Making the CrackBerry BB10 app in under 10 minutes

By Simon Sage on 30 Nov 2012 11:49 am EST
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During the general session for BlackBerry Jam Asia 2012, I mentioned in the liveblog that the way Cascades handled drag-and-drop UI design looked so easy that I (an utter code noob) could probably do it. Of course Kevin chimed in and announced that I would make the official BlackBerry 10 app for CrackBerry before the January 30 launch. Well, I did Kevin one better and made the app the next day thanks to the BlackBerry App Generator.

Okay, so maybe it's sort of cheating since the BlackBerry App Generator is a web-based tool where you punch in feed addresses, pick design templates and let the automated engine do the rest, but at least I got it done. Mippin, the company behind the BlackBerry App Generator, has been powering this tool for awhile, and announced back in the spring that they would be enabling folks with blogs and other news sites to quickly generate BlackBerry 10 apps. 

As you can see in the video above, the whole process is relatively painless and generates a more-than-capable news-style application. I didn't get around to adding our YouTube channel to the feed list, but that's okay because embedded video doesn't work just yet. There were a few steps in set-up that weren't pictured, including getting a BlackBerry World vendor ID and an App Generator ID. Using those IDs also means you can't use the word "BlackBerry" or even "CrackBerry" in the title or description. Turns out, that's a pretty significant roadblock when your site's name is CrackBerry. On top of that, you have to have an appropriately-sized icon and banner for the app, though odds are if you're a site owner, you've got those assets kicking around anyway.

So, all of that combined would probably put you over the ten-minute mark, but the App Generator is still super-useful. We lucked out in our demo by getting the app onto a Dev Alpha device that had a newer build of the OS with support for sharing stories out to the native Facebook and Twitter apps (which currently aren't available elsewhere).

Website owners interested checking things out can visit the BlackBerry App Generator page.   

29 comments

NateFulton2010

Just for arguement sakes, for the code noobs who want to learn/grow, when your App Generator app is complete, and later you want to modify it "differently" either using a different language, or change to your own elements/objects, does it present it any way that is transferable? Or are you stuck and have to do over from scratch?

bluetroll

those are some incredible tools... way to go BlackBerry!

jamesharmeling

So.....if you spend 30 minutes on it, it'll be 3 times better?

Crackberry is the hub of the BlackBerry Nation, so please make the CB BB10 app something to celebrate! Make it the ceiling for all others to reach for please!

Brian Scheirer

On the note of "drag and drop" coding in Cascades I made video a few months back doing that to show how easy it too: http://youtu.be/kUk-Q31Mwng

And I have plenty of Cascades tutorials: bbcascadescode.tumblr.com that I think make coding in Cascades pretty easy all together. :)

omegajimes

That is a very cool video, I'll have to check it out your site! Thanks for sharing!

SparkyBC

To bad the Beta only allows 4 content pages. Just goes to show how easy it is for any major site to make a BB App. Did a CBC one in under 5 minutes.

bb10_fan

Ouch, it's good that Nokia cannot sue RIM for this app generator :)

DavideaNY

Just submitted my new "app" :)

WTangoFoxtrot

Crackberry should be built right into the BlackBerry Hub for BB10, someone call Thorstein already !!

ddlax22

It said APP world. Not Blackberry World

SPNKr

LIKE! Thats awesome!

AzN_KnIGHT

I don't get an option to preview on device. Anyone else have this issue?

BB_Bmore

So this is going to be the most amazing awesome BB10 CrackBerry app that Kevin called all devs out for? CrackBerry can do better than the app generator. Just my opinion sorry.

greatwiseone

Ya, Appgenerator's nice, but CB's gotta do much much better....

kevinnugent

God, so easy there will be 100,000 useless apps uploaded in weeks. Do these get uploaded to the App World? Do they qualify for the $10k guarantee?? Hope not.

neilmann

If you look through App World right now there is already a ton of these apps. Quite useless if you ask me. Apps that qualify for the $10k must go through the "Built for Blackberry" program. A simple news reader like this would not qualify.

https://developer.blackberry.com/builtforblackberry/

Puz_zled

It would be slightly deliciously ironic though to watch the BlackBerry App count zoom up to a million, past the other two, and then watch the tone of the conversation change to, "Yeah, but it's not how many, it's how many QUALITY apps there are!" twood be sweet!
From my BB10 ready BlackBerry PlayBook

str2010

nice work man. i just wanted to say i heard you say "perfectamoondo" i say "perfectamondo"
amazing i donno where i learned this word but i been using it for many years. i never knew anyone else used this word even tho u pronouced it moon and i pronouce it mon. maybe i heard this word somewhere like tv or something. If there somewhere u learned it wanna tell me? :) nice app btw.

workerb

It's actually "perfectamundo" and its from Happy Days. 'The Fonz' would say it.

As for the app generator. This may be my gateway to BB programming.

BBOttawa

The AppGenerator apps do not qualify for the $10k thing, or the free Dev Alpha, it's just for sites to make an easier way to view them on a phone screen, chill.

moa999

And Also that Generator specifically says it DOES NOT presently support BB10, it is for older devices.

"Currently the App Generator builds dedicated apps for Blackberry OS5/OS6, OS7 and BlackBerry PlayBook™.

BlackBerry® 10 support will be added in January 2013. Every app submitted prior to then will have a BlackBerry® 10 version added and published to App World™ automatically."

moa999

And Also that Generator specifically says it DOES NOT presently support BB10, it is for older devices.

"Currently the App Generator builds dedicated apps for Blackberry OS5/OS6, OS7 and BlackBerry PlayBook™.

BlackBerry® 10 support will be added in January 2013. Every app submitted prior to then will have a BlackBerry® 10 version added and published to App World™ automatically."

baandoptager

Wauv it can organize feeds, thats sooo impressive... And it has a logo banner... Thats insane... HTML can't even do that. ;)

So is this really what BB wants a whole bunch of RSS feed based crapps?

Rootbrian

Listen, they aren't called crapps. If you don't want to download them, don't. nobody is forcing you.

Shadberry Bold

How long does it take for the vendor ID approval?

TerribleTim68

Love the App Generator! Used it to build an app of my own, took about 5 minutes. I was juts shocked that there isn't a Twitter Feed option. Can't believe they left that one out! :-/