The New Launcher!

Here it is folks, the moment you've all been waiting for (especially you antiandy)... the beta unveiling of the all-new, totally kick ass launcher!

CrackBerry Launcher *Beta*: The new launcher is MUCH MORE than a simple BB shortcut. Once installed on your device, you can actually change up the shortcut settings by going to Options > CrackBerry Launcher. You can select what color of CrackBerry logo to appear on the homescreen along with the onclick destination - launch either the CrackBerry wap site index page or go to the mobile forums directly!! Now your CB logo will always match your wallpaper and theme!

To Download: Visit on your BlackBerry and click on the Install the New Launcher link.

Beta: Keep in mind this is the first beta release of the CrackBerry Launcher application. While it has been tested extensively by the developer and a great team of helpers, it's possible some yet-unfound errors could pop up. Likewise, ideas are planned to continually improve the application. Please leave any bug reports, comments, suggestion and praise on the Launcher thread in the forums.

Credit: A HUUUUGGGGGGGGE THANK YOU goes to member patrick.waugh who made this awesome new Launcher a reality. While Patrick is an experienced developer in the field of avionics, the development of the CB Launcher is his first BlackBerry application, and he has built it as a free gift to the CrackBerry community. Yet another awesome surprise in our 200,000 member milestone celebrations! Take a read after the jump for the credits and full story. Again, a HUGE THANK YOU goes to all those involved!

CrackBerry Launcher Credits

Developed by: Patrick T. Waugh, MA, of BerrySoft, a sub of Benchmark Avionics Corp.

The following programmers assisted in development:
Simon Hain
Fabian Heuwieser

The following people assisted in alpha testing of early versions:
Donna Alderman
Robert Barnes
CJ Carbone
Cole Ciprari
Jeff Hamilton
Christine DeVoy
Reed McLay
Rick Webster
CB Moderator Team

Behind the Scenes of the New Launcher
an interview with Patrick Waugh, BerrySoft

Behind the ScenesCrackberry:  So, what inspired you to redo the shortcut?
BerrySoft:  Well, to be honest, my own frustration with the existing application’s icon.  Because the shape, color, and size are very close to the size of the highlight used on the main screen, it was very difficult for me to tell I had selected it, which often resulted in me running the wrong application.  And, after coming to love, I thought we could improve it a bit and give the whole community a nice gift as we launch our first application.  Also, we wanted to find a quick application to develop that would allow us to ensure we understood how to get an application to market that would work on all the platforms we wanted to initially target.  So, this was an ideal way to learn and give back to the community at the same time.

Crackberry:  You mentioned other applications.  What are you working on?
BerrySoft:  Well, we have 4 projects underway, one of which is a game program that we’re excited about, but will take a bit longer than the others to develop.  The one project I can talk about is TipBerry, which unlike the others, will again be freeware.  It was the program we were originally going to use as our “test” application, created for much the same reasons, but then we got more excited about the project as we felt it would reach and benefit more people.  Our first commercial project will go into beta soon after we identify and correct any problems with the CrackBerry application that keep it from running on systems we are targeting.  The Board, of course, doesn’t want me to reveal more for competitive reasons.

Behind the ScenesCrackberry: Tell us about this cool shot.
BerrySoft:  Well, because we also develop avionics software, we have great tools for 2D and 3D artwork design, as well as several different programming development environments.  The code for this application only took about 20 minutes to write initially, but several hours were put into the artwork (we’re perfectionists), as well as testing various things to avoid problems and learn more about the RIM environment.  Then a couple of weeks tweeking what we had done till we were really happy with it.
To achieve the best looking results, our artist created a fully 3D crackberry logo in a sort of virtual studio, where it was then animated and shoot just as it would be on a live stage, with camera and lighting.  In this behind-the-scenes shot we see the virtual studio set with the camera and lights setup on our model preparing for a rendering.
Those shots were then rendered and sent to a 2D artist for post-production to add some subtle special effects.  Several versions were screen tested in the actual application till we found the right look & feel we were going after.   We spent a lot of time on it because we had fun and it was important to us for it to look good.  We hope you and the community are pleased with the results.  Over time, we’ll incorporate and feedback from the community into updates for you as well.