PlayBook Apps

Developer Stories: My experience thus far in porting Tank Recon 3D to the BlackBerry PlayBook


Tank Recon 3D for the BlackBerry PlayBook

This article comes to us via Leigh McRae. A veteran game developer working with the PlayBook NDK, it gives an honest look at both some of the pleasant surprises and frustrations experienced while porting a game to the PlayBook for the first time....

Today I found myself with some extra time on my hands so I decided to send Kevin a small email letting him know my initial experience with developing for the Playbook using the NDK. After receiving the email Kevin asked if I would be willing to expand on it. So I opened up my Open Office and wrote a little piece.

Just a little background about myself. I have been in the 3D industry for about 20 years, 15 of which have been in the game industry directly. I worked on PlayStation 2 and Xbox titles such as Oni, Max Payne and The Warriors. I left the big budget console industry to start Lone Dwarf Games Inc and ended up making BlackBerry games in early 2009. The first game I released was Wrath, a retro shooter.

Scrapbook for the BlackBerry PlayBook updated to v1.2 bringing a new sticker set, better organization

Scrapbook for BlackBerry PlayBook
I really like the Scrapbook app on my BlackBerry PlayBook. I find different uses for it, and my daughter loves to play around with it, combing pictures and stickers (and even random app screenshots) to make her own special brand of collage. Scrapbook has seen several updates and today is again updated, now to v1.2.

Food and nutrition tracking applications for BlackBerry smartphones and PlayBook


BlackBerry Nutrition Apps

At my day job, we recently had a nutritionist come in to assess our staff to determine how well they are taking care of themselves. There were mixed results; I was pretty much spot on for everything that she measured; my minerals, vitamins and meridians, though I was slightly below average for my zinc and vitamin D3 cholecalciferol (that was expected since I’m a redhead that gets sunburnt easily). There was one colleague who scored dangerously low in every aspect. His diet regularly consists of energy drinks…ALOT of energy drinks. I quipped that he was actually dead, but his body kept moving due to the residual energy drink ingredients in his body. I noticed that the nutritionist had a BlackBerry (obviously a wise choice), so I asked her what type of applications she used. She sadly informed me that she wasn’t much for applications, but her clients would email her their food intake logs. What do you think I did next? I went online to see what type of apps were out there that would help BlackBerry users accomplish this. Out of the dozens upon dozens of apps available, several of them stood out to me.

What's Up for the BlackBerry PlayBook gives you all the stars in the sky, and more!

What's Up for BlackBerry PlayBook
Anyone who is in to astronomy will appreciate this well done application for the BlackBerry PlayBook. What's Up shows real-time positions for the sun and moon, major planets, and 5000 of the brightest stars in the sky. Set your current position by GPS or zip code, search for constellations, stars, planets and more even if you're not sure of the exact name, and view them all on the star chart. The basic functions of What's Up don't even need an internet connection, which makes the app perfect for stargazing at night when you're away from the city lights, especially when you consider how portable the BlackBerry PlayBook is!

Additional features include:
  • GPS support for setting geographic coordinates
  • Advanced text search including phonetic search
  • Multitouch gesture support for zooming and panning
  • Innovative "Quick Links" providing seamless integration with Wikipedia articles

You can grab a free trial of What's Up that will give you full functionality for 5 days, after which pinch-to-zoom and search will be disabled. The full version is just $.99 and definitely worth it if you ever look up in the sky and wonder what it is you're looking at. My kids especially love it, and I think it's an awesome tool for teaching them about all those mysterious twinkles in the sky. Download or purchase What's Up from the links below, and check out a few extra screenshots after the break. (Unfortunately, the screenshots don't really do the app justice due to the reduced size.)

More information/screenshots and to purchase What's Up
More information/screenshots and to download the trial of What's Up