Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 11th Dec 2012 19:18 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "Research In Motion today released the 'gold' build of the BlackBerry 10 developer toolkit. The 'gold' build includes all of the final tools, components, and APIs that will enable developers to create integrated, social and beautiful applications for BlackBerry 10, and have the confidence that their apps will delight customers at launch." Let's hope so. This industry needs more viable players.
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Heh, why not?
by Neolander on Tue 11th Dec 2012 19:32 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

Actually, I think I'm going to try out this BB10 thing, for at least five reasons

1/It sounds like going RIM will be the best choice for QWERTY phones in the near future, since Android/WinPhone manufacturers are losing interest in them and S40 is still quite primitive (e.g. no multitasking is a deal breaker for me).
2/Also, RIM are apparently the only smartphone OS developer that still cares a tiny bit about battery life. The average Engadget reviewer may consider 2 days per charge to be something impressive, but myself I want Symbian's 4 days of battery life back.
3/Videos of the OS (as seen on Crackberry and the RIM website) look like it's moving in the right direction in terms of usability, which is a good thing since it was THE thing that was holding me back from buying anything RIM previously.
4/I feel very much like funding alternatives to Android if they do a little bit of work to deserve it, since Google is getting a bit too powerful in the mobile world for my taste.
5/This is a QNX-based OS which we're talking about, and having a microkernel running on your cellphone is quite the OS geek's wet dream ;)

Remains to be seen how things pan out till the official unveiling in the end of January though. As an example, RIM have always been making these weird deals with carriers where you have to purchase "blackberry options" on your data plan to fully unlock the capabilities of your phones, and this does not sit well with me since I'm a fan of exotic carriers and cheap mobile plans. But if the platform is open enough that I can just say "screw it" and rely on third-party services like on Android, then it's not a deal breaker.

Edited 2012-12-11 19:52 UTC

Reply Score: 10

RE: Heh, why not?
by zima on Wed 12th Dec 2012 14:23 UTC in reply to "Heh, why not?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

1/It sounds like going RIM will be the best choice for QWERTY phones in the near future, since Android/WinPhone manufacturers are losing interest in them and S40 is still quite primitive (e.g. no multitasking is a deal breaker for me).

You can always get some QWERTY Symbian handset ;P
(too bad Sony Ericsson A200 platform wasn't ever used on QWERTY handsets, I think - though it runs only j2me apps, it can multitask them)

5/This is a QNX-based OS which we're talking about, and having a microkernel running on your cellphone is quite the OS geek's wet dream ;)

Symbian handsets apparently also use a ~microkernel ;) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EKA2
(then there's http://www.osnews.com/comments/26568 recent Genode discussion and some of the links there; microkernels are more widespread, especially in mobiles, than it appears)

Edited 2012-12-12 14:25 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Heh, why not?
by gan17 on Wed 12th Dec 2012 16:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Heh, why not?"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

I'm most probably out of the loop with regards to what's fashionable in terms of kernels (I still run the boring monolithic kind, after all), but always assumed that hybrid kernels were the in-thing for geeks. Did "hybrid" suddenly become a dirty word?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Heh, why not?
by Neolander on Wed 12th Dec 2012 16:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Heh, why not?"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I'm most probably out of the loop with regards to what's fashionable in terms of kernels (I still run the boring monolithic kind, after all), but always assumed that hybrid kernels were the in-thing for geeks. Did "hybrid" suddenly become a dirty word?

AFAIK, the "hybrid" term has been used way too often by monolithic kernel projects that denied their true nature, and has become pretty meaningless nowadays as a result.

In fact, the microkernel concept did also suffer similar abuse in the past, to the point where some projects sarcastically called themselves "nanokernels" to distance themselves from big offenders like the Mach project. But, nowadays, it seems that people start to use that word more carefully and responsibly again.

Edited 2012-12-12 16:23 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Heh, why not?
by gan17 on Wed 12th Dec 2012 16:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Heh, why not?"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

.... to the point where some projects sarcastically called themselves "nanokernels" to distance themselves from big offenders....

Yeah, I forgot about those. IIRC, some projects even used the term "pico". Look at our awesome new picokernel. You can install it on a dead gnat!!

Jokes aside, I too hope BB10 gains some traction. I'm probably not their target "corporate" customer, but having more players is always a good thing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Heh, why not?
by zima on Fri 14th Dec 2012 17:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Heh, why not?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

the microkernel concept did also suffer similar abuse in the past, to the point where some projects sarcastically called themselves "nanokernels" to distance themselves from big offenders like the Mach project.

