- Developed BlackBerry® 10 application using Cascades™ framework
- Built rich user interface (UI) with C++ and Qt® Modeling Language (QML)
- Consider BlackBerry 10 smartphone to be intuitive, fast and a game changer
- Benefit from close working relationship with BlackBerry development team
BlackBerry Developer Success Story — Prezence Digital
Prezence Digital is a South African digital agency that provides a range of innovative services to clients and develops mobile applications across a number of platforms. In 2005, the agency began working with cinema chain, Ster-Kinekor. After a number of updates to Ster-Kinekor’s popular mobile website, Prezence released a fully integrated mobile application for the cinema chain in 2012. The app includes an interactive seating plan, as well as detailed movie synopses and enriched movie news. The BlackBerry application soon became the company’s most popular version, reaching over 200 000 active users in under 2 months. Late last year, Prezence Digital began work on a Ster-Kinekor application for the BlackBerry 10 smartphone.
Prezence Digital’s Head of Product Strategy, Lynette Hundermark, and Head of Apps, Neil Aves, joined us to discuss developing the BlackBerry 10 app using the Cascades framework, their thoughts on the device itself and the strong relationship that Prezence Digital has established with the BlackBerry development team.View details in BlackBerry World
Q: Why did you decide to develop the BlackBerry 10 app using the Cascades framework?
Neil: We believe strongly in developing apps natively and we felt that the Cascades framework gave us the most control over the device and the best opportunity to integrate all of the features we wanted. We focus heavily on a smooth user experience, so it was great to work with a framework that supported the QML. We were able to apply our previous experience with the Qt application environment to a general structure that was very similar.
Q: What tools did you use to develop your user interface (UI)?
Neil: We built the UI using a combination of C++ and QML. We leveraged QML to put most of the UI together and C++ to do the signals, database connections and the data loading. QML allowed us to create a rich user experience and there were a number of components to help us to do that, which was fantastic. Plus, if you needed hardcore programming language it was right there within the C. Having the flexibility to create the UI with both of these tools was really beneficial, as well as being fast and easy to use.
Q: What do you think of the BlackBerry 10 device itself?
Neil: I feel that it’s a great device and that it’s going to be a game changer for BlackBerry. I’ve been working with it closely for the past couple of months and I’ve found that it’s very fast, smooth, easy to use and intuitive. The total package just flows really well from a user perspective. When I use other smartphones, I actually try to perform the BlackBerry 10 functions and wonder why it doesn’t work – that’s how natural and user friendly the BlackBerry 10 smartphone is.
Lynette: I’m also really optimistic about the BlackBerry 10 smartphone. The smartphone market has seen a number of fairly similar products lately but the BlackBerry 10 smartphone looks unique. It is really fast and the app looks great on it. The new features like BlackBerry® Hub and BlackBerry® Flow are designed for people on the go. It makes the user experience extremely seamless, something which is going to be a massive hit with the mobile consumer who has a demanding lifestyle.
Q: Describe your experience working with the BlackBerry development team and user community?
Lynette: We’ve worked closely with BlackBerry since we began developing applications for BlackBerry smartphones a couple years ago. BlackBerry is invested in their developer’s success and the actual user community is also really strong. People in this market appreciate good quality enriching apps that incorporate the integration of native functionality (e.g. BlackBerry® Messenger) within the app - that’s one of the reasons that they’re so popular.
Neil: Our relationship with BlackBerry has been great. We’ve been in constant contact with them. Whenever we’ve had questions, BlackBerry has answered quickly. It’s also been invaluable to have access to the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha devices. Working with simulators will never replicate the experience of working with the real device and it’s been key to the development of this application. When you combine this level of support, access to the devices and the earning potential for developers, BlackBerry is a great platform to develop for.
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