Some of you may be familiar with Toshl as they have an app for legacy BlackBerry devices. You may also know that back in August of 2012, development of the Toshl BlackBerry app was discontinued. Though the app was still available and worked fine, no further updates were planned. There were several reasons behind that decision, all reasonable and really not anything we hadn't heard before from several other companies. Fast forward nine months, and to our surprise, Toshl has released a BlackBerry 10 app into BlackBerry World! I was curious what brought about the decision to resume development for BlackBerry and reached out to Toshl CEO Matic Bitenc for some insight.
The easy porting from Android was a large factor since there's a lot less overhead in supporting another platform this way. We've also had quite a lot of feedback from BlackBerry fans around the world wanting the BlackBerry app and even porting themselves once we provided the Android APK. The Slovenian BlackBerry representative was also helpful in providing a testing device so we could do some testing on our own.
Generally it was pretty smooth sailing, but we do wish BlackBerry would update their emulator middleware to a newer version of Android. That would make it a lot smoother for the end users as well and enable support for the latest and greatest apps.
A potential future native BB10 Toshl app mostly depends on how well BlackBerry 10 is received in the market in general. We're not a large company and we have to choose very carefully where we focus our resources. So no native BB10 app is currently in the works, but we'll see what the future brings.
So yes, for those of you that keep track, this version of Toshl is not native, it's an Android port. I know for some BlackBerry users that's a deal breaker. Some of you may choose to avoid Android ports, even when they work perfectly fine and provide everything a native app would provide. For some companies who have only a couple of developers, an Android port is the best they can offer at this time. Many of them are using the metrics from these early downloads to weigh the interest in their app to help them decide if making a native app is worth the time and money involved. Because of this, the way I see it anyway, not downloading apps you're interested in solely because they are Android ports isn't helping the platform at all.
Everyone needs to manage their finances, and more and more these days it's important to have access to all of your information wherever you are. But let's be honest, budgeting and balancing your income and expenses is not really at the top of anyone's list of favorite activities. When a free app comes along that makes financial management not only easy, but also adds a whimsical element (native or port aside), how could you not want to use it? Download Toshl, give it a try, and let's show these companies that BlackBerry development is indeed worth their time and effort.