When searching for EKA2 link, a document showed up: http://www.developer.nokia.com/Community/Wiki/Symbian_OS_Internals/... - "nanokernel" seems to be used quite seriously there ;p (and at least the historical introduction is palatable to OS-laymen like me)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Heh, why not?
by Neolander on Wed 12th Dec 2012 16:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Heh, why not?"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

You can always get some QWERTY Symbian handset ;P
(too bad Sony Ericsson A200 platform wasn't ever used on QWERTY handsets, I think - though it runs only j2me apps, it can multitask them)

AFAIK, the most recent QWERTY Symbian handset from Nokia is the E6, which is over one year old now. The Symbian ecosystem may arguably have been buried alive but it sure is done suffocating...

"5/This is a QNX-based OS which we're talking about, and having a microkernel running on your cellphone is quite the OS geek's wet dream ;) "

Symbian handsets apparently also use a ~microkernel ;) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EKA

Sure they do, but the problem is that Symbian as a platform has no future. Its main backer, Nokia, is dropping it quickly, and no one feels like cleaning up its dirty codebase to make it rise from the ashes again. Most popular mobile OSs use fat kernels like Linux or Darwin as a basis these days...

(then there's http://www.osnews.com/comments/26568 recent Genode discussion and some of the links there; microkernels are more widespread, especially in mobiles, than it appears)

I don't think they take the lead role too often in user-facing applications, though.

Edited 2012-12-12 16:25 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Heh, why not?
by zima on Wed 12th Dec 2012 16:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Heh, why not?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Sure, Symbian might be going away, it's not very viable as one of the smartphone platforms of the future - but I take it that's not very crucial to you, if you're willing to consider BB10 or, particularly, an S40 handset. Look at it this way: a Symbian QWERTY handset would give you everything S40 would (after all, Symbian can also run j2me apps), plus multitasking. ;)

>microkernels are more widespread, especially in mobiles, than it appears)
I don't think they take the lead role too often in user-facing applications, though...

I still wonder about OSE - from the description, it seems like it might be also the basis for the in-house SE "feature phone" platform.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Heh, why not?
by Neolander on Wed 12th Dec 2012 20:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Heh, why not?"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Sure, Symbian might be going away, it's not very viable as one of the smartphone platforms of the future - but I take it that's not very crucial to you, if you're willing to consider BB10 or, particularly, an S40 handset. Look at it this way: a Symbian QWERTY handset would give you everything S40 would (after all, Symbian can also run j2me apps), plus multitasking. ;)

It's funny... Historically, I played the role of the Symbian zealot who kept saying that the OS was not as bad as many iOS and Android users thought, and that given the right directions, it could have raised from its imperfect state, with much higher odds of long-term success than WP7. Meanwhile, you were the one telling me that all Elop did was not wrong, that Symbian had probably sunk too far to be saved, and that S40 and the Asha line had dramatically improved under the direction of the new Nokia.

Now, as far as Symbian is concerned, I have switched from denial to resignation. No matter how good it was, it's most definitely dead, and nothing that I can say will ever bring it back. I also did my homework and checked out the Asha line to see if it was as good as you were implying, at least for my use cases. And right now, with this post, YOU are the one telling me that Symbian is great even in his death bead and that I should really check it out. Truly, how things have changed ! ;)

Anyway, I think that BB10 and S40 are in a different position than Symbian.

Symbian has been officially EOLd, just like WebOS, Meego and Windows Mobile 6 before it. If the history of these three OSs is to repeat itself, it will perhaps see some community interest like Meego and WebOS have. But considering the current level of said interest, it is most likely going to fall into irrelevance oblivion alongside Windows Mobile instead.

S40 and BB10 are, to the contrary, still useful to their respective developers. Since Windows Phone is a commercial failure and since it is not in Microsoft's DNA to produce light OSs for lower-end phones, S40 device sales are likely that little thing which (barely) keeps Nokia on life support right now. In such a case, if Nokia don't want to switch back to making rubber boots, they'll have to somehow support that OS, cherish it, and keep it competitive in the long run whether they like it or not. So it is likely going to improve over time, perhaps even silently getting patches from the Symbian codebase so as to increase its architectural flexibility.

Similarly, BB10 is basically what RIM is betting everything on to stay relevant in the modern cellphone landscape. Only this time, they openly admit it. And for what I know of QNX and its implementation on the PlayBook, it seems to me that they might have taken a pretty solid codebase to build their new OS upon. Now, only time will tell if this new OS will see the same fate as Windows Phone, but RIM do not have a track record similar to Microsoft's impressive history of failures in the mobile space, and user returns are fairly positive so far, so... who knows ?

