Monthly Archive for May, 2011

Developers: RIM Introduces BlackBerry Java SDK 7.0 Beta for Augmented Reality, NFC and More

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blackberry bold touch

The latest BlackBerry development kit looks to have some pretty awesome APIs and tools that developers can use to make the next generation of BlackBerry apps. Some particularly interesting APIs include the magnetometer APIs which allow for better navigation apps, as well as augmented reality and gaming. The Native Window API lets developers overlay a native window such as a camera or video view finder, or web browser. This sort of API is a great help when creating augmented reality apps. Also of great relevance are the NFC APIs which will allow developers to read the NFC chip to communicate with other NFC-enabled devices.

So what can we expect? Well it will be great to see some new games and augmented reality apps. Apps like Google Goggles are a fun way to discover your surroundings and hopefully an app like Poynt will get an augmented reality feature as well. It would also be great to see BBM use the NFC APIs to be able to “bump” your BBM contact rather than use the QR code. Hopefully RIM is on top of that.

Hit the jump for the press release.
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Blaq Twitter Client Now Available for the BlackBerry PlayBook

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blaq

RIM promised a Twitter client around when the PlayBook launched and while it’s not yet available, PlayBook owners can get their hands on a cool Twitter client called Blaq. Many of you probably know Blaq from using it for your smartphone and the PlayBook version comes with some very useful Twitter features for the pro and average users. Blaq has a unique user interface and design coupled with a long list of features including:

  • REAL-TIME userstream support
  • Native or editable retweet support
  • View your lists that you’ve curated from Twitter.com
  • In-app notifications
  • Username auto-completion
  • Full user profile view
  • Web and image previews within Blaq
  • In-app support for all 211 embed.ly services (YouTube, Tumblr, Posterous, SoundCloud, etc.) – Full list here: http://api.embed.ly/
  • URL shortening with the custom bl4q.me shortener
  • Photo posting

Grab the latest version of Blaq in App World at this link.

Possibly the Oldest BlackBerry PlayBook Owner in the World

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playbook nyc
This picture represents the polar opposite of the person in this story.

George Williams owns two computers. He also has an iPhone, and now the new BlackBerry Playbook. He’s a tech savvy guy and it turns out he’s turning 91 years old. “It’s always been a challenge to me,” he says of his fondness for buying the latest gadgets and sitting down with the owner’s manuals to figure them out.

Williams comes from Moncton and was born in Canada. It must be interesting from someone of his age, having lived through World War II and seen the incredible technology advancements we’ve made in the past 70 years. Everything from the Atomic Bomb to the Internet has been invented in his time and the smartphone era is in some ways an equally big technology shift. There is a lot of potential in everyone carrying around a computer in their pocket, and we’ve just scratched the surface of what’s possible.

And how cool would it be to have him as a grandfather? While most of us struggle to get our grandparents to check out photos of the kids online, gramps over here is asking you to upload a 1080p copy of Inception in a torrent file and “quit leeching”.

Federal Government Getting an Increase of Unsecure Devices on Network

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Android Malware
Another Android hacked

A recent WaPo article talks about the growing shift from a single device (BlackBerry), to a multi-platform environment including iPhone, iPad and Android devices. The strange thing about the article is that the author barely touches on the subject of security, an issue that is becoming increasingly important in light of recent announcements that Lockheed Martin was hacked and the Pentagon said hacks could be an act of war.

While the WaPo likes to paint the picture as a massive shift in the way government is doing business, it seems the ways they’re actually implementing the use of these devices is pretty minimal. One such example was that the sign-in book at the reception desk was replaced with an iPad. Another example was showing video of an arrest to ATF employees with an iPad. These devices aren’t exactly transmitting highly sensitive data but do we trust employees using these devices to keep data safe?

Another question we should be asking ourselves is whether or not federal employees should even be able to use tax dollars on these devices just because of consumer hype. While many will claim that tablets increase productivity or the latest Android device has more processor power, allowing them to work faster, it’s probably just excuses to get the latest toy. There’s a reason governments shut out their devices from downloading apps and fooling around on the web: because it’s tax dollars and they have to be accountable for the time spent and security possibly compromised.

In fact, these new devices are actually impeding some federal employees from doing their jobs properly. For example, presidential recordkeeping:
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Google Analytics for BlackBerry Available with Nomad Analytics

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google analytics

Although the app has been around for some time we had to give a mention to Nomad Analytics: the one and only Google Analytics app for your BlackBerry. The app comes with a free trial and costs $4.99 afterwards. It’s surprising that it has taken this long to see a decent Google Analytics app but Nomad has done it. The app lets you track your websites and is incredibly simple to use. Simply log in with your Google credentials and the app pulls in all the sites registered with your account. Other features include:

Main features of Nomad Analytics are:

  • Ability to select any of the sites linked to your Analytics account
  • Easy and intuitive menu navigation interface
  • Nice line and pie charts to easily provide main information graphically
  • Data & Graphs on daily, weekly and monthly basis for all the information provided
  • Selectable date format
  • Available in English and Spanish. More languages to come. Please write us to get yours included.

Data queries available on Nomad Analytics include:
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Android Device Sales May Be High But Developers Can’t Monetize

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paid android apps
This graph shows the proportion of paid apps by download tier.

We often write about Distimo’s reports because they give insight into the app industry, and a lot of developers are going cross-platform these days. Here at BlackBerryCool we’ve talked a lot about the fact that BlackBerry developers are making a decent amount of money albeit the media’s insistence that they aren’t attracting developers. Sure, there’s rockstars making a lot of money on iPhone, but considering the number of apps on the platform, the majority of apps are probably making zero dollars per day. It seems Android is a horrible platform for the average developer, where 80% of all paid applications have been downloaded less than 100 times in the Google Android Market worldwide to date. So for all the media hype around Android, it’s not going to last long in the app space unless your average developer can get paid.
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