Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 30th Jan 2013 23:06 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless And so, today, RIM announced its Hail Mary - a brand new mobile operating system (well, sort-of new), as well as two new devices. In addition, the Canadian company also officially changed its name from Research In Motion to Blackberry. The first few reviews of Blackberry 10 are already out, and it's not bad. The problem, however, is that in the case of Blackberry, 'not bad' could easily mean 'not good enough'.
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My thoughts
by Nelson on Thu 31st Jan 2013 05:21 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

BlackBerry did something interesting today, they showed a great deal of finesse in their execution with BB10. Let's remember, this is a product which is late to market, in a crowded environment, from a vendor which has had a pretty dramatic fall from grace and suffered from chronic mismanagement for quite some time.

The fact that BlackBerry is seemingly firing on all pistons is encouraging from a management point of view, and speaks volumes to their ability as a company to deliver in the future.

Is BB10 perfect? Will it achieve a meaningful uptake the first time around? No and probably not. But it doesn't have to be.

It has to be good enough to buy BlackBerry time to iterate on their product. I think they have a few unique selling points and I'm more optimistic after today than I was before.

The app number count is impressive, at the least. The real question is how they can over time turn these "port-a-thons" into organic interest in the platform. Is BlackBerry in the conversation when it comes to developers writing new apps? Do they differentiate on BlackBerry by integrating with the platform?

Microsoft has found that its very easy to strong arm yourself 100,000 apps, but its not so easy to change minds and hearts of developers when it comes to considering Windows Phone along with iOS and Android during initial product planning.

I'm bullish because BlackBerry has strong loyalty and strong carrier relations so they can get a decent retail push.

Areas where I'm negative are the actual devices themselves, they don't really have a unique selling point. That, and the Android app compatibility is (as I predicted it would be) a fucking mess. Reviews say that its slow, foreign, and undesirable. Sure it help inflate app numbers and it brings apps to the platform much quicker, but the cost is user experience.

I'm not sure that users will penalize BlackBerry less because they have a slow, glitchy, unusable port of Instagram vs how much they penalize Microsoft for not having Instagram on WP. We'll see though.

Overall I'm extremely impressed and when stepping back to see the larger picture, pretty excited for BB10s prospects. I'm usually bullish on emerging OSes though.

2013 is going to be interesting.

Reply Score: 5

RE: My thoughts
by cdude on Thu 31st Jan 2013 08:16 in reply to "My thoughts"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

Agreed except on...

the Android app compatibility is (as I predicted it would be) a f--king mess. Reviews say that its slow, foreign, and undesirable. Sure it help inflate app numbers and it brings apps to the platform much quicker, but the cost is user experience.


As you wrote its the first iteration and going to improve. It already improved a lot according to those I know who had access to that before and gave it tries (like on the Playbook).

To try to get the Android ecosystem aboard is a very good strategy. The execution seems to be not finished yet but if it is it will pay out.

For the platform-integration: That is a vital point in many cases but in some its not that important. Games for example. If they are stable and reasonable fast its enough reason for that bridge to exist and to be supported and delivered on the devices.

With Android, HTML5, Qt, native and AIR they seem to offer a rather bright set of very different ways to get apps on there platform. This I see as very unique selling point. It decreases the investment needed to bring apps to there platform and maintain them in many cases. Taken the small market share it may still not be enough to convince everybody to bring there apps over but I think it still decreases the burden significant and so ROI can be reached faster.

If the dev-story is improved future, like better Android integration, then I think its a huge advantage and the fruits become a selling point. My hope is many more platforms start similar projects to easier developers work. Its the way to go.

Edited 2013-01-31 08:22 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: My thoughts
by Nelson on Thu 31st Jan 2013 13:28 in reply to "RE: My thoughts"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


As you wrote its the first iteration and going to improve. It already improved a lot according to those I know who had access to that before and gave it tries (like on the Playbook).

To try to get the Android ecosystem aboard is a very good strategy. The execution seems to be not finished yet but if it is it will pay out.


I don't know how good of a strategy it is. It is supposed to be a short-term fix. Android ports of popular apps while they convince people to write native BB10 apps.

However if it wont be ready in the short term, then its pointless.

What the hell kind of experience is it to have an app store filled with a bunch of foreign feeling apps, which do everything from text selection to navigation using a different UI paradigm than the host platform. That's nonsensical.


For the platform-integration: That is a vital point in many cases but in some its not that important. Games for example. If they are stable and reasonable fast its enough reason for that bridge to exist and to be supported and delivered on the devices.


Games are a small exception, but again, if performance isn't up to snuff, its a moot point. There is no advantage at this point in time.


With Android, HTML5, Qt, native and AIR they seem to offer a rather bright set of very different ways to get apps on there platform. This I see as very unique selling point. It decreases the investment needed to bring apps to there platform and maintain them in many cases. Taken the small market share it may still not be enough to convince everybody to bring there apps over but I think it still decreases the burden significant and so ROI can be reached faster.


I disagree with the direction, but I can understand why they chose to do what they did. It isn't easy to bootstrap an OS.

I just wonder how many AIR apps exist to matter, or how many meaningful HTML5 apps (I'm still waiting for someone to point me to one good HTML5 app) are ported.

I'd be interested in the breakdown between Native, HTML5 and Android ports on BlackBerry World.

If the dev-story is improved future, like better Android integration, then I think its a huge advantage and the fruits become a selling point. My hope is many more platforms start similar projects to easier developers work. Its the way to go.


This Android compatibility everywhere needs to die. This is such a terrible idea from a UX POV that its not even funny. It is almost beyond words that a developer is able to sleep at night knowing that they did some half-assed port of their Android app.

BlackBerry's QML based native platform is very good. They just need to convince people to use it, and not port their Android garbage over.

I'm worried about how BlackBerry World will look a year from now. Potentially a bigger wasteland than the Android app store.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: My thoughts
by dsmogor on Thu 31st Jan 2013 13:08 in reply to "My thoughts"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

You need to factor in the metro differences in UI design.
Metro is the only kid that stands out from other (IOSesque) guis so much that complete rethinking in the design team is required. It's GUI designers that are are the bottleneck, not code monkeys. That works to MS disadvantage more (and would work for them if they had dominance) than in case of other alsorans.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: My thoughts
by Nelson on Thu 31st Jan 2013 13:20 in reply to "RE: My thoughts"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Yup, I've spoken to this in other threads, but UI design for Windows Phone requires more consideration which can scare away some vendors from investing in the platform. Ultimately there needs to be a tipping point where the benefits outweigh the costs.

Window 8 greatly alleviates this with enhancements to the XAML stack to make writing apps that "feel" like 1st party apps much simpler. Unfortunately WP8 didn't receive the same treatment.

Reply Parent Score: 3