Anyway, if this thing fails, it seems like all I'll be left with as a QWERTY fan will be S40's prehistoric feature set and legacy devices like Nokia's Symbian phones or those Pre 3 and N900 that are still on sale on eBay, so I better whish RIM the best of luck there ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Heh, why not?
by zima on Thu 13th Dec 2012 10:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Heh, why not?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Funny, perhaps... but you know, I also defended Symbian (when iOS or Android zealots criticised it too much). Maybe I just did the denial->resignation step a bit sooner ;)

However, I'm not saying that Symbian is great, nor that it has long-term viability - I'm only saying that some handsets might be still viable in your usage scenario (if you'd treat it as "S40 plus" - after all, even if its developer landscape is gone, Symbian can still run the same j2me apps as S40)

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Heh, why not?
by moondevil on Thu 13th Dec 2012 13:12 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Heh, why not?"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Symbian was great from the point of view of the user.


Now the developer experience could hardly be made any worse.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Heh, why not?
by zima on Fri 14th Dec 2012 20:47 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Heh, why not?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Great for the user? I wouldn't go that far when describing Symbian ...it was decent, particularly on early Symbian handsets (with very limited hardware, their functionality & UI not going much beyond S40 - but over time, Symbian outgrew that UI model)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Heh, why not?
by phoenix on Thu 13th Dec 2012 23:02 UTC in reply to "Heh, why not?"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Actually, I think I'm going to try out this BB10 thing, for at least five reasons

1/It sounds like going RIM will be the best choice for QWERTY phones in the near future, since Android/WinPhone manufacturers are losing interest in them and S40 is still quite primitive (e.g. no multitasking is a deal breaker for me).


Motorola makes some nice keyboard phones. The Droid4 (XT894) is especially nice, and works on any GSM/HSPA network outside of the USA (it's hardware locked to Verizon inside the US). The OMAP4 SoC is a little dated now (only SGX540 GPU, but it's a dual-core CPU), but it still runs Android 4.1 nicely.

Will be interesting to see what the Droid5 looks like.

I'm also hoping the Photon Q (XT897) gets a non-Sprint release. The keyboard on that thing is almost perfect! Unfortunately, this model has an embedded SIM locked to Sprint. Supposedly, there's an AT&T version "coming soon" that will work on any GSM/HSPA network (don't know about LTE).

2/Also, RIM are apparently the only smartphone OS developer that still cares a tiny bit about battery life. The average Engadget reviewer may consider 2 days per charge to be something impressive, but myself I want Symbian's 4 days of battery life back.


Heh, good luck with that. They're using the same Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 SoC that every LTE-based phone currently uses (dual-core 1.5 GHz Krait CPU + Adreno 225 GPU). And they're only using an 1800 mAh battery in the L-series phones (smaller than the Android phones, which all have 2100 mAh).

5/This is a QNX-based OS which we're talking about, and having a microkernel running on your cellphone is quite the OS geek's wet dream ;)


This I completely agree with. Will be interesting to see how this plays into the battery life. Maybe they can get away with a smaller battery than Android. [shrug]

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Heh, why not?
by Neolander on Sat 15th Dec 2012 11:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Heh, why not?"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Motorola makes some nice keyboard phones. The Droid4 (XT894) is especially nice, and works on any GSM/HSPA network outside of the USA (it's hardware locked to Verizon inside the US). The OMAP4 SoC is a little dated now (only SGX540 GPU, but it's a dual-core CPU), but it still runs Android 4.1 nicely.

Will be interesting to see what the Droid5 looks like.

I'm also hoping the Photon Q (XT897) gets a non-Sprint release. The keyboard on that thing is almost perfect! Unfortunately, this model has an embedded SIM locked to Sprint. Supposedly, there's an AT&T version "coming soon" that will work on any GSM/HSPA network (don't know about LTE).

Sadly, these are pretty hard to find here in Europe, since there hasn't be an official import channel for QWERTY Motorola phones since... perhaps the first Droid?

"2/Also, RIM are apparently the only smartphone OS developer that still cares a tiny bit about battery life. The average Engadget reviewer may consider 2 days per charge to be something impressive, but myself I want Symbian's 4 days of battery life back."

Heh, good luck with that. They're using the same Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 SoC that every LTE-based phone currently uses (dual-core 1.5 GHz Krait CPU + Adreno 225 GPU). And they're only using an 1800 mAh battery in the L-series phones (smaller than the Android phones, which all have 2100 mAh).

AFAIK, modern ARM SoCs have some power management facilities to make sure that as soon as you don't make use of the extra CPU/GPU power and connectivity, OS software can turn things off and reduce clock rates so as to avoid the battery life hit.

