- Developed HTML5 apps with native capabilities using BlackBerry WebWorks SDK.
- Rewarded by downloads that are far higher on the BlackBerry World™ storefront versus competing platform.
- Benefited from local Research In Motion® (RIM®) support.
- Leveraged a variety of BlackBerry APIs to fully integrate with BlackBerry smartphones.
- Awarded top mobile application at 2012 Canto i-Create Mobile Apps competition in Trinidad and Tobago.
BlackBerry Developer Success Story - TriniBerry
In 2009, Khafra Murray realized he was having difficulty finding BlackBerry applications with localized content in his native Trinidad and Tobago. Murray decided to change that, even though as a professional web developer he had no previous mobile app development experience. Using HTML5 and adding native functionality by using BlackBerry WebWorks SDK, Murray gained development tools that were powerful and straightforward, and was able to release several BlackBerry smartphone and BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet applications, including the Trinidad and Tobago Cinema app. This application, one of Murray's most popular, includes show times, trailers and interesting facts about the movies.
Murray talked about the popularity of BlackBerry smartphones in Trinidad and Tobago, its growing developer community and the simplicity of working with BlackBerry development tools.
Q: Why was it important for you to develop for the BlackBerry platform?
Khafra: BlackBerry smartphones are very popular in Trinidad and Tobago. I've been a long-time BlackBerry smartphone user myself and I realized that there was a need for localized mobile content. My experience is that people here love BlackBerry smartphones because they enjoy socializing, which BlackBerry smartphones do very well. Whether it's messaging friends on BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™) or using email and social media applications, BlackBerry smartphones make communicating easy. They just fit the needs of many people here at an affordable price. That's why I developed the Trinidad and Tobago Cinema app. My app downloads reflect the popularity of the BlackBerry platform. My Cinema app downloads are significantly higher on the BlackBerry platform than on a competing platform.
Q: Has the popularity of BlackBerry smartphones in Trinidad and Tobago led to a BlackBerry developer community?
Khafra: I believe mobile development in general is growing in Trinidad and Tobago. The first mobile networking event was held recently. Developers here realize that it's in their commercial interest to develop for the BlackBerry platform and there is increased interest in forming a true BlackBerry developer community. To give you an example, I'm the co-manager of a recently created BlackBerry Developer Group for this region. I think, in the next couple of years, the number of mobile developers will double from what it is now. Many of them will want to develop for the BlackBerry platform, not only because it is quick and simple, but also because it can be rather profitable.
Q: Describe your experience developing using BlackBerry tools?
Khafra: A RIM representative contacted me directly about developing for the BlackBerry platform. I didn't have any Java® experience so she encouraged me to try the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK. I realized that using the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK meant I could apply my existing web development skills to building mobile apps for BlackBerry smartphones as well as the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet without a huge learning curve. Fast forward and all of my applications are HTML5 apps that were developed using the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK. It has been extremely fast and straightforward.
I can leverage the Open Source BlackBerry WebWorks SDK extensions to improve the interface on my apps and I don't need to attach any extra frameworks to make the app work. It was also easy to integrate important features, such as calendar and email, because the code provided by the API documentation was essentially complete. For me, the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK was far superior as compared to the development experience on a competing platform.
Q: How long did it take you to port your application to the BlackBerry® 10 Dev Alpha device?
Khafra: I was able to compile and deploy a fully functional version of the Trinidad and Tobago Cinema app to the BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device in less than an hour. It was a really simple process and the performance is exceptional. One of the major benefits of utilizing HTML5 and the BlackBerry WebWorks SDK is the great support that is available for the upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS. I'm confident that I'll be able to port all of my applications to the next generation BlackBerry 10 OS and benefit from the excellent hardware and performance. I'm even in the process of teaching myself C++ and QML to try and develop even more robust applications.
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