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.