally test these and then start building other prereqs and Octave itself, but I don't want to go too far down the rabbit hole before I can test this. (Also, it might not be such a bad plan to build gfortran for arm-nto-qnx, although I'm sure it isn't supported out of the box. Is it bad that I think a Fortran compiler for a tablet OS would be a fun project?) Of course, I could test it on an actual Playbook. Wink wink. Hint hint.

If anyone is interested, I can push some of this to GitHub, but I'd like to at least have some way of testing it first.

If I get a Blackberry Playbook I would create an app that integrates different social networks (Starting with Facebook, Twitter, and probably others) and would made easier to watch at Facebook friends or Twitter following updates because you will get it in the same app. Also It will allow you to post updates and photos to multiple social networks at the same time.

The app that i want to make is almost like the podcast app for blackberry but it can also sync your YouTube (and other video sites) and rss subscriptions into one app and it would have 2 way syncing with Google reader for your rss feeds and full HD video for YouTube and other sites all aggregated into the app, with push notifications when a feed or video is released.

HVAC controller - I had 4 building manager friends that used blackberry switch to iphone because the buildings they had had HVAC systems which could be controlled from an iphone app. The API is published so it should be a matter of needs analysis and then creation of a good UI front end. I suspect AIR would be a great front end method and as I am a C programmer I suspect that accessing their API should not be a stretch

I wish I was proficient at coding, that I could pick this up and setup the development environment and start banging out code.

Jassal2008 mentioned a Podcast app, and I second that. It doesn't look like the stock BlackBerry/PlayBook Podcast app syncs with each other, which is a real drag. It would be nice if someone developed a Podcast app that syncs with Google Reader.

Not sure if it helps but there's a pretty good Android podcast app named PodPlus now available on Playbook for free.

Yes, I have an app idea: an app for home businesses to track vehicle mileage on business-related travel. App could include a database to record gas and other vehicle expenses.

User enters odometer reading from beginning of year. Every time the vehicle is used for business use, the user enters the current odo reading and starts the trip (optionally adding notes for purpose of trip). GPS records the distance covered. User closes off the trip on its conclusion.

At end of year, app will have accumulated all business travel, and will prorate vehicle expenses accordingly.

I would love to create a shopping app. Amazon would be the main source, maybe ebay too. I second the want for a dropbox app that syncs everything. Off to the dropbox documentation...

How about a plugin-based cloud storage access app. FileScout supports DropBox, but the developer has made it clear to me in emails that he has no interest in expanding the functionality.

I'm thinking a app that uses plugins, so you can install only the cloud storage solutions you want, be it Dropbox, or Sugarsync, or Box, or any others that pop up. But it has to support them all, so you don't have to have a whole pile of apps on your phone to deal with all of them separately.

I would like to develop a photo editing app with a smooth UI for the Playbook. Even though there are already a few, there isn't yet one that can compare to Instagram for iOS.

I, too agree that the Blackberry Playbook needs to continue to be "educating the educational masses" as I like to say in that it is, for a number of reasons, more logical to use in the educational sector versus the iPad.

That being said, it shouldn't be used only INSIDE the classroom, but outside as well. My app would be a complete and interactive app for Khan Academy. An app that is developed in partnership with Khan, and not just an app with which to watch the videos, but to take the tests, review accomplishments, etc. Of course, it would be in association with a OS7/BB10 app so that you have the same experience across devices.

Think about it...your Playbook attached to your HDTV, your Bold as remote and taking notes while learning at home and on the go. Loving it...let's do it! :)

an app that allows me to import the csv file (contains competitors' name, category,etc) and calculate an average time.. it is for a competition..

Looking at doing an order entry app. Will be going to StartupWeekend Ottawa to pitch it later this month.

As a high school teacher, with limited app development experience (practically 0) I'd work on developing an app to help teachers track attendance at the very minimum with the PlayBook. At least providing a nicer interface than the web interface of our online attendance system. Then instead of a clipboard, I'd give teachers a playbook! :D

Another tool that would be included would be a grading scale. I'm sure someone can whip one out real quick, but mines would be top notch with extra secret features. ; )

I have been very interested for some time in developing a client relations manager for my work as a business-to-business salesman. I sell services only, so I don't need to track time or inventory; I just need to be able to track all my interactions with a client very accurately.

I've been working on this in MySQL, and have some plans for creating a web-based frontend for my database (which I currently use via raw SQL) and I would very much like to try creating an HTML5 frontend for the Playbook, because I've been planning on getting one for a long time.

My first quarter this year was pretty rough, so I won't be able to buy a tablet for some time. I was thinking about just waiting for the new Playbooks to come out near the end of this year, but having one now would really help me get the ball rolling on this program.

I'd like the to make an app specifically designed for engineers - it would have all the common tools and resources, references, etc. they need to properly do their work.

that is one major problem with RIM. those students have iOS & Android devices and they are not aware about the PlayBook. why? because RIM lack marketing strategy. how are they going to sell those devices if they lack marketing. they must first create/shape the market to like BB devices.

also, keep those apps coming. I know that RIM is going to have a huge come back! FTW!

I am currently working on a 2d side scroller, that is sort of my take on a street fighter type adventure game. I hope to add some plat former elements and just overall make it both look good, and sound good with audio tracks befitting the theme. I have written a mobile app before for the windows imagine cup using XNA and won an honorable mention certificate(can prove), unfortunately it was not for a game app and I did not own a windows phone beyond the test device provided to us. I took up working on android and more recently having ditched my Droid for a bb 9930 have seen how easy it is to port code. I am trying to work with my partner to try and hopefully release the game in parallel for both android and blackberry at the same time, but I am currently favoring android development more right now because I think this type of game would be better suited on larger screens and I have more devices to test on. If I had a playbook I think my interest in blackberry would be accelerated, especially since I think people would be more willing to pay for the application here then in the android market. I am currently a student so we are in the early stages of development, but I hope to speed things up as my semester comes to a close. My previous attempts at making games involved short clones/ concepts of pac-man, and centipede for learning purposes, so I am excited to be writing a mini game engine to take my skills to the next level.

I have 2 ideas.

1. A makeup App like the EzFace one, with the playbook AIR support this can be a success.

2. A personal Diet program,

I know php, html and css for now. If you know a very good learning resources to make native playbook apps give some links. I just start to learn through http://devblog.blackberry.com/

Fantasy Football app that helps a person select their team and track progression of their draft.
Features:
- Complete NFL rosters by position.
- Customizable rankings.
- Track players selected for own and opponent's teams.
- Automated tracking of minimum starting roster.
- Team bye weeks.

App for delivery drivers so they can track mileage, get an estimated look at tips, if the delivery was efficient in respect to price of gas, distance traveled, miles per gallon, etc. public records database so that delivery drivers of all sorts can input the figures to give a more accurate estimate for others. also has gps to navigate your destination..

I would love to put together an advanced PDF and eBook reader designed for use in academic settings. As a student, I'm often inundated with journal articles, textbooks, and class notes to read and review. An app that would make it easy to manage those documents, take notes while reading, and sync to popular research tools like Zotero would make my life (and the lives of many other students around the world) a whole lot easier.