This should mean for users that don't do anything power-hungry on their phones like me, as long as the OS itself is not bloated with things like gimmicky GPU-hungry visual effects, faster SoCs would not make that big of a difference in terms of power draw.

With respect to battery capacity, I'm pretty sure that not all Android phones have 2100 mAh batteries, since at least mine, as a fairly small device (Xperia Mini Pro), hasn't. But for a large-screen device like the L-series, this may indeed be a mistake, since the 15% lost battery capacity won't come for cheap.

Myself, I'm more interested in the kind of battery which they are going to put in the candybar QWERTY N-series. Since there's room for a large battery under the keyboard of those devices, they might be able to put that 1800mAh battery in those too. And if they did, it could compensate for the extra screen size and touchscreen power consumption, to provide a device that is fairly comparable to older Symbian devices in hardware. This would then be a unique occasion to see how much BB10's power management is worth.

Edited 2012-12-15 11:17 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Radio
by Radio on Tue 11th Dec 2012 20:24 UTC
Radio
Member since:
2009-06-20

Too late, to play the same game as others.

The next players, if they want to succeed (or just survive), must aim for disruption. Jolla does it a bit, with its compatibility with Android apps (but how expansive will it be?). Continuous computing would be another good evolution, for example.

Edited 2012-12-11 20:25 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Radio
by Moochman on Wed 12th Dec 2012 19:10 UTC in reply to "Comment by Radio"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

BB10 is also compatible with Android apps. Actually they did it first.

Reply Score: 2

BB10 is looking goooood
by grantpalin on Tue 11th Dec 2012 20:47 UTC
grantpalin
Member since:
2011-02-11

I've been following the releases on the BlackBerry blog, the developer blog, and on CrackBerry. Between the pictures, videos, and specs (so far), BB10 devices look like they will be a world away from existing BBOS devices. A lot of people don't seem to understand that RIM is making a clean break here, cleanly separating BB10 from BBOS. That does bring up the apps compatibility issue, but as I understand it Playbook apps should be fairly easy to update for BB10.

I don't know enough about QNX to speak to it in any real detail, but what I do understand is that QNX will be a much better long-term solution than the existing BBOS. RIM have said that they are taking the long view with this initiative, and it makes sense to me.

I'm thinking to give app development a try. I could use some specific apps on my Playbook, but they are not available. WebWorks looks like a good way to leverage my web dev skills, and I don't know nearly enough about AIR or native development.

Edited 2012-12-11 20:49 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: BB10 is looking goooood
by yourpalal on Wed 12th Dec 2012 06:13 UTC in reply to "BB10 is looking goooood"
yourpalal Member since:
2011-04-15

Having developed a small Playbook game with WebWorks (for the purposes of the make an app, get a tablet promo they ran pre-launch), I can say that actually development of the app was very painless. I did almost all of my developing in Chrome, and now that the Ripple emulator is available, this should become even easier.

The major pain point at the time was the horrible packaging/signing/submitting process. Since Ripple can sign and package your apps as well, this should be much easier now too.

Unfortunately, my app recently broke from an OS update and I haven't had time to finish and deploy my fix. I think I've got the fix done, but I will have to wait for the Christmas break to test/package/deploy it.

Anyway, I highly encourage you to build a WebWorks app. Use it as an excuse to learn a new and interesting framework like angular.js.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: BB10 is looking goooood
by grantpalin on Thu 13th Dec 2012 05:05 UTC in reply to "RE: BB10 is looking goooood"
grantpalin Member since:
2011-02-11

Thanks for the response. I am on break after this week, and would like to work on an app or two this month when I have the time available. It does seem to me that the development process has become much easier, which RIM is getting praise for.

Reply Score: 1

Why a new toolkit?
by ThomasFuhringer on Wed 12th Dec 2012 13:49 UTC
ThomasFuhringer
Member since:
2007-01-25

How about a simple plugin for Qt Creator as a toolkit?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why a new toolkit?
by anda_skoa on Wed 12th Dec 2012 17:17 UTC in reply to "Why a new toolkit?"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

How about a simple plugin for Qt Creator as a toolkit?


Qt Creator 2.6 (lastest release) comes with a plugin that supports all development steps for Qt on BB10, i.e. cross-compiling, deployment, remote debugging.

It even has templates for Qt5 based apps already.

Qt is one of the officially supported options for native applications. If you're interested in Qt on BB10 I recommend watching the respective videos of talks RIM people did at the Qt Developer Conference http://www.youtube.com/user/QtStudios?feature=watch

Reply Score: 3