Category: Uncategorized

My take on BB10 (and other mobile OS)

I am known for being an Apple fan. One of my nickname is MacMan. Yes I do love the Apple ecosystem, but with time I came to be more nuanced in my opinions. So I don’t look down on Android, and if BlackBerry is offering a good phone, let’s give this player a chance.

My principal thoughts is that there was only 2 major innovations in smart phones: the blackberry back in the days, bringing you Messaging with a qwerty keyboard and email on-the-go, and the iPhone, in 2007, with its touch screen and (in 2008) with its AppStore, which opened the world to a whole new level of smart phones. The apps gave you a computer in your pockets. Since then, we’ve seen some very good, needed and appreciated improvements, but improvements nonetheless. 

Android basically copied the iOS, but done in a slightly different way. Android didn’t invent anything, unless I am missing something big. I am not denying their bigger share of the market. But at the same time, I come across this. And this is the third article repeating history all over again. Openness in software is great, but it comes with a price. And personally, if I download an app from the official store, I want to know it won’t copy my entire digital life on someone else’s server.

Worst for WindowsPhone; WP7 was never adopted by more then the family of the developers, and WP8 is so late in the game, I am still wondering why they bothered. It has been well received by critics, I must say, but that doesn’t seem to sell devices. (Remember how bad the original iPad was received?)

I also want to mention Ubuntu new upcoming smart phone OS. This looks very interesting and I will give it a look when it comes out. I don’t know why, but I am excited by this! Plus they bring an interesting philosophy to the mobile OS, which is: if you can see it you can use it. It’s not an innovation, but it’s really interesting.

Now for Blackberry. Many of us gave RIM for a dead walking company, and in a sense we were right. They changed their name to insist on a new beginning. RIM is dead, let’s welcome Blackberry. After so many delays, it’s finally here. But from what I’ve read so far, critics are happy because BB10 has everything iOS or Android have. Wow. Get out of my way so I can rush to the store and buy one. They will bring back physical keyboard. For many users it’s a great news, for me it’s a source of discouragement and disbelief. I never could understand how someone could write with that thing. Plus, when you don’t need your keyboard, it’s still there. They will even 70 000 apps on launch day! Wow, that’s awesome, but those are Android apps that are a few years old. As a developer, I will not invest time on this platform, that’s for sure. BB10 might keep the company alive for a while, but they won’t be back as Smart phone Kings. Not with this.

We all get excited when something new comes up, but I am waiting to be really excited… waiting for the next innovation. I mean the next huge step. Something that none of us has imagined yet…

I believe developers are influenced in their choice of platform by popularity of the phone and what they personally love. As of myself, because of its popularity, I will eventually delve into Android app development. I will also take a look at Ubuntu mobile phones, because it looks awesome! But iOS will still be my primary mobile OS of choice.

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Learning Resources – Part I

Like I mention in my About page, I am currently a student in Computer Science. So of course I learn a lot there, but of course it’s not what I’ll talk about in this series of posts! I also learn a great deal with a few resources that I cherish a lot. I will go through each of them in different posts.

Today I want to talk about lynda.com (a free ad for them, I guess…). It will be the object of Part I of this series mostly because I reactivated my subscription today. So Lynda.com is subscription-based service, accessible through their web site or via their iOS app. They have many categories, but I don’t care about all the non-developer videos…

I subscribed the first time to go deeper in my knowledge of SQL. I actually never finished that particular course. Nonetheless a very good one. But I wasn’t spending enough time on the lessons at the time so I stopped my subscription a first time. It has been an off/on relationship since; I keep going back whenever I have a little bit of time… or I feel dedicated enough to accomplish whatever I have in mind to spend the time learning what I need to learn. This time, I want to learn web development. As I mentioned in a previous post, I need a web site to accompany my eventual AppStore app.

As a service, it offers a good variety of courses. They all follow the same structure, so the quality is consistent. New courses are added on a regular basis, and they keep up with new technologies. Also, the instructors are very good!

On the other side, I wish they had more advanced courses. There is a lot of “Essential training” (that I appreciate greatly), but I also wish for more advanced courses. The worst aspect of it all is a small detail on their iPad app – small detail that makes a great difference for me: videos are streaming only, and very, very last minute. So you need to have a constant, high-speed internet to view the courses. The thing is: I spend a lot of time in the subway system. Here in Montreal, the subway system is connectionless. And it sucks. (Tell me we’re not the last one!) If I could buffer up a few lessons in advanced, it would do a huge difference in my experience. I can also think of people going in their backyard in the summer where their connection might be slower or non-existent.

Otherwise, they made great improvement on their iOS app and it’s now, in my experience, a stable and reliable release.

Oh, and I am not rating. This is my experience, from my needs. I reactivated my subscription, but this is one of many resources: that should speak for itself…

accompanying material for the app

While I love to plan things, put ideas on paper, dream about all the things I could realize, I am never sure about what’s important and what’s not.

Namely, should I have a website? If so, should it be simple, with a few informations about my app and me? Offer technical support? Should it be more complex, with tutorials about using my app, material for the press in case I get a review?

While writing this down, I get more and more convinced that all the answers are yes. And it should be live before / at the same time my app is released on the App Store. But it circles me back on my previous post: I never made a web site before, so I think I should go learn first…