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 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Heh, why not?
by gan17 on Wed 12th Dec 2012 16:02 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Heh, why not?
by Neolander on Wed 12th Dec 2012 16:11 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 Parent Score: 1

RE: Heh, why not?
by phoenix on Thu 13th Dec 2012 23:02 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Heh, why not?
by Neolander on Sat 15th Dec 2012 11:17 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 Parent Score: 1